When you live in a small town, very insignificant things are cause for a whole bunch of commotion.
That, and if you want to find out anything at all…you go to the hair salon. Those women know everything. Literally, everything.
Some time ago, the talk of the salon was the rumor that a Buffalo Wild Wings would be coming to town. There were yeeeeaaaars of speculation and then – BAM! Buffalo Wild Wings. Being married to the man that I am, we were some of the first in line…for the very mediocre-at-best food and fun, game day atmosphere. Sadly, that line was REALLY, REALLY long and the food was even less impressive than I remember it being. Or perhaps it was the fact that we waited half a century for our orders that had me underwhelmed in the end.
The same speculation was had over Whole Foods in the South Bend area. Would there be one coming soon? Ooooo…ahhhh. Maybe, maybe not. Wait and see. Not even the salon employees were in the know about that one.
But, up it went. And so, so did we.
This is big exciting stuff in my little community, let me tell ya. At that, South Bend isn’t even *my* community — I have a very boring 45 minute drive standing between me and more frequent trips to Whole Foods. C’est la vie.
My city dwelling parents, though? Whole Foods AND Trader Joe’s within walking distance of not only one another, but also within walking distance of their home. Oh, and if you buy too much to trek home with…there’s a train station less than 2 blocks from both stores AND a stop within 2 blocks of their home. City life conveniences (…but thank god we don’t pay their taxes!).
ANYWAY. When I was in Chicago a few weekends ago, I picked up a ready-made wheat berry salad from TJ’s. I was thoroughly impressed and thus, saved the ingredient list. I got to work and ended up with this rendition. It’s not entirely the same, but a bit on the lighter side and simple to make. It was perfect for lunches and even received a stamp of approval from my other half. Impressive, isn’t it? Enjoy!
- 6 cups cooked wheat berries (2 cups dry)
- 4½ cups cooked quinoa (1½ cups dry)
- 6 Tbsp olive oil
- juice of 1 orange
- 1½ Tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 3 Tbsp pure maple syrup
- 2 Tbsp brown sugar
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp thyme
- ½ cup sunflower seeds
- 1 cup unsweetened dried cranberries
- 1 cup walnuts
- 1 cup pecans
- Bring about 1 gallon of water to a rolling boil over high heat in a large pot; add wheat berries and reduce heat to medium. Cook wheat berries, stirring every 10-15 minutes for at least 1 hour, or until cooked to desired consistency (I boiled them about 1 hour 15 mins). Run wheat berries under cold water, drain well, and transfer to a large bowl.
- Cook quinoa according to package directions; set aside to cool. Transfer to the large bowl with the wheat berries.
- Meanwhile, whisk together the olive oil, orange juice, lemon juice, maple syrup, brown sugar, salt, and thyme in a small bowl or liquid measuring cup.
- Drizzle dressing over the cooked quinoa and wheat berries; toss well to coat. Add remaining ingredients: sunflower seeds, cranberries, walnuts and pecans; toss and serve.