Sounds like common sense, right? It should be, but for some reason people still opt for the ease of a drive thru, or the efficiency of a local sub shop. Even the salads we tend to eat are filled with croutons, lunch meats and processed salad dressings. These are not clean or healthy. I know, I know....you already know these things, but just can't help yourself, huh?
I have a client that was amazed that you could make your own salad dressing. She had no idea that dressings were as unhealthy as they were, and vowed (once she realized how easy it was) never to buy a store bought dressing again. You'd be amazed at how much easier these do-it-yourself salads really are. Give it a shot, I promise you won't find this at the salad bar in your grocery store.
Wheat and grains digest best with non-starchy vegetables, so you'll get the most from this salad by eating it solo. If you simply cannot live without protein, you could pair with a small piece of grilled fish or chicken. You could also make extra wheatberry to keep in the refrigerator and add to other salads throughout the week.
Still a little leary? Try it....I promise you'll love it!
Wheatberry Salad with Simple Balsamic Dressing
serves 4-6, depending if you're eating it as a meal or side dish
1 c dried wheatberries (could sub in quinoa if gluten-free)
3 c water (or 1 1/2 cup water, 1 1/2 cup vegetable broth for more flavor)
1/2 c red pepper, diced
1/2 c yellow pepper, diced
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 of a small red onion, minced
handful of basil leaves, chopped
salt & pepper to taste
I use this dressing as a go to all week long. You could double or triple it. It will keep in a sealed container for about a week in your refrigerator.
1/4 c extra virgin olive oil
3-4 T balsamic vinegar
pinch of black pepper
Soak the wheatberries in cold water for about a half hour (you technically don't have to soak wheat berries, so if you don't have time you can skip this step - I'm just used to soaking grains). Cook them according to the directions on the package - usually 3:1 ratio, so 3 cups cold water to the 1 cup of wheat berries. Each package may be a little different. Another trick I use is to do half water, half broth. I cook almost all of my grains in broth, as I think it gives them more depth.
While the wheatberries are cooking (they usually take about an hour on the stovetop), chop your veggies. Place all veggies into a bowl. Whisk your dressing - feel free to add more EVOO or balsamic to your taste. I prefer more "zing" so I add more balsamic just about every time! It's about what you like, so experiment to your little heart's desire.
When the wheatberries are done, add them to the veggies and dress the salad. Let it sit and soak up the dressing before serving. Can eat either hot, cold or at room temperature.