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It’s hard to remember that fall is here and that winter is on its way when you’re in Southern California. I decided to do a blend of a nice hardy grain and some light flavours for a mix of summer meets winter – affectionately known as fall. I’ve decided recently that I really should be incorporating more variety into my diet when it comes to legumes, grains and nuts. I think we all get into cooking ruts and we find ourselves consistently reaching for our favourite staples, mine being quinoa and almonds. So it’s time to give the other terrific food that we have access to a little love. So this is my hug to wheat berries.

The recipes for wheat berries are endless and all a person needs is a little imagination. One of my favourite ways to eat wheat berries is with a nice vegetarian chili on top. Also next time you think maybe you’d like to make wild rice (if this tends to be a go to food) try it with wheat berries instead, as they take  less time to cook. Also, try using it in a pilaf or a soup instead of barley. I like wheat berries because they have a little nuttiness to them, more in texture than in taste. They have a little bit of a back bone to them, unlike quinoa, barley or bulgur. The texture is a nice surprise. I feel like like there’s a little drummer playing beats in my mouth. Let me know what’s your favourite way to eat wheat berries.

 

The following salad is also great with peaches or nectarines. I chose mango because it stays nice in a salad even if it’s refrigerated for days. If you’re serving a group and pretty certain it will be all gone that day, then the less expensive option ,or peaches or nectarines, makes a nice choice.

Wheat Berry Salad

1 cup of wheat berries
2 cups of water
½ cup toasted walnuts
½ cup cranberries
½ a red pepper diced
1 mango chopped into small cubes
2 green onions finely sliced
½ cup of chopped mint

Place 2 cups of water in a medium sized pot and add wheat berries. Bring to a boil and cover. Once the water comes to a boil, cook for another 35 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool before continuing with the salad recipe. Wheat berries last for a week in the refrigerator in a well sealed container.

We eat with our eyes first. Funny how just by looking at this photo you know this will be delicious!

Chop the remaining ingredients and place everything in a large bowl. Add ½ the dressing and blend until everything is well coated.

Dress this salad more than a lettuce salad but less then a pasta or potato salad.

Add remaining dressing if needed. Remember you can always add more if necessary but it’s very hard to fix a salad if too much dressing is added.

Dressing

½ cup plain 2 % yogurt
1 Tbsp minced ginger
3 tsp honey
½ tsp red wine vinegar
½ tsp salt
Salt and pepper to taste

Combine all the dressing ingredients together and mix until the honey is well blended in.

 

This recipe goes great with grilled meats or as a light main course. Try it with grilled salmon or lamb chops. This salad will keep well for about 4 days. Enjoy the nutty texture, the fresh mint and the spicy ginger.



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