Because I do most of my exercise in the evening after work, I am often searching for a snack that will give me enough energy to get in a good workout, without making me too full to get my heart rate up. As someone who has made the mistake more than once of eating spicy chicken wings before heading out for a grueling endurance workout, I can assure you that some snacks are better decisions than others.
This is why I have fallen in love with wheat berry salad. These grains have a fabulous crunch and chewiness that fill me up before my evening exercise hour without the heaviness of say, a pulled pork sandwich. Wheat berry salad also has a surprising amount of protein and iron for something that’s made out of plants.
The best thing about wheat berry salad is that you can create so many different salads from the same humble beginnings. Once you make the basic recipe once, it’s easy to feel comfortable playing with all sorts of delicious variations on ingredients. Combinations of things like edamame, chopped nuts, fresh vegetables and dried cranberries can all be great additions to your salads. One of my favorite tricks is to toss in some chopped greens like chard or spinach while the wheat berries are drained of water but still warm from cooking to wilt the greens just a little.
So where should you start? I began making wheat berry salad just by making the basic recipe off the package, but I was soon inspired by both a recipe that I found online, and a delicious wheat berry salad New Seasons often features in their deli area. I would also suggest that once you get the hang of some recipes that you enjoy making, you should start experimenting with the tastes and textures of Kamut ®, spelt, and triticale, for a whole summer’s worth of salad variations.