Wheat Berry Salad with Currants

I have had this post in my "drafts" folder for a week or so now, and I apologize.  After we received currants last week and wheat berries a couple weeks before, I remembered a recipe I previously posted for a Wheat Berry Salad a friend gave to me.  I'm waiting for a chance to go buy peaches and sunflower seeds--and as soon as I do I will cook up this salad, take photos, and add the pictures to this post.  In the meantime, please enjoy this recipe if you find yourself with currants and wheat berries and are looking for a way to use them.  Sounds so good!

Wheat Berry Salad
(Recipe compliments of one of my best friends.  This would be a great addition to a green lettuce salad.)

1.5 c. wheat berries
4-5 scallions, chopped
1 c. chopped peaches (substitute apples in the Fall/Winter)
1/2 c. currants
1/4 c. toasted sunflower seeds
Juice of 1 lime
3 tbs. sesame oil

Cook wheat berries, then in large bowl, combine cooked berries with scallions, apples, currants, and toasted sunflower seeds.  Toss with lime juice, toasted sesame oil, and pinch of salt.  Serve room temperature or chilled.

Cooking Wheat Berries
(These directions are for 3/4 c. wheat berries.)

Place wheat berries in heavy medium saucepan.  Add enough cold water to saucepan to cover wheat berries by 3 inches.  Let stand overnight.  Drain.

Bring 4 c. water, wheat berries and 3/4 tsp. salt to boil in same saucepan.  Reduce heat, cover and simmer until wheat berries are tender but still slightly firm to bite, about 1 hour.  Drain.

8/11 Farm Share Arrival

This week's Farm Share arrival was spectacular!  While I didn't have time to set up my weekly picture like I usually do, I did take some snapshots of a few produce items I was really excited about.

This week we received: a CANTALOUPE (one of my all-time favorite fruits), tomatillos (green salsa here we come!!!--another fave), a beautiful bunch of basil, our first large tomatoes of the season (!!), celery, green peppers, shallots, zucchini, corn, cucumber, and green leaf lettuce.

We used this basil tonight in a pesto my husband made for pizza.  Enough was left over to use later this weekend.

We also used tomatoes tonight on the pizza; they were wonderful, so flavorful!

A wonderful box!  Happy (healthy) eating!

Chicken Salads

Summertime!  And really, you crave particular things in the summer that aren't the same at other times of the year.  Like watermelon, mojitos, berries, and for me--chicken salad.

I was really craving chicken salad this week, so after boiling a whole chicken and pulling the meat off the bone myself (side note: this was a big step for me.  I'm generally not a chicken fan, so getting my hands deep in that mess was an indication of how dedicated I was to satiating my craving) I made two different kinds: (1) Chicken-Walnut Salad with Tomatoes and Kalamata Olives and (2) Curried Chicken Salad.  The former used celery and parsley from our Farm Share. 

Chicken-Walnut Salad with Tomatoes and Kalamata Olives
Bon App├ętit

4 deli-roasted chicken breast halves, skinned, boned, meat diced (or, 1/2 chicken)
1 c. sliced celery with leaves
1/2 c. walnuts, toasted, chopped
4 tbs. freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 1/2 tbs. fresh lemon juice
12 oz. cherry tomatoes, halved
1/3 c. pitted Kalamata olives, halved
3 tbs. chopped fresh parsley

Mix all ingredients together in bowl and serve over a bed of (Farm Share) lettuce.

Curried Chicken Salad
(Modified from Gourmet)

1 tbs. minced peeled ginger
1 tbs. curry powder, plus more to taste
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 c. plain yogurt
2 tbs cilantro
1/2 chicken
1 c. red grapes, halved
1/4 c. sliced almonds, toasted

Mix all ingredients together in bowl and serve over a bed of (Farm Share) lettuce.

8/4 Farm Share Arrival

Here is our beautiful Farm Share box from LAST week.  I forgot to take a picture of this week's box, but I'll post another entry with details of its contents (it was a wonderful box!).

