I tend to overthink things. Sometimes there are so many things going on in my head it’s hard to pick out what really matters. Everyday I have new ideas for recipes, careers, adventures, and the like. I suppose this isn’t really a bad thing but I am putting effort into keeping things simple these days. Living with intention, you know? I think there is something to be said about feeling connected to our food, blog posts, goals + dreams. Often the ones that feel most authentic are the ones that come to me naturally. The ones that sort of present themselves without being forced or obliged.
I’m leading a workshop at the end of the month about what it means to eat local and why it’s important (wanna come?). We’ve been putting together a list of all the things available here in town that come from within a small radius. The list is long you guys. It’s incredible. It’s been the absolute best way for me to feel a part of our new community. It seemed almost too good to be true that the fresh people over at GRAIN graciously sent me a box of canadian produced grains + legumes. Knowing your farmer is easy when his face is on the box! So there’s canadian grains in my pantry and a bounty of fresh veggies showing up at the farmer’s market. The ideas were quickly piling up in my head. This salad has been a daily meal for the past few weeks. Sometimes it looks like this, other times it looks like this. The idea is the same and the dressing always wins but the composition varies. Yellow peppers, cherry tomatoes, wild rice or quinoa. Simple, with-ease, authentic. It’s the everyday connection I’m striving for these days.
SUMMER WHEAT BERRY SALAD WITH EVERYDAY DRESSING
Bowls like this make summer eating simple and easy. Having cooked grains in the fridge and a few seasonal veggies in your crisper is the key no fuss free meals. This dressing has been my go-to lately, it goes on just about everything and turns everyday salads into something much more exciting. The salad amounts are just a suggestion, proportion things to your liking. Lentils + chickpeas would make a nice gluten free option here. The dressing tends to thicken up in the fridge, so if you remember to bring it to room temperature before serving it will help. If not a quick stir will get things moving. Keep dressing in a sealed jar in the fridge for up to a week.
Vegan. Serves 2-4 + lots of dressing.
1/4 cup tahini
2 tablespoons dijon mustard
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon salt
Black pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon honey or maple syrup
1/3 cup nutritional yeast
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil or grapeseed oil
1/2 cup water, or more as needed
1 cup wheat berries
3/4 cup cooked chickpeas or lentils
1 large tomato, diced
1 english cucumber, ribboned or diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
3 tablespoons hemp hearts
Fresh herbs – chives or flat leaf parsley – to garnish
Extra black pepper
Cook your wheat berries. I like to soak mine in the morning, I find it helps in digestion and reduces cooking time a bit. Drain and rinse the berries, then place in a small sauce pan over medium heat. Toast the berries in the dry pot for a few minutes, until dry and fragrant. Add 4 cups of water and a pinch of salt and bring to boil, then reduce to a simmer for 45-60 minutes, or until the berries are tender but firm. I like mine with a bit of bite. Strain any excess water.
While the wheat berries are cooking make your dressing. Place all ingredients except the oil into a small blender, begin to blend and add in oil with the motor running. Blend until smooth. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed. Add extra water to thin until desired consistency.
Assemble the salad. Place wheat berries, chickpeas, and chopped vegetables in a large bowl. Add few spoonfuls of dressing and toss to coat. Divide into bowls. Garnish with hemp hearts, cracker black pepper and fresh herbs. Serve with extra dressing.
Let me in on your kitchen creations – tag your photos #happyheartedkitchen and share the love!