...based on the time I ate meat several times in one weekend and just.needed.veggies.


I'm a fan of the "Meatless Mondays" trend around the interwebs. The kitchen in our house, though, tends to be Meatless Mostdays.

And why not, when dinner is this colorful?
I have long been what you might call an accidental vegetarian. I get protein from so many other things (dairy, legumes, nuts, etc.) that occasionally a few weeks will go by before I realize I haven't had meat on the menu in a while.

Since getting married, I do find myself using meat a lot more often. The time it takes to prepare it is a lot more rewarding when there's someone sharing it. (Let's be honest---a busy, single girl living alone has little reason to cook a pot roast every Sunday, amiright?) 

This Meatless Mondays/Meatless Mostdays dish is hearty and delicious. Full of fiber and protein, it includes wheatberries, kale, feta cheese, plenty of veggies, and just the right blend of sweet and tart flavors in the light dressing.  
For anyone wondering what the heck a wheatberry (also called a red winter wheat berry) is, it's the whole grain form of wheat, unprocessed and loaded with fiber. It has a nutty taste and a chewy texture. 

Wheatberries are also super versatile and work well both in savory dishes like this or as a sweet, warm breakfast cereal (or even baked into bread). 

They're pretty tough, so they take about an hour to cook. To save time, cook them the night before and keep them in an airtight container in the refrigerator until you're ready to throw your salad together. 

To get the recipe, click below!
Fill a large saucepan with water and a pinch of salt, and bring to a boil. Add 1c. rinsed wheatberries and return to a boil. Simmer, uncovered, until soft and chewy, about one hour.

The water to wheatberry ratio isn't really important. Just make sure the wheatberries are always well covered, adding more water as needed. 
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Just try to not take a bite of the plain-cooked wheatberries...I dare you.

When they are finished cooking, they'll be plump and chewy. Rinse in a strainer under cold water. Set aside in refrigerator to cool. 
For the salad:

2c. kale (about half of one bunch)
2c. cooked wheatberries (1c. dry)
1/2 red pepper
1/3 red onion
1 medium carrot
1 celery stalk
1c. broccoli, chopped (florets only)
1/3c. walnuts, chopped
1/3c. crumbled feta
1/4c. dried cranberries
For the dressing:

2 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp. balsamic vinegar
1 tsp. honey
1 tsp. dijon
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
1/8 tsp. dill weed
1 Tbsp. capers
salt and pepper to taste
Coarsely chop half a bunch of kale, which should add up to about 2 cups. 

This recipe is very flexible and a great way to use vegetables left in your fridge before they go bad. I highly recommend at least including the onions and carrots, but otherwise feel free to experiment. 

For this batch, I used red onion, carrot, red pepper, celery, and broccoli. 

Chop your veggies into small pieces and place in a large bowl. 
Feta cheese, walnuts, and dried cranberries add the richness and sweet flavor to this dish that I'm convinced is the reason it's always a bit sad when you get to the last bite. 
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Omnomnom.
Add the feta, chopped walnuts, and dried cranberries to the bowl of chopped veggies and stir to combine. 
Don't forget the kale. 
Now to make the dressing: 

In a small bowl, mix together lemon juice, balsamic vinegar, dijon, olive oil, honey, italian seasoning, dill weed, and capers. Add salt and pepper to taste. 

Add the wheatberries into the bowl. 

Drizzle the dressing over the salad; stir to coat everything evenly.

And there you go! 

Serve cold or at room temperature. This also works well as a make-ahead meal and as leftovers for lunch.

This salad is hearty, filling, and super tasty! It shows up on our weekly menu pretty often, and so far there have been no complaints. Perfect after an indulgence-filled vacation, for Meatless Monday, or on a warm summer evening.

Did you embellish this recipe base or enjoy it as written? Let me know in the comments! 
 


Comments

Gina
08/31/2014 2:33pm

I had all of these ingredients on hand last week, having just replenished my wheatberries stash......I love them for breakfast, with milk and brown sugar......except for the capers. ;-) Purchased them, made this salad for dinner, and it was
DELICIOUS!!
Told my husband to expect it, with a few added items once in awhile, quite often from now on. :-) Yummy~

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