PCC Perfect Protein Salad | PCC Natural Markets

PCC Perfect Protein Salad

Serves: 6 to 8

Your rating: None (182 votes)

These ingredients are:
vegetarian iconVegetarian corn-free iconCorn-free dairy-free iconDairy-free peanut-free iconPeanut-free soy-free iconSoy-free tree nut-free iconTree nut-free

A popular PCC Deli classic!





Boil spelt berries in water until tender, about 45 minutes. Drain and cool.

In a salad, bowl mix together cooked spelt, garbanzo beans, diced cucumber, green pepper, celery, carrots, red onion, green onion and chopped parsley.

Mix together dressing and pour over salad, mixing well.

PCC Deli recipes were created initially for large-scale, commercial use. We've done our best to scale them down for the home kitchen, converting measurements, etc. but we can't promise they're perfect. If you discover a better method or measurement while making the dish, please feel free to share your feedback in the Comments section below the recipe. Thanks and happy cooking!

More about: salads, spelt


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Gluten free version

I substituted millet for the wheat berries to make this recipe gluten free - still very good.

perfect protein salad

I'm obsessed with this salad, it is so good! Does anyone know the nutrional facts about it?



Re: Perfect Protein Salad

Thanks for writing, Brooke! We're working on getting nutrition information about our deli recipes online. It's been slow going as many of the natural and organic products we use in our deli are not in the mainstream database software used to create nutritional facts. We thank you for your patience. And yes, it is truly a great salad!

This is the right receipe

for Perfect protein sald

Perfect Protein Salad

Here's my calculations (best guess) on the nutritional values. I pulled the info for the individual ingredients off of labels,from The Book of Food Counts and from sites on the internet:

Totals for the whole recipe:

Salad: Calories Fat Carbs Fiber Sugars Protein
1310 14.4 290.4 60.7 35.2 63.4
Dressing: 631 59.2 24.9 0.8 8.3 1.6
Totals: 1941 73.6 315.3 61.5 43.5 65.0

The recipe says 6-8 servings: 1941 cal/8 = 242 cal/serving
1941 cal/6 = 323 cal/serving

I think the recipe is really good. I've made it several times cutting down on the mayonnaise in the dressing. Other than as a binder for the salad, I don't think it adds much to the salad, except calories and fat, that is. I've also added small amounts of shredded chicken to it, edemame, some brocolli florets etc. It is a fun recipe to play with and doctor up. :)

Lower calorie alternates to the mayonnaise dressing

You all will probably think that I have become somewhat obsessed with this recipe. I have made it, and variations of it, about half a dozen times now. Plus I've bought it PCC. I like the PCC bought version, but it is too watery in my judgment. Also the using mayonnaise for the base for the dressing adds a lot of unnecessary fat calories in my opinion.So I made the dressing with two different variations.
One, using non-fat Greek yogurt as a substitute for the mayonnaise. Secondly using soft organic tofu as a mayonnaise substitute.

I used 3/4 cup of the yogurt and the tofu in each recipe alternate to thicken up the dressing a bit, rather than the 1/2 cup specified. Using the yogurt cuts 50 calories per serving from the original recipe, and the tofu alternative cuts 54 calories (1 cup salad serving size). That assumes you use "light mayonnaise" rather than regular. If you make the dressing with regular mayonnaise you can double the calorie savings by using one of the alternate dressings.

The tofu alternative tastes very good, but the Greek yogurt version is outstanding, IMHO. The yogurt version has the added benefit of increasing the protein by 30% over the others. Give it a try and see what you think.

serving size

So if I just bought it at PCC how much would be considered a serving size for 242 or 323 calories a serving?

serving size

As nearly as I can tell for 242 calories, about 1.25 cups in a serving.
For 323 calories about 1.75 cups.


I use low fat cottage cheese instead of mayo. I recall that cottage cheese was in the original PCC recipe years ago. I could be wrong. But it tastes good - much lighter and less greasy with cottage cheese than with mayo.


I love this salad! It's so good! I use organic balsamic vinaigrette for the dressing though and it tastes great and cuts down on calories and fat and such. Great recipe!


I have been making this salad in various forms for about 10 years now.

I used the full amount of mayo one time, but it didn't taste like the salad I was used to from the store. Are you sure your staff really follows this recipe? I usually double everything (veggies, beans, grains, dressing) except the mayo and it's very good.

Many different beans and vegetables work.

I rarely have apple cider vinegar so I usually use rice wine vinegar instead.

Also, I don't keep spelt berries in the house so I use wheat berries which I pre-cook in a pressure cooker the day before. I keep them in the refrigerator overnight so I don't have to cool the salad before I serve it.

Looking forward to watching this board for more updates about how people customize this delicious, crowd-pleasing recipe!

Thanks for sharing it with us!


Hi Eve,

Thanks for sharing your spin on this great salad, sounds great! And yes, we're pretty sure our staff does follow the recipe.

Thanks again,

Mayo used in the store version

The store version uses Vegenaise, which you can pick up at PCC as well. I can't tell you how close it is to actual mayonnaise at this point, as I use Vegenaise just to cut down on dietary cholesterol.

Another Gluten-free Version

I love this salad!! Just made it last night--I altered the recipe a bit and it turned out great:

1. For gluten-free, instead of spelt I used oven roasted potatoes (cubed, tossed in olive oil and salt, oven at 350 for 25-30 mins, or until lightly browned). Note: this does decrease the protein content of the salad.

2. Instead of mayonnaise I used low-fat sour cream (it's what I had on hand and worked out great).

3. Instead of fresh minced garlic, I roasted a whole garlic head and squeezed the flesh of it into the dressing (garlic head, wrapped in aluminum foil with a dash of olive oil, roast in oven at 350 for 40-45 mins or until soft and fleshy).

Turned out awesome--even my carnivorous boyfriend loved it. It's a refreshing summer dish great for picnic dinner!

If it doesn't taste like the

If it doesn't taste like the PCC version, it's probably because you aren't using vegan mayonnaise -- I believe that's what they use in the version they sell in stores.

I'm not vegan, but I honestly prefer the taste and consistency of vegan mayo. Seriously, give it a try! It'll make the overall calories way better and it'll taste just like the PCC deli version!

Perfect Protein Salad

This salad is amazing - and I change it up all the time. Chopped hot radishes, jalapenos, cauliflower, etc. My two cents about the "fat". Get over it. You need good quality oils and fats in your diet. I use a really good organic olive - lemon based mayonnaise - and its awesome. Stay away from the corn, canola vegetable oils. I use EVO, avocado, walnut, pumpkin, etc.

I put his salad on some mixed organic greens - radish sprouts, avocado and slice tomato on the side. The BOMB.

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