Friday, March 14, 2014

winter spelt berry salad

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I kid you not, I ate this salad every single day the week I made it. This is so not a Justin Salad - way too green for his liking plus he is a strong believer that fruit (including dried cranberries) does not belong in salads, stuffing or anything savory for that matter. Considering this salad features 2 dried fruits I was prepared from the get go that I would be sole consumer of this amazingly simple yet super tasty salad- which lucky for me, tastes even better throughout the week.
DSC05165.jpgLunch is a meal that 9 times out of 10 I really don't want to put a lot of thought into. More often than not I take my lunch at my desk with little to no fanfare.  My main lunch requirements: tasty, healthy, easy with little to no prep work in the morning...without that first cup of tea I do not function well first thing in the am, I am lucky to remember my vitamins.
Spelt Berries are my new favorite ancient grain, they remain chewy when cooked and pair well with an array of veggies and fresh herbs. The simpler the preparation the better.
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A whole lotta' parsley is chopped up - this is a must, in my opinion this makes the dish. I haven't always been a cheerleader of parsley, but let me tell you it is one hearty little herb, a powerhouse in the kitchen. Fresh lemon juice, good salt, freshly cracked pepper and a splash of olive oil tie everything together.

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I truly believe that nearly every dish should include a sweet & savory note - dried apricots & cranberries lend the sweet, mushrooms, onions & green peppers the savory and the lemon a hint of that all important acid. The parsley, well the parsley adds an awesome amount of freshness.

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Justin and I are in the beginning stages of planning our summer adventures, when we first started dating we would hike every weekend. Then life happened, Justin began working 6 days a week, we bought a home that acquires much more time and energy than condo living so hiking fell to the wayside. This Summer we plan to hike all 7 - 5,000 footers (Mountains) in NH and plan to join our friend Jaime in Vermont and NH as he hikes his way through the AT {starting in Georgia mid March!}. We also are planning a few local day trips, an overnight in Stowe Vermont and we plan on purchasing a piece of very wooded land where we can begin to build a very rustic little year round camping cabin! Big things are coming this Summer and I couldn't be more excited.

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DSC05196.jpgSpeaking of hiking, this salad packs incredibly well and is rather enjoyable at room temp, making this the perfect little salad for a mountain top picnic.
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Winter Spelt Berry Salad
6 servings

you will need:
1 cup spelt berries
3 cups water
1 - 1.5 cups finely chopped parsley
1/4 cup shallots or onions- finely diced
4 large mushrooms- finely diced
1 small green pepper- finely diced
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/4 dried apricots- sliced in half
scant 1/4 cup or so olive oil
juice from a fresh large lemon
salt & freshly cracked pepper to taste

assembly:
In a medium sauce pan, bring water to a bowl. Add spelt berries, cover and reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer for 45 minutes. Remove from heat and drain access water- set aside.

Finely dice the mushrooms, shallots/onion and pepper- a mini food processor gets this job done super fast, if not simply dice by hand. In a saute pan, drizzled with a bit of coconut or olive oil, saute the veggies over medium heat until they just begin to turn golden. Add cranberries and cook a minute more. Add the mixture to the spelt berries (that you transferred to a medium bowl) along with the apricots, parsley, lemon juice, olive oil, salt & pepper - mix well.

Serve immediately, keeps well at room temp and will stay fresh in fridge for up to a week.

Enjoy!
 
Yum

16 comments:

  1. That salad looks really great. Are the only greens you used parsley? The stems in there look like kale or something bigger? Also your last pictures look like there are orange segments?

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    1. Good morning! I used the whole parsley plant including the stems and the orange you see are the dried apricots cut in half as called for in the recipe, the variety I used was flat leaf parsley not curly leaf - hope that info helps!

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  2. I love the salads that you can eat every day! This looks fabulous :)

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    1. Me too, makes getting up and planning lunch for work so easy!

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  3. This salad sounds so good--perfect for work lunches! And although I don't generally spend my days hiking, I wouldn't mind climbing up a mountain for some of this. :)

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    1. Thanks Eileen! The best part was I never got sick of this for lunch, I loved how it retained its texture throughout the week!

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  4. i just picked up spelt berries last weekend too. this salad looks gorgeous. i can imagine the parsley shining away in this. hubbs is hiking this summer planning to do a 3 day hike to climb mt rainier. i have to plan up his 3 day food schedule. just protein bars are not going to cut it:)

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    1. WOW what an amazing Hike, make sure you share some of his pics from the hike I would love to hear and see it! You are right protein bars wont cut it :)

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  5. I've been trying to pay more attention to other grains besides oats, quinoa and rice recently and spelt was one of the first ones I invited back in! I love the chewy texture! This looks wonderul and I personally love dried fruits in ALL things!

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    1. Nice Gabby! Been loving other grains lately too, spelt is my new fave!

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  6. Do you think I could use wheatberries instead? I have a large supply and this seems like a great application!

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    1. Absolutely Stacey ! Rye berries, wheat berries, Farro any hardy grain will work :)

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  7. What a fun summer you've got planned! Last summer was similarly crazy for my husband and I, so we've got plans to do similar exploring this summer around SC/NC/GA. Love the salad! I'm totally guilty of making things I know my husband won't each just so I'll have more for myself :)

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    1. My friend Jaime is hiking his way through those states on the Appalachian Trail- I heard it is beautiful!!! You are so right I too am guilty for making big batches of "me" food....especially Sweet Potato Chipotle Mac n Cheese! :)

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  8. This looks like the perfect lunch salad. I totally agree on the sweet & savory combo...my boyfriend on the other hand doesn't believe that fruit (or even sweeter vegetables like sweet potato) belong in dinner either, and I don't understand it! haha

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