Dish up healthful whole grains and veggies to start 2016 off right.
We all know that January is meant to be a month of virtuous eating. Put away the pies and mashed potatoes and nibble on salads and whole grains. But for me, as a native Oregonian, January is the hardest month of the year. It is cold, dark, rainy and there is nothing to look forward to!
To counter this, I try to make the best possible versions of healthy food, including this delicious wheat berry salad. It is full of whole grains, veggies and nuts, but is sweet, toothy and delicious. My whole family will eat this, even my picky 5-year-old son!
Wheat Berry and Butternut Salad
You can make this salad as simple or complicated as you wish. Pick up pre-roasted squash and a bottle of vinaigrette, or roast up a pan of cubed squash (at 400 degrees for 20 minutes) and whip up a jar of salad dressing (recipe at right). Also any other whole grain could be substituted for wheat berries.
2 cups cooked wheat berries*
2 cups cubed and cooked butternut squash
¼ cup dried cranberries
¼ cup chopped pecans
½ cup finely diced celery
¼ cup chopped Italian parsley
Vinaigrette to taste
1. Toss the first six ingredients together, through the parsley.
2. Toss ingredients with vinaigrette to taste. (See recipe at right for quick vinaigrette.) Eat and enjoy! This salad improves with a little rest and leftovers are great packed up for a week of healthy lunches or to be delivered to a new mama. (In fact, the first time I had this salad, I was a brand-new mom. My friend brought me a jar full and in my new mama-haze I remember feeling so refreshed (and loved) after eating a bowl. I hope this salad leaves you feeling similarly refreshed after the holiday craze.) n
Whisk together 1 tablespoon of fruit jam, 1 teaspoon of mustard, ¼ cup vinegar, cup olive oil and some salt and pepper for a fast vinaigrette.
*To Cook Wheat Berries
You do not need to soak the kernels overnight. Instead, just add a cup or two to a large saucepan. Cover with water, cover pot, and bring to a boil. Lower to a simmer for about one hour, until the berries are soft. I suggest making twice as much as you need and freezing half. That way you can whip up the salad at a moment’s notice.