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…?
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!
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)
- 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.
- Place all the dressing ingredients in a bowl, and put aside to marinate while preparing the rest of the salad.
- Grate the carrot and the beet. Place in the salad bowl and mix with the minced parsley and the sesame seeds.
- Once the hard wheat berries are finished cooking, drain and let cool down a bit.
- In a small blender (if available, if not use any blender you have), blend the marinated dressing until smooth.
- Add the wheat berries and the drained cannellini beans to the salad bowl. Mix all ingredients well.
- Serve plates and add some hiziki seaweed on top, and the dressing on the side.
Note: All ingredients marked with * that I used were organic.
Pictures taken by Ray Lee.