Adventures in the Kitchen: Wheatberry Salad « blogging for burgers

Adventures in the Kitchen: Wheatberry Salad

If you read the blog on a regular basis, I think it’s safe to say that your assumption would be that I eat like a pig on most days.  While I wish it were true, my dietary intake is actually fairly balanced.  I try to incorporate as many fresh vegetables and as much roughage as I can into my diet during the week, then I eat like a fat kid on the weekend.

I think that part of the key to not feeling “forced” into eating healthy is to take advantage of fresh produce that looks good to you when you are at the market or grocery store.  It also lets you bring some creativity into the kitchen, which adds another element of fun to eating well.  The other night, I set out just to get some walnuts and baby spinach for a quick wheatberry salad when I was distracted by the awesome selection of mushrooms that were available at Fairway.

There were lovely chanterelles, cremini, and morels, among others.  I carefully cleaned them and cut them up before getting back to my wheatberry salad.

Wheatberries themselves are not exceptionally flavorful.  They have a great texture like wild rice and are slightly sweet, almost like (non sweet) corn.  They look sorta like the love-child of an un-popped popcorn kernel and a grain of brown rice.  Or something like that.

And yes, I often imagine food love-children.

To cook the wheatberries, it’s more like making pasta than like making quinoa or rice.  You simply pour the “berries” into a pot of boiling salted water and cook until they are soft enough for you.  I prefer mine a little crunchy for some texture.  But how easy is that?

In that same vein, my thoughts on wheatberry salads are pretty loose, which is why I am not going to post a detailed recipe or anything (similar to quinoa-based salads).  For the salad I made the other night, I toasted and chopped about a half cup of walnuts.  I chopped some scallions and sautéed them in olive oil.  I threw in a handful of Zante currants for some sweetness.  I added all of this stuff into a bowl before tossing with the cooked wheatberries.

I also wanted to eat some greens, so I roughly chopped up a cup of baby spinach and threw that into the mix (uncooked).  A dash of salt and pepper to taste and I was all set.

But what about those gorgeous mushrooms, you ask?

I simply sautéed those in butter in order to preserve their earthiness, lovely color and natural texture.  A perfect rich, unami-laden side dish to my healthy dinner salad.

You see, even I can eat healthy food (on occasion).

Next up, adventures in pizza (yup, again!) and a new addition to the mix, ICE CREAM!

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