Curried Wheatberry Salad

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We tasted a similar salad at Whole Foods and fell in love with the flavors and textures of this salad which is non dairy and vegetarian and oil free. If you substitute the honey for a plant based sweetener such as maple syrup of agave this delicious grain salad would be vegan. Packed full of protein and flavors, this makes a great lunch.

This was my first attempt at cooking wheatberries.  The directions on the package said to soak overnight but I also read that the overnight soak is not completely necessary so I skipped the soaking step and boiled them. If I have the time I will attempt to soak overnight next time for comparison. I used one cup of hard red wheatberries and boiled them in 3 1/2 cups water for about 50 minutes until the texture was soft but still chewy.

I drained and cooled the wheatberries and then put them in the refrigerator until I was ready to assemble the salad.

Recipe Yields approximately 6 cups:

Ingredients

  • 1 cup uncooked wheatberries, cooked in 3 1/2 cups water until soft but chewy. Bring the water to boil, add wheatberries, cook on low/ slow rolling boil for 50 minutes or until done and then drain and cool (can be made a day ahead)
  • 3 small seedless Persian Cucumbers cut into small dice
  • 1/2 of a Red Bell Pepper cut into a small dice
  • 1/8 cup to 1/4 cup finely diced Red Onion depending on how much raw red onion taste you like
  • 1/2 cup of cooked and shelled Edamame
  • 1/2 cup Blanched Slivered Almonds
  • 1/2 cup Zante Currants
  • 1/8 cup Toasted Sesame Seeds
  • 2 Tbls. chopped fresh Parsley
  • 2 Tbls. chopped fresh Cilantro

For Dressing:

  • 1/4 cup Honey (or for a vegan option use maple syrup or agave)
  • 1/4 cup Tahini
  • 1 1/2 Tbls. Dijon Mustard
  • 1/8 cup Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1 clove of garlic pressed in garlic press or very finely chopped
  • 1 Tbls. Soy Sauce
  • 1 tsp. Curry Powder
  • 1/2 tsp. Tumeric Powder

Directions:

Prepare the dressing and whisk all of the dressing ingredients together. Taste and season with salt if desired.  After the wheatberries have been cooked, drained, and cooled, toss the wheatberries with the dressing to desired consistency (the dressing may be just enough or you may have a few tablespoons left over depending on how heavily dressed you would like the salad).  Add all of the the remaining ingredients such as the chopped vegetables, sesame seeds, currants, almonds, and herbs and gently stir till combined. Refrigerate and Enjoy!

Creamy, Smooth and Delicious Hummus

I’ve played around with a lot of hummus recipes over the years and this recipe is by far my favorite.  I love the recipe because it does not call for olive oil, a large amount of tahini paste is used instead.  Lemon juice and a little water is used to thin it out.  This recipe is from the Jerusalem cookbook, by Ottolenghi and Tamimi.  I use 2 drained and rinsed 10 oz cans of garbanzo beans and they work just fine for the days when I want to make hummus but have not planned ahead for the overnight soak of dry beans, but some day I will try cooking the beans myself.

Ingredients for cooking the beans if not using canned beans:

2 10 oz cans of garbanzo beans rinsed and drained well

OR

1 1/4 cup dried chick peas

1 tsp baking soda

6 1/2 cups water

Instructions for cooking the beans:

In a large bowl soak beans overnight with twice the amount of water as there are beans.  Drain.  Add beans to medium sized sauce pan with baking soda.  Cook for 3 minutes.  Add the 6 1/2 cups of water and bring to boil.  Cook for 20-40 minutes or until beans are tender, skimming and removing foam during the process.  Drain.

Method, Ingredients and Recipe for Hummus:

Place approximately 3 1/2  to 4 cups cooked, drained beans in a food processor and process until you have a paste.  With the machine running add:

1 cup light tahini paste or regular tahini paste

4 Tbls freshly squeezed lemon juice, I like a little more

4 cloves of garlic, I like a little less (2 cloves)

6 1/2 Tbls water.

Let the food processor run for about 5 minutes till you have a creamy, smooth silky textured hummus.  If you want the hummus more tart or thinned out add a little more lemon juice or water.  Add salt to taste.  Garnish with a drizzle of olive oil, toasted pine nuts, and paprika if desired.  A friend of mine adds just a pinch of cumin to her hummus while blending, the flavor is fantastic!