Friday, February 11, 2011

Wheat Berry Breakfast

Recipe from 101 Cookbooks
Husband-Tested in Alice’s Kitchen
Serves 6

When I asked my husband to taste test this healthy breakfast, he agreed, but without very much enthusiasm.  He always thinks I’m plotting to pull him out of his Steel Cut Oats in the Crockpot breakfast rut.  To make my offer seem safer, I told him I’d make it for his supper.  After my husband tried this, he said, “Wow! I didn’t see that coming!” He absolutely loved it!  I did too.  He later told me, “You know, you could put this in a pie and bake it.”  Hmmm.  He may have something there.  Well, back to the recipe.  Wheat berries can be found in the bulk section of Lost River Market & Deli (or your favorite health food store.) When cooked, they are delightfully chewy. Mixed in with the wheat berries are sautéed pears and fresh cranberries, toasted pecans and a selection of dried fruit.  Drizzle this delicious pile with a mixture of non fat Greek plain yogurt and maple syrup and you’ll have the fuel you need to get your day off to a great start!  Just 
¼ cup of plain cooked wheat berries = 150 calories, 6 grams fiber, 32 grams carbohydrates, 6 grams protein and that's not counting all the other healthy ingredients in this breakfast! 
The original recipe yielded 6 servings.  Since it was just the two of us, I prepared the 3 cups of wheat berries as called for in the original recipe and then I only used half of the prepared wheat berries for this dish and halved the rest of the ingredients.  I used the other half of the prepared wheat berries to make Wheat Berry Salad with Citrus Dressing later.  The recipe below is the original recipe.  Be sure to try this for your next Meatless Monday meal.  If your mornings are rushed, prepare the yogurt mixture and cook the wheat berries the night before and store in the fridge.  In the morning, you can prepare the rest in the time it takes to brew your coffee!

The night before:
Combine 2 cups wheat berries (I used winter wheat berries) 6 cups water, and 2 teaspoons Kosher salt in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer, covered, until plump and chewy, about an hour or so. (While the wheat berries are cooking, go for a walk or watch an hour of your favorite t.v. show.)  The only way to be sure they're done is to taste a few. Drain and set aside to cool.  Cover and refrigerate until you are ready to use them.  (This should yield 3 cups of cooked wheat berries which you will need for this dish.*)
Whisk 1 cup Greek non fat plain yogurt and ¼ cup maple syrup together in a bowl.  Cover and refrigerate until you are ready to use. 

The next morning:
Core and chop into ¼ inch cubes, 2 firm pears.  (Apples would be a good substitute.) Set aside.  Place a large skillet over medium high heat.  Add ½ cup pecans. (You could certainly substitute with walnuts.)  Stir these around a few minutes until toasty and fragrant.  Pour out the pecans onto a cutting board to cool.  (If you wish, you can chop the pecans up a bit.)  In the same skillet, add a scant Tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil and a scant Tablespoon of unsalted butter.  When the olive oil/butter begins to sizzle, add chopped pears.  Sauté the pears in the olive oil and butter for about five minutes, or until they get a bit golden.  Add ½ cup fresh cranberries (I had cranberries left over from Thanksgiving in the freezer and just used some of those.  I thawed them in the fridge the night before.) Cook for another minute or so - just until the cranberries soften up a bit and a few of them begin to split open.  Add the 3 cups of cooked wheat berries,* the pecans and 1/2 cup assorted dried fruits, chopped (I used dried currants and dried apricots.  Raisins would be nice. The original recipe called for dried persimmons, dates, and crystallized ginger) to the skillet and toss gently.  Turn out onto a platter or serve in individual bowls ladled with a generous amount of the maple yogurt. 

1 comment:

Dennis Cronk said...

I tried this yesterday... It was very tastie... I hope that you have enough wheat berries...