Monday 4 June 2012

Back to Health Monday!! Joan's Wheat Berry salad

Wheat berries pack a hefty nutritional punch. Just half a cup of the tiny kernels contain a little more than 100 calories and are a good source of fiber, protein and iron. Wheat berries are the native grain from which flour, bread and pasta are made. They are also delicious when cooked and added to soups, salads, vegetables and fruit dishes. Some recipes with wheat berries will specify that the grains be soaked prior to cooking. Although soaking the wheat berries is not a necessity, it will cut down on the cooking time.

Pour the wheat berries into a large bowl. Cover them with at least one inch of water. Soak the wheat berries for six to eight hours or overnight.

Drain the wheat berries after they have finished soaking. Fill a pot with enough water to cover the wheat berries by three inches. Bring the pot of water to a boil.

Add the soaked wheat berries and reduce heat to a simmer. Cook the wheat berries, uncovered, for 30 to 60 minutes. The longer the wheat berries are cooked, the more tender they will become.

Drain the wheat berries.

Spread the drained wheat berries on a baking sheet lined with foil and drizzle olive oil. Make sure to coat all the wheat berries. The foil keeps the berries from sticking to the baking sheet and makes clean up easier.

Salad Ingredients:

Arugula- use which ever green you would like, or none!
1 C. Wheat berries, soaked, cooked and oiled
3/4 C. Green beans, cooked and cooled
1/2 C. Corn, cooked and cooled
1/2 C. Golden Beets, cooked and cooled
2 T. Chives, snipped
1/2 C. Gorgonzola- or blue cheese, feta or cheddar

You will note in this picture, I used the Quinoa, for the same salad, which I published a few weeks ago. I love this salad, and found it to be really good with the wheat berries as well. I mean really, whats not to like? Golden beets, arugula, green beans, corn and Gorgonzola, a healthy explosion in the mouth!


Whisk together-
1/3 C. Sherry vinegar-Champagne vinegar, Rice vinegar
1/2 C. Walnut Oil- grape seed oil, olive oil
Salt and Pepper

I made this salad a second time using the sherry...both wonderful. I believe it is up to your palate.The other dressing that I think would be wonderful on this salad is the Walnut Vinaigrette from the April 30 blog.

Dress the arugula and arrange on the plates.

You will note the different color and texture of the wheat berries than the quinoa. Carefully, mix together the beans, beets, corn, chives, wheat berries and Gorgonzola with the dressing.

Note, I used a white plate with a dark green line around the rim, so pretty with the salad. This salad is eye candy, and stands on it's own. Just gorgeous!

Today's Smoothie:

Raspberry Banana Smoothie

1 cup milk of your choice (includes almond or soy milk)
1/3 cup fresh or frozen raspberries
1 banana
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. agave or honey
1/2 cup ice

Mix everything in the blender! Mmmmmmm enjoy!


 A healthy hike in Scottsdale-

 My son and daughter-in-law, (Sweet One) have been visiting us for two weeks, with their pups, here in Scottsdale. My son can work remotely, so when he is busy, Sweet One and I are finding some type of activity. A friend Ruth suggested we hike Pinnacle Peak one morning.

The temperature was expected to get to 113 F, so, we arrived at the trail head at 6:30 AM. The parking lot was crowded with cars, but there was plenty of roadside parking....and this was NOT a weekend!!

This is a short but scenic hike, and if you are in the area or visiting, well worth doing. We loved the views and looking at the beautiful homes in the area below the mountain.

                                       Joan, Ruth and Sweet one!

Trail Heads and Parking: There is a small dirt parking area at the Trail head. This is a popular hike in North Scottsdale and the parking area fills up quickly. There is parking along the side of the road leading up to the parking area and this is where most people end up parking. The trail head has toilets and water. The park is located on 102nd Way in Scottsdale, but to get to it you have to come there from Pima Rd via Happy Valley. We hiked at 6:30 AM on a Friday morning, the parking lot was full and hikers were parking along side of the road.

Hike Distance: One and three quarters miles from trail head to trail head. Approximately three and a half miles for a round trip.

Hiking Time: An hour to an hour to two hours depending how hard you hike it.

Hike Elevation: The highest point on the trail is 2,880 feet. The trail head is at 2,570 feet so the actual elevation of the trail is about 300 feet.

Hike Difficulty: Easy for experienced hikers. This is a good trail to run because the elevation is easy and the paths well maintained. For less experienced hikers this is a fun trail to hike.

Trail Description: Pinnacle Peak is not a trail that goes to the peak and comes down. The trail goes past the peak in a series of easy switch backs and then descends to a trail head on the opposite side of the peak.

                                        Sweet one and Ruth

So you start ascending, get to the top, go past it and descend it again. The fun part of this hike is the trail being designed that way. This is not a hard trail for experienced hikers. The ascent is mild, as is the descent. There are no really strenuous sections either. This is not Camelback or Bell Pass. For that reason it is a good trail to run, or to enjoy a strong walk on the trail. It is also a fun trail for less experienced hikers as there is no killer section that will grind your muscles or lungs to mush. The trail is too crowded for mountain biking.

                                         Sweet one and Joan

You Rock! Love this life!

Cheers! JJ

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