April 11, 2010

Wheat Berry Goodness

Have you ever seen a picture of food, like on a restaurant menu or in a cookbook, that has you salivating and almost catching a whiff of the heavenly aroma....but, somehow when its on your plate it just does not, umm, compare? {Raising my hand quickly and emphatically.}

Well, that is NOT the case with THIS picture! {Photo from Tosca Reno's Clean Eating Cookbook.}

Wheat Berry & Cauliflower Salad 
with Sesame Dressing

I made this salad yesterday, my very first experience with wheat berries. Wow, these little, delectable, terrific packages of nature not only taste yummy but they pack a giant nutritional punch too!

A wheat berry is comprised of all three parts of the grain; the germ (or seed), the bran, and the endosperm.
The process of milling removes the germ and bran layers, and leaves behind the endosperm. Although there are still trace amounts of vitamins and minerals found in the endosperm, it's the least nutritious part of the grain.

Consuming wheat berries in their original state provides our bodies with higher concentrations of vitamins A, E, B1, B2, B3, magnesium, phosphorous, selenium, zinc, and iron. WOW! When consumed whole, wheat berries are an excellent source of dietary fiber. Even bigger WOW!

And, since they are just so tiny, its easy to incorporate them as a condiment in my meals...my new way of treating grains! That means a scant 1/8 cup either added to a mixed veggie salad or just by themselves, how easy is that?

Here's the recipe for the salad, adapted from Tosca Reno's Eat Clean Cookbook. While a healthy serving of this salad would not constitute a "condiment" quantity, for special occasions you can't beat the nutrient value. It's also a FABULOUS vegetarian/vegan meal~so much yumminess and a complete protein to boot.

1 head cauliflower, trimmed and broken into florets
1 1/2 c wheat berries, soaked for 90 minutes
1 cup green onions, chopped
1 small red bell pepper, finely chopped
Sesame Dressing (see below)
3 T black sesame seeds
  1. Steam cauliflower until just tender.
  2. Remove cauliflower, saving cooking water, to a colander and rinse with cold water.
  3. Bring reserved cooking water from the cauliflower (adding more water if necessary to equal 3 cups) to a boil and add drained wheat berries.
  4. Cook wheat berries for one hour or until berries are chewy-tender.
  5. While wheat berries are cooking, chop the green onions and red bell pepper and prepare the sesame dressing (see below).
  6. When wheat berries are done, remove from heat, drain and cool by running under cold water in a fine mesh colander.
  7. Combine cauliflower and wheat berries. Add chopped green onions and red bell pepper. Toss with Sesame Dressing and chill for one hour.
  8. Transfer salad to decorative serving bowl and top with black sesame seeds.
  9. Get your taste buds ready for a delightful, delightful experience!
Sesame Dressing
3 T rice bran oil
3 T rice vinegar
1 T tamari
2 t sesame oil
Juice of 1/2 fresh lemon
1 garlic clove, grated or pressed
1 T tahini

Place all ingredients in a small jar, secure lid and shake well.

Bon appetit!



  1. That looks tasty! Where in MN did you buy the wheat berries? I've never heard of them so I have no clue where to purchase.

  2. @Mommy P - we live near the twin cities, just got them at Cub in the natural food section, brand name is Bob's Red Mill. Fresh & Natural in Shoreview also carries them in bulk.

  3. This looks amazing! I will be making it, I need a new recipe! Thanks!!

  4. I was going to ask where you got them too..but now I see Cub carries them with Bob's Red Mill. I'll definitely have to try this! I think Trader Joe's may have them in bulk too, now that I think about it... :)

  5. This tastes awesome! I recommend this recipe.

  6. good idea using Rice Bran Oil!