This post is for all my readers, but especially for my vegetarian friends looking to mix it up!
Sunday, while sitting at the kitchen counter, I noticed a small excerpt from the newspaper with recipes. One of the recipes was a delicious looking salad made with wheat berries. I took a picture of it on my iPhone; yes, I was too lazy to write it down. Trust me now that I have made and tasted it, I know it’s a note card worthy keeper!
First things first, what is a wheat berry?
They are whole wheat kernels that have not been processed. They still have the kernel endosperm which packs a suite of nutrients.
According to the Food Network’s site for healthy eats, the wheat berry is a great food choice because:
“Since the wheat kernel is left intact, virtually none of the nutrients are stripped away. A cup of cooked wheat berries has about 300 calories and is packed with fiber, protein and iron. Tasty sprouts are loaded with vitamin E, a cell-protecting antioxidant, and magnesium, which is good for healthy bones and muscles.”
Ok enough background. What did I do with the wheat berry? I took the recipe from the newspaper, (original recipe from Chef Steve Petusevsky ) and made a few of my own edits. Here is the finished product.
Wheat Berry Salad (serves 4)
1 cup uncooked wheat berries
½ cup pumpkin seed kernels
½ cup chopped apple
½ cup dried cranberries
½ cup chopped parsley
3 tablespoons cider vinegar
Pinch of salt (add to taste)
Pinch of black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil (I use EVOO)
2 tablespoons lemon juice
Cook wheat berries according to the packaging. Once cooked and cooled, add pumpkin kernels, apples, cranberries and parsley. Combine dressing ingredients and pour on top of salad. Mix thoroughly, and enjoy.
This was my lunch staple for the entire week, and it made a great dinner with a big green salad. I can imagine adding all sorts of things to the wheat berry base. The orginal recipe called for apricots, cinnamon and nutmeg. You could easily add candied nuts, sunflower seeds and/or your favorite dried fruit. The possibilities are endless! Next time I make it, I’m sure I’ll mix it up. That’s what I love about cooking; you can play with recipes, and make them your own!