This bread salad has been taunting me since my friend left a comment about it in a previous post. So a phone call later and recipe in hand, I was ready. Let me just say that the secondary motivator for this recipe was that I was tired, busy and didn’t feel like fussing with dinner. Oh and my dog was patiently waiting for her evening walk by whining, pacing, and in general being a nuisance.
It’s hard to remember that fall is here and that winter is on its way when you’re in Southern California. I decided to do a blend of a nice hardy grain and some light flavours for a mix of summer meets winter – affectionately known as fall. I’ve decided recently that I really should be incorporating more variety into my diet when it comes to legumes, grains and nuts. I think we all get into cooking ruts and we find ourselves consistently reaching for our favourite staples, mine being quinoa and almonds. So it’s time to give the other terrific food that we have access to a little love. So this is my hug to wheat berries.
The recipes for wheat berries are endless and all a person needs is a little imagination. One of my favourite ways to eat wheat berries is with a nice vegetarian chili on top. Also next time you think maybe you’d like to make wild rice (if this tends to be a go to food) try it with wheat berries instead, as they take less time to cook. Also, try using it in a pilaf or a soup instead of barley. I like wheat berries because they have a little nuttiness to them, more in texture than in taste. They have a little bit of a back bone to them, unlike quinoa, barley or bulgur. The texture is a nice surprise. I feel like like there’s a little drummer playing beats in my mouth. Let me know what’s your favourite way to eat wheat berries.
At my grandmother’s 90th Birthday, my Aunt was in charge of feeding 50 or so guest. It was remarkable to see how my aunts and uncles were able to feed so many guests and do it with incredible ease. It looked to have been no stress at all. I used to feel stress at a dinner party for 8. However learning from this experience I realized it was more about what a person chooses to serve than it was about the number of people that attend. The best part was that I didn’t feel that the quality or the taste of the food was compromised for the facility of the dish. I have since requested a copy if this recipe and use it on many occasions, for large dinner parties as well as for parties of two. I love that it makes very tasty leftover and the salad can include a variety of vegetables based on what you have in the fridge. I also love that this recipe has zero oil added and that flank steak is very lean. To make it even more appealing, it happens to be a very inexpensive meal to serve. Even the people I know that won’t touch sushi gobble this salad down and go for seconds.
This salad has the the perfect balance of sweet and juicy watermelon paired with a smoky citrus oil. This salad is lovely because as long as I have a watermelon and some mint I can make a version of this at any time. The mint really makes this salad and with a little olive oil and some salt and pepper…Voila. But with very few ingredients this salad can go from the ordinary to the extraordinary. I’ve been experimenting with this salad all summer trying to make it fresh and new every time, just to avoid the comment “watermelon salad again?” But this is my favorite version to date. We had some left over lemon chipotle oil from a risotto style barley we make quite often and it will be simple to duplicate since the oil is so easy to make.
This is a delightful summer salad. To be honest we eat this one all year round. In the winter substitute dried apricots for nectarines. Quinoa is by far one of my favourite grains. It is packed with nutrients and it is a complete protein which makes it a genius staple for vegans and vegetarians alike. The trick to quinoa is to rinse it well before cooking. This will make it less bitter. Add a little oil to a pot and add the quinoa. Stirring frequently, lightly toast the grains until you get a nutty aroma, approximately 5 minutes. Add 3 cups of water and cover. Allow to cook at a low simmer for 20 minutes or until the water has evaporated. Quinoa cooks very much like rice other than the toasting step and substitutes great for a starch at dinner.