Spanish Wheat Berry Salad + (no) weekly menu

Have I already whined enough about how quickly my week off work and teaching went? Wahh. Back to reality. At least there’s a light at the end of the tunnel: Las Vegas. Leaving Thursday…can’t wait. 😀

There are 9 students registered for nutrition course this quarter — there were 15 in my first quarter. I am happy for the smaller class size and anxious for another group of students to enlighten with my passion for nutrition. 😀 Tonight is our first class! But not before 9 hours at the clinic…ouch.

Seeing as National Nutrition Month is coming to a close, I felt this salad was only fitting. I saw this recipe on Erin’s blog and knew it was going on my must-make list immediately. Wheat berries are one of my favorite whole grains, and they’re becoming much easier to find 😀 These were found at my local Kroger and Whole Foods sells them in the bulk bins.

P.S. Check out Erin’s blog if you haven’t already. Not only is she a Registered Dietitian, but she’s taught me a thing or two…like great ways to use wheat berries and chia seeds, most recently. Thanks, Erin! 🙂

I was drawn to all the colors (antioxidants and phytochemicals!) and simple flavors of this salad. Oil and acid-based dressings allow for the natural flavors of fruits and vegetables to come out. And other ingredients like kalamata olives pack lots of taste bud punch as is. Love those, suckers!

This salad can be prepped ahead of time and kept in the refrigerator for about 5 days. We enjoyed this as dinner one evening, and I ate leftovers for lunch most days last week. Just be sure to stir things up before serving — all the yummy dressing likes to settle to the bottom.

You can add cheese (feta would be awesome) but I didn’t think the dish needed any. Besides, you may want to add it in fresh with each serving if you’re going to eat it over the course of several days.

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Spanish Wheat Berry Salad from Vegetarian Times Magazine, as seen on The Healthy Apron

6 Tbsp olive oil, divided
1 1/2 cups wheat berries, rinsed and drained
1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
1 Tbsp lemon juice
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium red bell pepper, chopped
2-3 sliced green onions
1/2 cup red onion, diced
1/2 cup kalamata olives, drained and chopped
1/4 cup toasted almonds, chopped
1/4 cup flat leaf parsley, chopped

Directions:

In a large pot with a lid, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil and toast wheat berries about 5 minutes, or until fragrant. Add 4 1/2 cups of water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, put the lid on the pot, and allow to cook for 60-90 minutes (check on them frequently after the 60 minute mark), or until the water is absorbed and the wheat berries are fluffy and cooked through. Drain berries and rinse with cold water.

Whisk 5 tablespoons olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice, and garlic in a large bowl. Season with sea salt and pepper. Add wheat berries and the rest of the ingredients. Toss to combine. Serve at room temperature or cold. Yield: 8 servings (1 cup each).

Nutrition Information (per serving): 272 calories; 15.9 g. fat; 0 mg. cholesterol; 325 mg. sodium; 30 g. carbohydrate; 6.3 g. fiber; 6.3 g. protein

Result: Light, refreshing, healthy, and filling! Oh, and definitely delicious! This salad can be served as a meal or side dish and pairs well with one of many entrees – sandwiches, burgers, grilled meats, etc. Enjoy!

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Weekly Menu: March 27th – March 31st

  • Nothing planned! Shocking, I know. Mr. P is traveling this week and I am teaching 2 of the 3 nights. There will probably be some protein pancakes and Kefir smoothies going on. I did make overnight steel cut oats for this morning though…I’ll be sharing that recipe soon!

Question: Have you ever tried wheat berries?

Have a great week!

Share With Your Friends!

18 Comments

  1. March 28, 2011 / 7:17 am

    That wheatberry salad looks delicious! Can you believe I’ve never eaten wheatberries before?! Crazy, right! I need to get to that ASAP!
    Have a great week Nicole! Smoothies sounds like a great dinner to me! 😀

  2. March 28, 2011 / 7:41 am

    I can’t believe I have never cooked with wheat berries. I tried them once in a dish at work, and they were delicious, but my next step needs to be cooking with them! This recipe sounds right up my alley, but crazy Nick hates kalamata olives (what a freak!).

    Kefir smoothies sound good. I make those too, with the Lifeway kefir.

    I didn’t know you were going to Vegas!! Very cool, and I’m jealous. I’ve never been. Maybe a Vegas bachelorette party is in my future 🙂

  3. March 28, 2011 / 7:53 am

    I have never tried wheat berries, but they look pretty easy to make. This salad looks refreshing, which is right up my alley. Have a great week Nicole!

  4. March 28, 2011 / 8:10 am

    I’ve never actually had wheat berries. Going to have to try this!

  5. March 28, 2011 / 8:39 am

    Oh have fun in Vegas! Glad you liked the salad and thanks so much for the kind words!! You are so sweet 🙂

    Weeks that we are either traveling or work schedules are off we resort to tuna, eggs, pancakes, or sandwiches…easy peasy!

  6. March 28, 2011 / 8:56 am

    Wheat berries are such an interesting ingredient. They’re so friggin’ chewy! Perfect for a side dish. And Vegas should be fun!! Safe travels.

  7. March 28, 2011 / 9:18 am

    I’ve always found wheat berries to have a little too much chew to them for my taste. Perhaps I’m not cooking them properly?

    • Nicole
      Author
      March 28, 2011 / 5:10 pm

      I cooked mine for about 75 minutes. Maybe you haven’t cooked them long enough? They’re chewy..but not too chewy…at least to me 🙂

  8. March 28, 2011 / 10:33 am

    I’ve eaten and enjoyed wheat berries..but have never made them myself. I picked up a bag from the bulk section at whole foods last week, so they are in the pantry awaiting me! 🙂 What a beautiful salad!

  9. March 28, 2011 / 10:47 am

    That looks great! I love wheatberries and the addition of olives. I’m a huge fan of Greek salads, so these are some of my favorite flavors.

  10. March 28, 2011 / 11:17 am

    I love wheatberries and have a huge bag of them in my freezer – this looks like a great way to use them up (minus the olives and almonds – not a fan of olives).

    I love recipes that make enough for a few days – great for portable lunches!

  11. Liz
    March 28, 2011 / 12:55 pm

    This recipe looks so colorful and delicious. I’ve never had wheat berries – I’ll have to give them a try!

    Have fun in Vegas!

  12. March 28, 2011 / 2:53 pm

    Wheatberries salad looks so healthy and delicious…

  13. March 28, 2011 / 3:35 pm

    Vegas?? Fun!! 🙂

    That salad sounds so good, I’ve never tried wheat berries before. I didnt even know where to find them. I’ll have to check out the bulk bins (Im sure Canadian stores arent THAT different from yours right?).

    • Nicole
      Author
      March 28, 2011 / 5:11 pm

      Nah, I’m sure you can find’em! Do you have Bob’s Red Mill? They make’em, too 🙂

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