Inspiring healthier eating one dish at a time

Grilled Vegetable Salad With Wheat Berries and A New American Plate Challenge Update

Wow!  I’m already 5 weeks into the New American Plate Challenge, so it’s time for another update.  The past two weeks have had me focused on eating more whole grains, and making each of my plates as colorful as possible.  The goal for week 3 was to replace any refined (white) grains with whole grains like whole wheat bread, oatmeal, brown rice or quinoa.  Week 4 had me working on making rainbows– on my plate that is.  The goal was to eat a fruit or vegetable with every meal, and try to hit all of the colors in a rainbow.Remember ROY G BIV?  I forgot about it too.  It stands for Red- Orange- Yellow- Green- Blue- Indigo- Violet.

I’m happy to report so far, so good.  I hope you’re working on this New American Plate Challenge too, because it’s a great way to keep building on small but important changes in your diet, which will keep you healthier in the long run.  Switching to whole grains and adding more fruits and vegetables adds B vitamins for energy, C and beta carotene for the immune system, antioxidants for fighting off diseases and inflammation, and LOTS of fiber.  Most people are aware that fiber is important for the GI tract (keeps things “moving”), but did you know that it also helps reduce your cholesterol and blood sugar, and it helps with weight loss by filling you up faster?  Everyone should aim to eat about 30 grams of fiber each day, but the average American only eats about 10-15 grams :(.

You already know how I feel about oats, and as usual, I’ve been eating lots of whole grain oatmeal for breakfast. I’ve been trying to vary it between fresh berries, for some red and blue color, and my new favorite Carrot Cake oatmeal, for some orange.  Happily, fresh berries have been on buy one-get one sales the past few weeks, and melons are out in full force, so I’ve been snacking on lots of fresh fruit.  I’m also loving those bags of mini peppers that I see everywhere.  They are so tender and sweet, with no need to cut or seed.  Just bite off the stem!  They’re great for dipping in a white bean dip for lunch (white is a color, right?).

There are so many interesting and unusual whole grains in the supermarket today so I thought I’d try a new recipe with Wheat Berries, (which I found in the Bob’s Red Mill  section of my grocery store), and some grilled summer vegetables. This recipe hits the mark on both color, and whole grain.  The wheat berries are nutty, chewy, and kind of pop in your mouth!zucchini, peppers and summer squash


You can’t get much more “whole grain” than wheat berries, which are whole kernels of wheat, and high in B vitamins, fiber and protein.   Refined wheat is usually just the inner, endosperm part of the wheat kernel, but  most of the good stuff is in the outer bran and inner germ of the wheat kernel.

 

parts of a kernel of wheat

 

Wheat berries take about an hour to cook, so plan ahead and make a large batch so you can use them for several meals.

Grilled Vegetable Salad With Wheat Berries

Yield: 6 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 cup wheat berries, rinsed, drained, and patted dry
  • 3 1/2 cups cold water
  • 3/4 tsp Kosher salt, divided
  • 1/8 tsp fresh ground pepper
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup Extra Virgin olive oil + extral for brushing vegetables
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh herbs: parsley, oregano, basil, mint
  • vegetables: 1 small zucchini, 1 small summer squash, 1 small onion, 1 medium pepper or 3-4 mini peppers
  • 1/4 cup crumbled Feta cheese (optional)

Instructions

Place wheat berries in a saucepan on high heat, and toast for about 5-7 minutes, stirring frequently.

Add water and 1/2 tsp salt and bring to a rolling boil. Turn heat down to low, and simmer wheat berries for about an hour or until tender.

While wheat berries are cooking, mix together lemon juice, olive oil, herbs, 1/4 tsp salt, and pepper for dressing. Set aside.

Drain wheat berries when tender, and toss with dressing while warm.

Slice zucchini and summer squash into long slices, approximately 1/4 inch thick.

Slice onion into 1/4 inch thick rounds.

Brush all vegetables with olive oil, and grill until onions, zucchini and summer squash are tender, and outside of peppers are charred.

Let vegetables cool a bit. Remove outer charred skin from peppers, as well as stem and any seeds. Cut all vegetables into 1-2 inch pieces and toss with wheat berry/lemon dressing mixture.

Sprinkle Feta cheese if desired, and toss lightly.

Serve at room temperature.

Notes

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 1 cup
Servings Per Container 6

Amount Per Serving
Calories 232 Calories from Fat 99
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 11g 17%
Saturated Fat 2g 10%
Trans Fat 0g
Cholesterol 6mg 2%
Sodium 363mg 15%
Total Carbohydrate 25g 8%
Dietary Fiber 5g 20%
Sugars 2g
Protein 6g 12%

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

http://cravingsomethinghealthy.com/grilled-vegetable-salad-with-wheat-berries-and-my-new-american-plate-challenge-update/

 

What’s your favorite whole grain?

 

 

Eat well!

 

 

4 Responses to “Grilled Vegetable Salad With Wheat Berries and A New American Plate Challenge Update”

  1. Cathi Graham says:

    This salad looks great! I will have to try it out this summer when the weather is perfect for grilling. I am all about healthy cooking that is full of flavor and nutrition. I changed my diet over twenty years ago in an attempt to get my life back, and I can testify that once you find the foods that work, stick with them and you’ll see and feel a huge difference. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Wheat berries are one of my favorite grains and this looks like a tasty way to use them! 🙂

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