Wheat Berries and Bliss

On my bike ride home the other day I saw a firefly.

For me, a baby of the pacific northwest, this was a reason to squeal. Instead, I simply smiled and sent out a silent blessing to the warm evening, my bare, bug-bitten legs and the fact that it is mid October and I was wearing shorts.

Man oh man people, I am so overwhelmingly happy.

When I get this joyful- like I’m going to bubble over-I want to create in the kitchen. Crafting recipes and working with food is my idea of perfection. Having only two days off this month, I plan on spending them in my garden, at the farmer’s market and in the kitchen. I have visions of vegan walnut banana muffins, cinnamon granola and shiitake udon soup.

Yesterday at work my daily recipe for the store was a tilapia dish with an arugula salad. The whole vegan(ish) thing left the tilapia out of my evening meal plan, but I can never turn down fresh, local arugula. Walking through the store I got inspired by the beets and decided to do a fall wheat berry salad.

The day before yesterday I found my bliss in fireflies.

Yesterday it was wheat berries and sipping whiskey in a dark bar with a boy I fancy.

Seek it out, and I guarantee it will be there.

Fall Wheat Berry Salad

Adapted from my brain

  • 1 medium sweet potato
  • 1 bunch of beets
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2-3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup wheat berries
  • 5-6 cups fresh arugula
  • 1/4 cup olive oil (for the dressing)
  • A little less than 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • Salt and pepper to taste

You will first want to start your wheat berries. To make this process faster, soak them overnight. I didn’t do this, and I knew it was going to take forever to cook them. Put the wheat berries in a pot over low/medium heat and cook. Forever. It really only took a little over an hour, but that is basically an eternity when you are hungry.

Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees and chop up your sweet potatoes and beets. I did balsamic roasted beets because it appears I wanted vinegar in every single dish… Also, because it is so freaking delicious. To make the balsamic roasted beets, toss them with 2 tbsp olive oil and 2-3 tbsp of vinegar and sprinkle with salt and pepper. I did the sweet potatoes and beets on different trays because I wasn’t sure how balsamic roasted sweet potatoes would taste. Do whatever tickles your fancy. I tossed the sweet potatoes in the remaining 1 tbsp of olive oil and also sprinkled with salt and pepper. You will want to let these cook for about 40-45 minutes, stirring occasionally.

While all of those things are cooking, wash your arugula and set aside.

The next step is to make the dressing, which means you mix the 1/4 cup oil with the less than 1/4 cup vinegar, pop in the chopped garlic and salt and pepper and call it good. This will make more than you need for the dish, but who doesn’t love left over salad dressing?

Once everything is done roasting and cooking, mix the vegetables with the wheat berries and let cool. Then, toss in some salad dressing (to taste) and spoon over the arugula.

Tastes like fall in a bowl.



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