Welp, summer is officially half over and the boyfriend and I are trying not to waist an ounce of daylight. The city we live in has concerts in the park every Friday night (for free!) from June until the end of August, and here we are in the second week of August, and we finally went last Friday for the first time. Everyone brings blankets, food, and wine, so we figured it was the perfect opportunity to make a homemade spread and walk it down. What was on the menu? Pork tenderloin sandwiches, this fig and wheat berry salad, watermelon…oh and Old Chico in cans.
Some of you might not be super familiar with wheat berries. Honestly, I really didn’t know much about them until I tried the salad my mom’s new boyfriend brought to our 4th of July BBQ. I knew they were a grain, but I never thought to use them because a. I hardly see them in stores and b. I had no idea what they tasted like. Here’s a link to an article by Food Network that introduces you to the 411 on wheat berries. To me it’s like a chewier version of rice, and I love it! It’s a grain that doesn’t really absorb anything, but will take on a dressing like a champ without getting soggy (take that rice)!
This wheat berry salad was seriously delicious! It was the perfect side dish to bring to the concert because it’s best to eat at room temperature. We invited Andrew’s parents up to enjoy the evening with us, and this recipe made more than enough for 4. Our food was a hit and I was super thankful for such a relaxing weekend.
On another note, tonight I discovered the well known food blog “In Jennie’s Kitchen.” I’m obsessed. Jennie’s blog is so heartfelt, well written, and real. If you’ve never checked it out, I highly recommend visiting her site..and staying awhile. I think I spent an hour browsing through her posts, reading about how she’s dealing with the lost of a loved one, and envying the time she is spending in Paris. Spending the time poking around on Jennie’s blog really made me realize that the time we have in this life can be a lot shorter than we think. So I’m vowing to put down my iPhone down more often, learn to laugh more, and live in the moment.
Oh! I almost forgot, I’m going to be adding a page for the boyfriend’s crazy/healthy/protein concoctions he’s constantly making me try. He’s a work out fiend, and he’s convinced me that there are a lot of people out there who want recipes that are high in protein (powders) and low in calories. So if you are a lover of strangely baked goods that are supposed to give you tons of protein and energy, you’re in luck cause we’re doing it.
Fig and Wheat Berry Salad adapted from this post on The Kitchn
- ¼ cup white wine vinegar
- 2 tbs. organic agave nectar
- 1½ cups wheat berries
- ⅓ cup orange juice
- ½ cup golden raisins
- ½ cup dried organic figs, chopped finely
- ½ medium red onion
- 2 large stalks celery
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- Handful of mint
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest, from 2 lemons
- The juice of half a lemon
- 1 cup roasted pecans, roughly chopped
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- Freshly-ground black pepper, to taste
- Cook the wheat berries as noted by the directions on the box (it's just like rice without the water ratio) for about 45 minutes.
- Whisk the orange juice, agave nectar, and orange juice in a saucepan over low heat. Bring to a boil and add the figs and raisins.
- Turn off the heat and set aside.
- Dice the celery and onion, and place in a large bowl.
- When wheat berries are done, drain and add them to the celery and onion mixture.
- Toss in lemon zest, lemon juice, olive oil, and vinegar mixture.
- Last, toss in the nuts, mint, salt, and pepper to taste