Monday, February 27, 2012

Wheat berry and roasted butternut squash salad

I  like to shop at a little store called Home Grown Market.  It has all Alaska grown/produced items.  I buy my honey there during the winter, we get some lamb chops, we buy beef when we don't get a moose or I just want beef and pork from a local farm off Eielson Farm Road, and I buy wheat berries that are grown down the road in Delta Junction.  I like knowing where my food is coming from and we like to support our local farmers.
I love the taste and texture of wheat berries, the chewy texture, the pop when you break through the berries and the creamy, nutty taste. I'm always looking for new ways to add them to my lunch.  This is a layered salad.  I soak the wheat berries overnight in water with lemon juice, then I cook them until they are tender, about 30 minutes.  Then, I add what ever I have in the fridge.  I like tomatoes and cucumbers, celery for crunch and sugar snap peas for sweetness.  You use what ever you like.
I make this salad for lunch for work.  I usually eat at my desk since that is a busy time of day for me. It is a nice change from lettuce and I'm not a big sandwich person.  Anyone who knows me will laugh at the picture, I do eat an apple every day, but I eat way more chocolate than two little pieces!

Wheat berry and Roasted Butternut Squash Salad
1 cup wheat berries
1 med. butternut squash
English cucumber, seeded and diced
Sugar snap peas, cut in half or thirds
 2 stalks celery, chopped
1 pint cherry tomatoes, cut in half
avocado, peeled and diced
8 Tbsp. feta cheese
Salad dressing (I use a spicy Italian vinaigrette)

Soak 1 cup wheat berries 12 to 24 hours in 3 ups water with 3 Tbsp. lemon juice (you can skip this step, but you digest the wheat berries better if you do this).  Place wheat berries and all remaining liquid in saucepan and bring to boil, turn down to simmer for 20-30 minutes or until berries are tender.
Peel butternut squash, cut in half and remove seeds.  Cut in 1" cubes.  Place on cookie sheet and add about 1 Tbsp. olive oil, toss to coat.  Roast at 450º for 40-45 minutes stirring once half way through cooking time.  Let cool.
Add 1/2 cup wheat berries, 1/4 of the butternut squash to plate or container ( I usually get 4 and do them all at once for the week).  Layer vegetables on top, dividing vegetables into fourths.  Top with 2 Tbsp. of your choice of salad dressing. Makes 4 salads

I eat this for lunch with chicken or salmon.  YUM!
Use what ever veggies you like or happen to have on hand.
Sometimes I add apples or pears and top with blue cheese instead of feta.  Then I use a blue cheese vinaigrette.

February 24, 2012     Daylight  9 hours, 48 minutes,  50 seconds     Current Temp. 5º F

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