Adventures in the Kitchen with Michelle

Michelle is making healthy tasty stuff in the kitchen again.  This time she is using wheat berries.

Wheat Berry Salad

What the heck is a Wheat Berry ?? I never knew wheat had berries,…I thought they were grains! Whatever. Actually, it IS the grain, the whole thing minus the hull. I’m not always a fan of the latest health food craze…sorry quinoa, I just can’t get into it. Back in the ’70’s my Mom was in and out of the health food kick. OK, maybe more in than out and I wasn’t always of fan of what was presented. There are a few things that have stuck with me through the years that take me back fondly…Mom’s honey wheat bread, Grampies Rolled Oats with Raisins, and bulgar wheat cereal. I don’t know why I liked this stuff – must be that Mom brainwashing thing – I did turn out to be kinda healthy though. (Thanks Mom) I’ve been using Wheat Berries in a salad/salad topper for a couple of years now and it just occurred to me that it really reminds me of bulgar. Only prettier with, well, more tooth. Mmmmm.  These funny wheat berries are worth a try. There are a ton of recipes out there, but I don’t need walnuts and cranberries or feta cheese messing up my attempt at simple salubriousness. See how that fancy word just screwed up a perfectly good sentence. (means healthiness)

I’ll put the Thesaurus down, and give you my favorite version which is as pretty as it is tasty.

Wheat Berry Salad:

 4 Cups of Water

1/2 Cup Wheat Berries, dry

1/2 Can Black Beans, drained and rinsed well

1 Cup Frozen Edamame, thawed

1 Cup Tomato, seeded and chopped

1/2 Cup Red Onion, chopped fine

2 Tbl. Red Wine Vinegar (or any other flavor you happen to like)

3 Tbl. Olive Oil

Salt / Pepper

Wheat Berry Salad
The Cast

Bring the Wheat Berries to a boil in the 4 cups of water and simmer for 55 minutes !They take f o r e v e r to cook, so make extra. It’s ok because they keep. Oh, and get a book.

When they’re done they look a lot like barley,…but they’re not. Drain them and set aside to cool. Or run under some cool water quickly (but don’t soak them).This is one of those things that I make in the morning and by lunch they’re cool and I throw it together. Besides, don’t you have veggies to chop or something.

Wheat Berry Salad
Wheat Berries

So, chop the onion as you like. Clean up those black beans. If you don’t, it’ll look like mud-salad. Yes, you do need to seed the tomato, or the seeds are mushy, slimy things, and only make a mud-salad worse….yuck.

Now, get out the soybeans (edamame). Note the package: in big letters “Grown in the USA” I do not trust the Chinese any further than I can throw them. Even if it says ‘organic’. They also said we could let our kids chew on the toys they sold us. Yes, I know their stuff is everywhere, but if I can avoid it I do. Especially in a raw product. Besides, we grow a ton of soybeans here – why would I buy theirs?

Blend it all together and add your dressing. Sometimes I use Champagne Vinegar (smooth), or even a Rice Wine Vinegar (sweet), but always a good olive oil. 

I keep it in a bowl and lump onto a bed of lettuce. It fills me up and stays with me. I’ve been known to eat it with a bit of tuna and some crackers. And yes, you can add all that other stuff too….cranberries and walnuts. Ugh! Don’t make me get that big word book out again.

Wheat Berry Salad
Wheat Berry Salad

This looks good and I intend to try–as soon as I find frozen shelled edamame.  None of the grocery stores in far far away carry it.  Same with champagne vinegar.  Doesn’t exist.  I’ve never looked for Wheat Berries.  Might also be a challenge!


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