Hard Wheat Berries and Bean Salad

This week I started cooking for my friend Shelley, to help her reach her health and fitness goals – she’ll be participating in a few weeks to a 3-day walk for a cause (I’ll share the info here when I get more details from her).

The concept is very simple: I add a little more ingredients to the daily lunch meal that I cook anyway for Ray and myself; I nicely pack it in several size containers – dressings aside; and as she lives just a few minutes away, she comes pick up her containers filled with fresh homemade food on her way back from school in the evening (she’s a teacher). And this happens Monday through Friday; she’s on her own for the weekend. Voilà!

What does she get…?

A colorful Seitan and Veggies Stir-Fry on a quinoa bed

Seasonal foods, mostly locally grown and organic vegetables (thanks to Urban Acres and Greenling), that are prepared and cooked with a Ayurvedic touch. Therefore she’s not just getting homemade meals cooked with fresh nutritious ingredients, but she’s also starting eating on a weekly basis healing foods prepared based on the season, and her specific Prakriti (ayurvedic profile).

Monday’s menu was: Butternut squash and cauliflower cream, Seitan and veggie styr-fry with quinoa, arugula salad.

Yesterday’s highlight was a Hard wheat berries and bean salad with Asian dressing, which I’ll share the recipe here. Originally, I had envisioned to use aduki beans for this recipe, but after two attempts of cooking the beans with the pressure cooker, I still need to work on the perfect timing for the beans to be neither hard and uncooked, nor mushy and overcooked. Fortunately I had a backup plan with already cooked cannellini beans!

Hard Wheat Berries and Bean Salad


Ingredients – Serves 4 

One handful of presoaked Hiziki seaweed (soak in water for 15 minutes)

16 oz of cooked cannellini beans*

1 cup (dry) of hard wheat berries*

1 tsp of arame seaweed

1 bay leaf, and/or other herbs such as thyme, rosemary* (optional)

one big carrot*

1/2 medium beet*

1/2 to 1 hand of freshly minced parsley*

1 tsp sesame seeds

Ground black pepper and salt to taste


1/8 sliced medium onion*

1/2 to 1 inch of freshly grated ginger* (amount depends on taste)

2 limes* freshly squeezed juice

2 tsp coconut sugar

1 1/2 tbsp grape seed oil

1/4 roasted sesame oil

1 tbsp tamari soy sauce

1 tsp seasoned brown rice vinegar*

1/8 tsp ground sumac (optional)

  1. Thoroughly wash the wheat berries, and place on the stove in a pressure cooker along with 4 cups of water, the arame seaweed and other herbs (if used). Once the steam starts coming out, let them cook for 45 minutes.
  2. Place all the dressing ingredients in a bowl, and put aside to marinate while preparing the rest of the salad.
  3. Grate the carrot and the beet. Place in the salad bowl and mix with the minced parsley and the sesame seeds.
  4. Once the hard wheat berries are finished cooking, drain and let cool down a bit.
  5. In a small blender (if available, if not use any blender you have), blend the marinated dressing until smooth.
  6. Add the wheat berries and the drained cannellini beans to the salad bowl. Mix all ingredients well.
  7. Serve plates and add some hiziki seaweed on top, and the dressing on the side.

Bon appétit!

Note: All ingredients marked with * that I used were organic.

Pictures taken by Ray Lee.