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.
I am a huge fan of farro. It is my favorite grain over all the others: brown rice, bulgur, quinoa. The nutty, rich flavor compliments pretty much any meal and I love that it can be spiced up or eaten plain. One of my favorite dishes is this Kale and Farro Salad: it is simple and I usually have all the ingredients on hand.
For this week’s farro dish, I was interested in making an easy one-pot side dish. This recipe is another one of those where you usually have all the ingredients on hand and it comes together quickly. Recently I have been using this 10-minute farro from Trader Joe’s and for this dish it was no exception.
For dinner, I baked out a few chicken breasts (375 degrees, salt and pepper and some lemon juice) and served it over the farro. And for lunch the next day I baked tofu in the toaster oven (350 degrees for 12 minutes, sesame seeds, salt and pepper) and popped that over the leftover farro.
The farro was absolutely delicious having been cooked with the chicken broth, onions and tomatoes. This dish is very simple, just be mindful of the amount of liquid you use for your farro. Because I used the TJ’s farro, I used around 2 cups of broth and it was perfect. The great thing about farro is that if you do use too much broth, the farro will eventually soak it up or you can always use a colander or a ladle to make sure your dish isn’t too soupy. Enjoy!
One Pot Farro with Tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, halved
- 1/2 yellow onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2-3 cups chicken stock (I used a little over 2, but follow the directions on your farro)
- 1 1/2 cups farro (I used this 10-minute farro from Trader Joe’s)
- 1 cup tomatoes (mix of homegrown I had around cheeries and heirlooms), cut into quarters
- Pinch of red pepper flakes
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Fresh basil, cut into strips
- In a medium skillet, heat one tablespoon of oil over medium-high heat. Once the oil begins to glisten, add the onions. Saute until they become translucent and begin to soften, around 5 minutes. Add the garlic, saute for another minute. Add the chicken stock and olive oil and bring to a boil. Add the farro, tomatoes, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper. Bring up to a boil and reduce heat to a simmer and stir occasionally.
- Cook until liquid is almost completely absorbed and the farro is cooked through and has a chewy bite. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.
- To serve, sprinkle with fresh basil, Parmesan and a drizzle of olive oil.
Roughly adapted from The Daily Muse
The day after a long flight, I usually wake up super jet lagged and with no food in the house. So I think to myself, “A trip to the grocery store is going to take me an hour and I’m hungry now….” enter the Black Bean Quesadilla, my go-to-5-minute lunch. Q and I always keep black beans on hand (seriously cans and cans of them), and tortillas are found either in the fridge or freezer as emergency back up. And cheese, well who doesn’t keep a one-pound bag of Mexican cheese in the freezer at all times? (Yes cheese and tortillas freeze extremely well!). Also, I am a VERY lucky girl that my mom went to the Farmers’ Market and packed my suitcase full of California avocados for me to bring home.
So lunch: two tortillas, a handful of cheese, and black beans toasted in the toaster oven for 5-7 minutes and topped with avocado and salsa. Now if you want to get all fancy with me, you can always make some fresh guacamole, but I was fresh off of a plane without a fresh thing in sight… and a good avocado is perfect for me! I love the tortillas a little crunchy, but feel free to take your ‘dilla out a little earlier if you aren’t feeling the crunch.
So next time you need a last minute, filling and delicious lunch? This is your guy. Enjoy!
Black Bean Quesadilla
- 2 tortillas (I like these)
- 1/3- 1/2 cup shredded Mexican cheese
- 1/4 cup black beans, drained and rinsed (a solid handful is good)
- 1/4 avocado, diced
- Place one tortilla on a plate, layer with cheese and black beans, not putting any ingredient too close to the edge (as it melts, the cheese will spread out). Top with second tortilla and carefully place in microwave oven. Toast for 5-7 minutes.
- Another option is to place directly on a baking sheet in a 325 degree oven for 5-7 minutes.
- Top with avocado and salsa.