Wheatberry Salad

While I love going to the grocery store, it is dangerous for our bank account.  I can’t just stick to a list.  I see something new and can’t resist trying it.  That often means that our cupboard is filled with a random assortment of grains.  Unfortunately, I often buy these grains without any idea of how I’m going to use them.  And so they sit, forgotten about, until Dan does another clean-out-the-cupboard sweep.
wheatberry salad3

During one of these sweeps, Dan discovered some wheatberries sitting in the cupboard.  He gently suggested that I find a way to make them and soon.  Actually, I think he was the one who bought those, but either way, I started looking for a recipe to use them up.

wheatberry salad5
Most of the recipes I found seemed to be salads.  I have to admit that I’m a bit skeptical about salads.  I think I had a few too many during my low-carb days.  But this recipe, at least, changed my mind.  It’s amazing what delicious cheeses and some dried fruit can do to make a salad tasty.  Long story short, this recipe was such a big hit that I ended up eating every last bite.  Sorry Dan for not sharing!

Wheatberry Chicken Salad

For dressing:
2 cloves minced garlic
2 tsp kosher salt
freshly ground pepper
4 Tbsp honey
4 Tbsp red wine vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup thinly sliced red onions

1. Whisk together the 2 cloves minced garlic, 2 t. salt, pepper, 4 T. honey, 4 T. red wine vinegar and 1/4 c olive oil.

2. Add the 1/2 c cranberries and 1/2 c red onion and stir.  Set aside while you put together the rest of the salad.  If you aren’t eating the salad all at once, save the dressing and add to each portion right before you eat it.

For salad: 
2 cups wheatberries
shredded, cooked meat from 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
several handfuls fresh, washed spinach leaves
2 large carrots, peeled and grated
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
large handful fresh whole basil leaves 

1.  Cook the 2 c wheatberries in a large stockpot with lots of boiling, salted water for about 50 minutes or until tender.  I found the cooking time required to be significantly longer, probably because of the altitude.  Make sure that you add a lot of water so that the wheatberries don’t stick together. Once they are tender, rinse them with cold water and drain them.

2.Combine cooked wheatberries with all the other ingredients, mixing gently with your hands. Pour dressing overtop, tossing to coat. Top salad with pumpkin seeds if you have them and serve room temperature or cold.

Nutritionals (8 servings) Cals: 338, Fat: 10, Carb: 55, Fiber: 7, Protein: 11