Kernza® whole grain salad with roasted butternut squash, bacon, crumbled goat cheese, fresh arugula and pomegranate seeds

I have recently started sharing a weekly sustainable Sunday post via my Facebook and Instagram pages. This is central to my mission to bring more attention to the subject of sustainability and the importance of acquainting ourselves with our essential Minnesota farmers and the local food journey from farm to plate. The goal of these posts is to regularly introduce readers to dishes that I create using locally grown, sustainably sourced products and/or ingredients, or restaurant meals that follow the same guidelines. I am looking forward to integrating the Sustainable Sunday feature as a continuous addition to the The Empty Nesters Kitchen Blog.

Last week I was delighted to be given the opportunity to highlight Kernza® Whole Grain from Perennial Pantry* where their mission “exists to bring delicious, climate positive food staples to your kitchen”. Kernza® is the world’s first perennial grain.

Read more for a plethora of reasons why this is such an exciting and innovative agricultural development and for a flavor forward and vibrantly colored salad using Kernza® whole grain.

Kernza® is good for the environment:

“Perennial crops, like kernza, grow year-round. This means they protect and build healthy soil, prevent nitrogen from leaching into the water, and have potential to sequester carbon”.

Kernza® is good for farmers:

“Perennial crops build soil, require less labor and fewer inputs, and offer premium prices. With each new year, farmers face worse soil quality and a changed climate. Perennials offer a different path forward”

~ From The Perennial Pantry Website

Kernza® is good for you!

Kernza is a healthy whole grain that is high in protein and antioxidants. It has 8X the amount of insoluble fiber as wheat.

Recipe for Kernza® whole grain salad with roasted butternut squash, crispy bacon, crumbled honey goat cheese, arugula, and pomegranate seeds


  • 1 cup Kernza® Whole Grains prepared according to package instructions. (Soaking the grains prior to cooking is an option. Unsoaked grains will take more time to cook) Purchase Kernza Whole Grains online or at Twin Cities Lakewinds Food Co-op stores
  • 1 cup cubed, roasted butternut squash
  • 1 cup fresh arugula
  • 2 ounces honey goat cheese, crumbled (this goat cheese was from the LaClare Family Creamery located in Malone, Wisconsin)
  • 4 strips of bacon, cooked and crumbled ( I used Lunds & Byerlys warm bourbon bacon)
  • ¼ cup of The Salad Girl Citrus Splash vinaigrette
  • 1 tablespoon of pomegranate seeds


  1. Place grains in a medium bowl and fluff with a fork.  
  2. Add squash, arugula, goat cheese, bacon and vinaigrette and toss gently to combine.  
  3. Sprinkle pomegranate seeds on top. 
  4. Enjoy!

Perennial Pantry also produces Kernza® Flour. Watch for future recipes utilizing this!

The grains were so flavorful and they were a splendid canvas for these beautiful local ingredients. This salad paired perfectly with baked salmon and asparagus.

“Cooking with Kernza®: Use Kernza whole grain as you would rice, quinoa in pilafs, bowls, casseroles, or grains salads” ~ Perennial Pantry

*I did receive the Perennial Pantry products described in this article from the company to try at no cost. As with everything I share, transparency is core to my objective and I will always give you my honest opinions regarding the products that I write about.

“Farm to Table…Ocean to Fork…and Grain to Glass.  We cast our votes in favor of the planet one bite, one sip at a time” ~ Lisa Patrin

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