I have no idea why, but when warm weather rolls around, I eat a lot of fun grains/seeds in cold salad form. So simple, refreshing, and healthy. Just this week alone, wheat berries, farro, couscous, and quinoa have made their appearance at my table. While I love the diversity, Mr. Prevention resists the unknown. This salad, for example, he wouldn’t even try (!).
Dietitians…we go nuts for things like this. Nearly every last calorie in this salad is “well spent” on healthy fats, omega 3’s, fiber, and loads of nutrients. Donna stopped over one night last week after her daughter’s flight was delayed and we swooned over this salad and all of its great textures and flavors. Bonus: goat cheese seems to be very “in” right now (I love how food goes through phases of popularity like most anything else) and whether it’s “in” or not…I am a goat cheese lover.
Even though Mr. Prevention refuses trying (some) new things, he did have a great idea yesterday. Before the afternoon heat set in, we went out biking in the country, per Mr. Prevention’s suggestion. This Chicago born and bred girl loves the country being so close by…and I don’t take advantage as much as I should.
Once we had gotten about 5 miles from out house, we passed this HUGE pack of serious bikers. They all had road bikes, helmets, clip-in shoes, onesie spandex outfits in bright colors, and no morning exerciser “hellos”. All business they were. Mr. P and I busted up laughing as they zoomed by us in our mountain bikes (Mr. P shirtless, me in plain’ol workout clothes) and we turned our bikes around, joking that we would tag along.
Maybe you had to be there, but it was funny trying to keep up with this pack…before they had disappeared ahead. Country biking is something I will be doing again soon (and my ankle felt pretty good!). As for Mr. Prevention, he may not be up for trying something new….but in the case of this salad, that simply means more for me 😀
Crunchy Wheat Berry Salad with Cranberries and Goat Cheese from The Flourishing Foodie
2 cups wheat berries, dry
3 celery stalks, sliced
1 large shallots, sliced
2/3 cup dried cranberries
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/3 cup olive oil
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 Tbsp maple syrup
salt and pepper to taste
3 oz soft goat cheese, crumbled
1/4 cup sliced almonds
Bring 5 cups of salted water to boil. Rinse the wheat berries in cold water and then add them to the boiling water. After adding the berries, bring the water back up to a boil before reducing the heat. Cover the pot and allow to simmer for 1 hour. Strain and set to the side to cool.
While the wheat berries are cooling, chop the celery and shallots. Add them to a large bowl with the dried cranberries.
Combine the garlic, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, maple syrup, salt and pepper; whisk until well combined.
Add the cooked wheat berries and then pour the dressing over top and combine with a wooden spoon. Add goat cheese and almonds; toss lightly. Refrigerate or serve immediately.
Yield: ~10 servings (1/2 cup each).
Nutrition Information (per serving): 274 calories; 10.9 g. fat; 5 mg. cholesterol; 110 mg. sodium; 38.5 g. carbohydrate; 5.7 g. fiber; 6.8 g. protein
Result: I ADORE this dressing. It would go great on just about anything. The celery was a nice surprise with the crunch to perfectly balance the creamy and smooth goat cheese. The cranberries added that sweetness (along with the maple syrup). The wheat berries are hearty and chewy. This is definitely one of the best cold salads I’ve ever made and I love that any grain could be swapped in for wheat berries (i.e. barley, farro, bulgar, etc.). Enjoy!
Monday, fun day! It’s supposed to be another hot day in central Ohio. My tomatoes and zucchini are growing like CRAZY! I will have to post updated pictures soon — they’ve more than doubled in size. Maybe even tripled!
I am hooked on Fifty Shades of Grey like every other woman out there, it seems. Tonight I will have to catch up on the grading I didn’t do this weekend…oops. Two more weeks til the quarter is over…zooming by!