Wait, it’s October??? OMG! Where has the summer…gone? School is in session, leaves are turning and pumpkins are a-plenty. We are almost fully fledged into the fall season and soon we’ll be seeing the Christmas decorations lining the isles at Target...meanwhile I’m still wearing flip flops!
For now, it is a comfortably warm fall day here and I made a delicious cold Greek wheat berry salad (aka: Greekberry Salad..get it?!!). Wheat berries, say whaaat? Yes, wheat berries are a wholegrain alternative if you are getting sick of the staples such as brown rice.
What is a wheat berry you ask? Wheat berries are essentially whole wheat kernels, the oval pellet-looking grain that yields flour when processed. It has all three components of a whole grain: The BRAN is the hard outer covering of the wheat kernel, high in fiber & nutrients. The GERM is the nutrient-rich embryo that will sprout and grow into a new wheat plant. The ENDOSPERM is the biggest part, the "insides" of the kernel - mostly starch and the part of the grain that is processed into white flour.
So, now that you have received your nutrition lesson (don’t worry, no quizzes), lets get cookin! Wheat berries have a nice earthy/nutty flavor. They also have a unique texture, kind of chewy but very mild. They are a good grain to add flavor to.
Since wheat berries take a while to cook, make sure to plan ahead. You can even pre-cook and then mix the ingredients together when you are ready to use.
Serves: 4-8 (depending on if used for main dish or side dish)
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 2 hrs (wheat berries)
You will need:
3 cups cooked wheat berries (follow package instructions) (1 cup raw makes about 3 cups cooked)
1 cup garbanzo beans
1 pint cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
1 cucumber, cubed
1 can artichokes, quartered
½-1 cup kalamata (purple greek) olives
½ cup olive oil
½ cup white wine vinegar or similar
4 oz goat or feta cheese, crumbled
1 tsp oregano
Salt and pepper to taste
Blend all ingredients. Serve immediately if desired or chill in refrigerator for later. Makes a great side dish or a high protein meal/snack.