#brownbagit with Chef Joshna Maharaj

#brownbagit with Chef Joshna Maharaj

As part of our #brownbagit campaign, Action Against Hunger is sharing simple packed lunch recipes from Canadian chefs from coast-to-coast-to-coast. This fall, join your fellow Canadians: pack a nutritious lunch and donate the money you save so every kid can eat a healthy lunch.  Read on for a tasty recipe from Toronto’s Chef Joshna Maharaj:


Chef Joshna Maharaj

Located: Toronto
Follow Chef Maharaj: Twitter / Instagram

Chef Joshna has prepared a versatile recipe, with the framework to build some very delicious salads out of whatever you have on hand, or feel like making. The key is to keep tasting and adding elements to balance the flavour. Take the time to chop your vegetables into small pieces and you’ll be rewarded with a very beautiful and complex mouthful. Make this recipe this week and be sure to donate if you believe in a Canada free from hunger.



Chef Joshna’s hearty grain salad



Base salad

  • 2 cups cooked grains (bulgar, couscous, quinoa, barley, wheatberries etc.)
  • 2 cups finely diced vegetables (peppers, cucumber, celery, carrot, scallions etc.)
  • 1 small handful fresh herbs, finely chopped (parsley, chives, coriander, dill etc.)
  • 1 can beans (kidney, chick peas, white beans, black beans etc.)
  • 1 handful toasted nuts or seeds (pumpkin seeds, pecans, almonds, etc.)
  • 1 handful dried fruit (cranberries, raisins, apricots etc.)
  • 1 small handful crumbled feta or goat cheese


  • 2-3 tbsp oil (olive, canola, grapeseed, sunflower)
  • kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1-2 tbsp acid (vinegar, citrus)
  • 2 tsp total of any desired spices (curry powder, ground cumin, paprika etc.)


  1. Cook grains the appropriate way and set aside to cool.
  2. Add oil, acid, and any desired spices to cooked grains and season generously with salt and pepper. Toss well to combine. You will want to overseason this mixture, so that when you add the other ingredients, everything will catch some of that flavour.
  3. Add vegetables, herbs, beans, nuts or seeds, dried fruit and cheese and toss well to combine. Taste and adjust seasoning as necessary to produce a balanced and delicious mouthful.

Don’t forget to take a photo of your lunch and share it on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook with the hashtag #brownbagit. 

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