Saturday, September 3, 2011

Labor Day BBQ Ideas! Harvest Wheat Berry Salad

Labor Day is almost here and I know my family always does a nice BBQ to celebrate so I thought I would start sharing recipes for side dishes and some new grilling ideas!  This salad beats the boring and calorie-packed potato or pasta salads because it is filled with whole grains and half of the calories!

Wheat berries are the ultimate whole grain!  Wheatberries include the entire wheat grain except for the hull.  They have a slightly crunchy and nutty flavor, that goes well in soups or side salads.  Not to mention, they great source of protein, iron, vitamin E (an antioxidant), and dietary fiber!  1/2 cup is a serving and contains only 150 calories.

They take about an hour to cook so I would recommend making more than you anticipate using so you can set half aside and make a different flavor later in the week.  Or you can freeze it in 1/2 cup portions.  The easiest way to do this is to place saran wrap over a muffin tin and fill each cup evenly.  Place in the freezer until frozen, then place in a large freezer bag for individual portions!

Harvest Wheat Berry Salad
Serves 6-8

1.5 cups wheat berries
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1/2 cup cranberries
2 apples, cored and diced
2 stalks of celery, chopped
2 Tbsp fresh parsley
1/2 cup red onion, diced
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
2 Tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Directions: Place wheatberries in a medium saucepan pan with about 4 cups of water (the grain should be submerged).  Bring to a boil and cook for 1 hour, or until tender.  Toast the almonds in a pan over medium heat for 3-4 minutes.  Combine the remaining ingredients with the grain and allow to cool in the refrigerator until you serve them.

Use as a side dish to chicken, fish, pork, or steak!  Add a side of veggies and you have a balanced meal!

Nutrition Facts: 3/4 cup
230 calories, 35 g total carbohydrates, 9 g sugar, 7 g protein, 7 g fat, 6 g fiber, 75 mg sodium

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