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Kate Langenburg/A&E Groove

For my next recipe, I want to encourage you to try something a little different — a little healthier, perhaps. With help from Barbara, the master of healthy cooking, I have whipped up a nice, crunchy concoction that all veggie lovers will love.

Goodness, look at those wheat berries, veggies, and tofu! Photo by Kate Langenburg.

Goodness, look at those wheat berries, veggies, and tofu! Photo by Kate Langenburg.

First, let me introduce you to the wheat berry. Say it with me…wheat. berry. Good. That’s where that crunch is going to come from. Wheat berries are the truest whole grains you can find out there. Because their kernels are still together, none of the nutrients have been removed by the time you dig in. Here’s a whole wheat berry fact page.

 

The cool thing about this recipe is that you can follow it very loosely. There are a few staples that you must have, but other than that, the options are limitless.

MUST HAVE Ingredients:

  • 1 cup wheat berries
  • 1/4 to 1/3 cup cider vinegar (to taste)
  • 1/2 cup scallions, minced

OPTIONAL Ingredients:

  • 1 teaspoon salt*
  • fresh black pepper, to taste*
  • 1/4 cup minced dill (or 2 teaspoons dried)*
  • 1/4 to 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 to 2 cloves of garlic, minced*
  • 1/2 cup finely minced parsley*
  • 1 cup cottage cheese or mashed tofu*
  • 1 medium carrot, minced*
  • 1 small cucumber, peeled, seeded, and minced*
  • a little bit of minced bell pepper*
  • 1 1/2 cups broccoli flowerets*
  • 1 can garbanzo beans or black beans*
  • celery
  • fresh alfalfa sprouts
  • sliced radish
  • minced red onion*

See? There are so many choices. Pretty much, we’re just talking wheat berries and a ton of minced veggies here. And if you want that extra kick of protein, definitely add the tofu. (That is exactly what I did with mine. The asterisks [*] are the ingredients in the picture above.) Anyway, here’s what you do…

Step 1: Heat wheat berries in 2 1/2 cups water. Bring to a boil and stir once or twice. Cover and simmer 50 to 60 minutes or until the wheat berries are tender, but still firm. Drain.

Step 2: Toss wheat berries and remaining ingredients. Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour before serving.

Now that’s a healthy dose of vegetables and protein!

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