Warm Chicken Kale Coconut Wheat Berry Salad
I love when I can use all my leftover ingredients in another delicious recipe. It’s like a mini kitchen challenge to me. I had some leftover kale from my Easy Peazy “Cheesy” Chickpea and Kale Sauté and I had finally unpacked all of my dry goods so I was like a kid in a candy store. No really, cooking makes me that happy 🙂
Not only does kale make me do a happy dance but wheat berries do to! I love these little chewy nutty berries. They have protein, fiber, are rich in vitamins B1 and B3; and the minerals magnesium, phosphorus, copper, manganese and selenium. I buy mine from the bulk section at Whole Foods or Sprouts. I even made a Wheat Berry Waldorf Salad with them that turned out amaze-balls.
Ok so I combined my love of kale, wheat berries and coconut. Turned the protein factor up a notch and added some bite size pieces of chicken. You can actually omit the chicken if you wanted to make this salad vegan. You still get protein from the kale, wheat berries and a little from the coconut. Adding the chicken makes this a meal for me as opposed to a side.
The only thing about wheat berries is that they require a little planning. I soak mine overnight in water then when I’m ready to use them the next day I cook them for an hour on the stove. Some people don’t soak overnight and cook theirs for 2 hours on the stove. I’ve done it both ways and they both work but I prefer soaking because I feel like berries get plumper by soaking. But it could just all be in my head, who knows. Wheat berries are worth the extra step in my opinion, I love them.
You can time this recipe very easily if you just follow the simple instructions. If you have pre-soaked your berries you will drain them, put them in a medium saucepan and cover with water about an inch above the berries. Heat to a low boil for an hour. But…1/2 into the boiling you can start the rest of the recipe and everything should come together at the same time.
- 1 lb. chicken breast (cut into bite size pieces)
- 4 cups kale (washed, stems removed and leaves torn into little bite size pieces)
- 1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes (I used large flakes)
- ½ cup wheat berries that have been pre-soaked overnight
- ⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 Tbsp coconut aminos (can sub with soy sauce but it will not be a paleo recipe then)
- 1 Tbsp coconut oil (for cooking chicken)
- 1 tsp dark sesame oil
- ½ tsp ground ginger powder
- pinch of salt/pepper to taste
- Cook soaked wheat berries in a medium saucepan and bring to a low boil, cook for 1 hour adding a little water if it boils away. 30 minutes into cooking the wheat berries, start the rest of the recipe in the order below.
- Preheat the oven to 350.
- In a large bowl, whisk olive oil, sesame oil and coconut aminos. Remove 2 Tbsp of mixture and set aside to use at the end of the recipe.
- Add kale and coconut flakes to olive oil mixture and combine so that the kale is covered. I used my hands and massaged the oil into everything.
- Place kale/coconut now covered in olive oil mixture onto a baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes. Toss kale/coconut and cook for another 5 minutes.
- While the kale is cooking, saute the chicken.
- In a large saute pan, add chicken, 1 Tbsp of coconut oil, ground ginger and salt/pepper. Saute until chicken is slightly browned all over.
- At this time, everything should close to being done all together, give or take a minute or two.
- Once all of your ingredients are prepared (wheat berries, kale/coconut and chicken), combine everything into a big bowl and top with the 2 Tbsp of the olive oil mixture you reserved.
- Toss everything and serve.
- Store leftovers in a covered bowl in the fridge and reheat as needed. It reheats really good so it can be made ahead of time.