Magic Berries

Healthy eating can be a bore. There, I said it. Notice, however, that I said it can be a bore, not that it is a bore. In fact, the recipe I'm sharing today is anything but a bore. I love making salads with wheat berries. They are nutritious and hold up very well to a wide variety of dressings and other ingredients. They are delightfully chewy and I can easily make enough for leftovers and not worry about a limp or soggy salad days later.

If you have a rice cooker, I highly recommend using it to cook your wheat berries. Doing so results in more evenly cooked berries and it gives you an opportunity to spend the time it takes for them to cook working on assembling the rest of the salad. No babysitting something on the stove for you!

This salad is really lovely when paired with other ethnic food. It makes a fantastic lunch alongside a falafel sandwich with hummus and yogurt. If you are picnicking, it's perfect with sliced bread, tomato relish and some chilled white wine. With healthy food like this, you could get used to exciting eating that's great for you.

Moroccan Wheat Berry Salad

  • 1 cup soft white wheat berries
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 c. finely diced carrots - I use a food processor to dice them
  • 1 medium tomato - chopped
  • 1 c. raisins
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons nonfat plain yogurt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
Combine the wheat berries and water in a rice cooker and cook until softened. Alternatively, you can cook the berries on the stove, but it will require a lot more attention. I love using my rice cooker for this, since I can prepare the rest of the ingredients while the berries cook. Meanwhile, prepare the vegetables and set aside with the raisins. In a medium bowl, add the remaining ingredients (lemon juice through ground pepper) and stir to combine. Add the vegetables and raisins and cooked wheat berries. Mix and chill for at least one hour before serving.
  • Yields: 8 servings
  • Preparation Time: 40 minutes, plus chilling time