Last weeks box came with 2 beautiful green peppers, a large head of red leaf lettuce, a bunch of red kale, three summer squash, a box of currants, a HUGE eggplant, four lemon cucumbers, parsley, and celery.

As a side note, I've really enjoyed the lemon cucumbers.  They make a perfect snack sliced up.

Until next time, happy (healthy) eating!!

Roasted Summer Vegetables

With the ABUNDANCE of Farm Share vegetables we have gotten in recent boxes and little time we've had in the kitchen lately, I'v been at a loss at times to get through all that we have.  Not a problem, especially when I have friends to give some produce to, like my BF who loves beets (and I love giving them to her!)

A couple weeks ago we had a ton of summer squash, Patty Pan squash, zucchini, potatoes, and a couple carrots I really wanted to use.  So, I simply cut them all on the bias, about 1/4-1/2 inch thick slices, tossed them in olive oil and and pepper, and sprigs of thyme, and roasted them in the oven.

I set the oven to bake at about 400 and they roasted for I think about 45 minutes.  They came out still crunchy but just cooked enough to bring out the vegetables' sweetness.  A very easy, quick way to use a large amount of produce!  Roasted vegetables could stand alone as a meal (on a bed of couscous, perhaps?) or works wonderfully as a side (with grilled chicken or fish?).  Enjoy your veggies!


A little tagalong...

Why, hello there!  I suppose an example of why it is important to wash your greens well.  No worries, no bugs were harmed in the washing of this lettuce.  The little guy above was safely released into our 'wild' flower box garden.

Heirloom Tomatoes with Cucumber and Feta

I hit up a local Farmers' Market after work one day and found some really beautiful heirloom tomatoes.  Deep purple and red, they added a a punch of different color to an otherwise very simple tomato and cucumber salad.

Tomato and Cucumber Salad

2 cucumbers, sliced in quarters
2-3 tomatoes, diced
8-10 basil leaves, thinly sliced
Healthy serving of feta, crumbled 
Red wine vinegar, to taste (I would guess that I use almost 1/4 c. in this recipe)
Salt and pepper

Simply toss all ingredients in a large bowl and serve fresh.

Potato Salad with Apples

We continue to get a steady stream of potatoes over the summer months, but the last thing I feel like eating when it's hot outside (and you don't have AC) is a hot potato--boiled, scalloped, fried, or baked.

My husband mentioned a potato salad that had apples in it, and it sounded great to me.  So, I did a search for such a recipe and found this great one on Epicurious.  I made a lot of variations to this dish, so see my notes in italics below.  The reviews fared well for the original recipe, so I wanted to include it, too.

Potato Salad

6 large potatoes
1/2 tsp dill
1/2 c. French dressing made with cider vinegar plus 1/2 tsp dry mustard (I didn't have the dressing, so I used about 1/4 c. cider vinegar with dry mustard--worked really well!)
1/4 c. minced onion (raw onions don't agree with my tummy, so I omitted this)
2 apples (recipe calls for red, I used Granny Smith), unpeeled but cored and diced
1 c. diced celery
6 hard-cooked eggs, chopped (I didn't include this)
5 tbs. chopped parsley
1 1/2 c. mayonnaise  (I used only 1/2 c., then another 1 c. plain yogurt)
1/2 c. sour cream (I did not include this)
Salt and pepper

Cook the potatoes in their skins with the dill; peel and dice them and marinate them while still hot in the French dressing.  Add the onion and let stand until cold - at least an hour - while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.  Combine potato-onion mixture with remaining ingredients, including mayonnaise blended with sour cream.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Beautiful Berries

These blueberries were from our Farm Share box a couple weeks ago.  They were so delicious...I just love summertime!

7/28 Farm Share Arrival

Last week we got a great box, including: a huge bunch of basil, 2 ears of corn, 1 head of beautiful green leaf lettuce, 1 bunch collard greens, cucumbers, green beans, zucchini, squash, beets, 3 Patty Pan squash, and a bag of wheat berries.  

We pick our our new Share tomorrow...time flies!  But we've made good use of what we got in this box so far.  Stay tuned!

Happy (healthy) eating!