Q and I seriously indulged over the holidays. We went from daily workouts and eating every meal at home to sleeping in late and eating nearly all of our meals out. And we got so tired of it. After two weeks of vacation, we were ready to hit the ground running in 2014.
We are big on eating leftovers for lunch, but recently I have been going a little different route. I’ve been creating what I like to call “Koko Bowls.” To start I add a grain: quinoa, brown rice, bulgur, barley, farro and wheatberries are all solid options. My favorites are this one pot farro recipe and this wheat berry one! Then I add some sort of veggie. I’m a big fan of roasting them in our toaster oven, but any type you like will work! Next is your protein. I am partial to baked tofu: take extra firm tofu, slice into pieces, top with salt, pepper and herbes de provence and bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes (I like the toaster oven for this). Add some lemon juice and you are good to go. These bowls are easy to prep in advance and take to work, so no excuses for getting sandwiches instead!
Why I love it? Healthy, SOOO filling and you can make an enormous bowl and feel good about eating it all. What are some of your go-to lunches?
I love grains. It’s rare to have a meal in our house without a grain as a side dish (the usual suspect is brown rice). I am always up for experimenting with different grains – bulgur, farro, and this week: wheat berries. Wheat berries are very similar to farro, but a little sweeter. They are kernels of wheat and actually have a high protein content (hear that protein loving husband?). When cooking wheat berries, I always stick with the hard berries since they maintain their chewy texture. They take a while to cook (about an hour), but are well worth it. Also, I bought these wheat berries from the Farmer’s Market so they are a mix of white and red berries, but there is no nutritional difference in the color.
This easy side dish has you cook your wheat berries and then add cherries, toasted walnuts, and green onions. The cherries add a tartness and the walnuts add a nice crunch. If you don’t have cherries, feel free to use cranberries instead. I usually make this side for dinner and then the next day I top it with some tofu for lunch. Enjoy!
Wheat Berry Salad
Makes 6 Servings
- 1 1/2 cups hard wheat berries
- 1/3 cup chopped walnuts
- 1/3 cup tart dried cherries, chopped
- 1 scallion, white and green parts, chopped
- 1/4 cup finely chopped parsley leaves
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- In a large pot combine the wheat berries and enough water to come 2 inches over the wheat berries. Bring to a boil and cook uncovered for 1 hour, or until tender. Drain and let cool (sometimes we eat ours warm).
- Meanwhile, in a medium dry skillet or toaster oven, toast the walnuts over medium-high heat until fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes.
- In a large bowl, combine the wheat berries, walnuts, dried cherries, scallions, parsley, olive oil and lemon juice. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper.
Recipe adapted from Elie Krieger
If you are having trouble finding wheat berries, check your local farmer’s market or Amazon is a good bet as well.
Hello fall! Today I am bringing you the quintessential fall cake.This cake is SO easy and delicious and perfect to bake in a pinch. Apples, cinnamon, caramel, what else do you need?
The cake is delicious the night of, but tastes even better the next morning with a little coffee (who doesn’t eat cake for breakfast?). This is one of those cakes that you can whip in a flash when your husband calls you at 5PM telling you you have company for dinner in an hour… but that never happens. If you don’t have caramel on hand, you can easily omit it! I usually keep a jar of Trader Joe’s salted caramel in the fridge for times like these. I highly recommend it!
Easy Caramel Apple Cake
- 1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
- 2 cups sugar
- 3 eggs
- 3 cups flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 cups peeled, cored and thickly sliced tart apples, like Honeycrisp or Granny Smith
- 1 cup raisins
- 1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
- 2 tablespoons caramel
- Vanilla ice cream (for serving)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a bundt pan with Pam and set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the oil and sugar together until well mixed, about 5 minutes. Mix in the eggs one at a time, mixing well until the mixture is creamy.
- In a separate bowl, sift flour, salt, cinnamon, and baking soda. Add one cup at a time to the batter. Mix until just combined. With a rubber spatula, mix in the vanilla, apples, raisins, and walnuts and stir until just combined.
- Transfer the mixture to the prepared pan. Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from oven to cool on a wire rack. Let the cake cool for at least 30 minutes before removing from pan. Once removed, spoon caramel sauce across the top of the cake.
- Serve at room temperature with vanilla ice cream and more caramel sauce.