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Warm Chicken Kale Coconut Wheat Berry Salad – Paleo

Warm Chicken Kale Coconut Wheat Berry Salad

Warm Chicken Kale Coconut Wheat Berry Salad protein fiber paleoI 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.

Warm Chicken Kale Coconut Wheat Berry Salad protein fiber paleo

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.

Warm Chicken Kale Coconut Wheat Berry Salad protein fiber paleo

Warm Chicken Kale Coconut Wheat Berry Salad - Paleo
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Paleo, Protein
Serves: 4 - 6
Ingredients
  • 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
Instructions
  1. 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.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. While the kale is cooking, saute the chicken.
  7. 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.
  8. At this time, everything should close to being done all together, give or take a minute or two.
  9. 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.
  10. Toss everything and serve.
  11. 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.

 

 

Wheat Berry Waldorf Salad – No Mayo

Wheat Berry Waldorf Salad – No Mayo 

wheat berry waldorf salad grape apple pear dairy free side dish lettuce fiber protein nutty whole grain vegetarian vegan cinnamon vinegar cranberry fuji granny smith

I love that there is no mayo in this recipe but what I love most are the wheat berries. I discovered this little gem of a grain a while back and was excited to incorporate it into a recipe. Have you heard about wheat berries yet?

wheat berry waldorf salad grape apple pear dairy free side dish lettuce fiber protein nutty whole grain vegetarian vegan cinnamon vinegar cranberry fuji granny smithWheat berries are a true whole grain! Without these kernels, there would be no flour. Wheat berries are loaded with nutrients and are as easy as rice to prepare. They resemble rice when uncooked and puff up a little after boiled.

When boiled, cooked wheat berries have a chewy bite and subtle nutty, earthy flavor. They’re sturdy enough to handle bold salad dressings and still delicate enough to taste delicious with some milk, honey and cinnamon.

Since the wheat kernel is left intact, virtually none of the nutrients are stripped away. A cup of cooked wheat berries has about 300 calories and is packed with fiber, protein and iron. 

I’m absolutely bringing this to the next BBQ or party I go to. I’m a naturally anxious person so just the decision of what to bring to a party makes my brain spin. I have criteria and a tray of pre-cut veggies in plastic just doesn’t cut it.

This salad meets my top 3 requirements though: UNIQUE, DELICIOUS and HEALTHY.

Don’t let the list of ingredients deter you from making this salad. You probably have most of the ingredients already in your kitchen and the rest are super easy to pick up. Plus, once you pick up some wheat berries, you’ll be happy to have them on hand for any future recipes. I purchase mine in the bulk section at Whole Foods but Bob’s Red Mill also sells packaged wheat berries.

Wheat berries are easy to cook. There are some recipes that call for boiling them for about an hour and others that call for soaking them overnight. I opt for soaking overnight. I put the wheat berries in a bowl with water, cover and let sit in the fridge overnight. The next day while you are preparing the rest of the recipe, boil the wheat berries. It’s really simple.

I enjoyed this salad as a side to a chicken breast on top of a nice spring mix bed of lettuce. It started out that way anyway. In actuality I scooped up the Waldorf and topped my chicken with it. 

Wheat berries alone are packed with protein but this salad is a great compliment to any additional protein you might want to add. Top chicken, pork, fish or steak, it all works. 

wheat berry waldorf salad grape apple pear dairy free side dish lettuce fiber protein nutty whole grain vegetarian vegan cinnamon vinegar cranberry fuji granny smith

Another serving suggestion is to spoon the Waldorf salad into bib lettuce and top with diced chicken breast = Waldorf Chicken Salad Lettuce Wraps.

wheat berry waldorf salad grape apple pear dairy free side dish lettuce fiber protein nutty whole grain vegetarian vegan cinnamon vinegar cranberry fuji granny smith

Wheat Berry Waldorf Salad (Mayo Free)
 
Cook time
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Wheat Berry Waldorf Salad (Mayo Free)
Author:
Recipe type: Salad
Serves: 8
Ingredients
  • ¾ cup wheat berries, rinsed
  • 2½ cup water
  • ⅓ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup finely chopped fresh parsley
  • ¼ cup cider vinegar or rice vinegar (I used apple cider vinegar)
  • ¼ cup apple juice or lemon juice (I used organic apple juice)
  • 1½ teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 large Granny Smith unpeeled, cored and chopped
  • 1 large Fuji, unpeeled, cored and chopped
  • 1 medium pear, unpeeled, cored and chopped
  • 2 stalks finely chopped celery
  • ½ cup dried cranberry or blueberries (I used cranberries)
  • ½ seedless green or red grapes, halved (I used red grapes)
  • Optional: honey roasted peanuts
Instructions
  1. In a small bowl, soak rinsed wheat berries in the 2½ cups of water. Cover and refrigerate overnight (6 to 12 hours).
  2. Without draining, transfer wheat berries to a medium saucepan and bring to a boil.
  3. Reduce heat and simmer covered for about 30 minutes or until a tender chewy texture.
  4. Drain and transfer to a bowl to cool slightly.
  5. While the wheat berries are simmering, mix up the dressing.
  6. **DRESSING**
  7. Combine oil, parsley, sugar, salt, vinegar, apple juice and cinnamon. (Either whisk very well or shake vigorously in a screw top jar.)
  8. Pour dressing over slightly cooled wheat berries and combine well.
  9. **SALAD**
  10. In a large bowl combine apples, pear, cranberries, celery and grapes.
  11. Stir in dressing/wheat berry mixture.
  12. Cover and chill if not serving immediately.
  13. Optional: Sprinkle with honey roasted nuts.

 

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