A toast to good health

Well, damn. Sometimes I impress myself. Like when I whip up a very tasty, extremely nutritious dinner from what I happen to have in the kitchen. Tonight I made a wheat berry pilaf, honey-spice roasted carrots & sweet potatoes and a simple garlicky rainbow chard.
But it was the Wheat Berry Pilaf that truly stole the show.


1 1/2 cups hard red wheat berries
1 quart chicken, vegetable or mushroom broth (I used the latter)
2 bay leaves
1-2 ribs celery, very finely diced
1 package Trader Joe’s rosemary pecans & cranberries*
2 tsp orange zest
Freshly ground black pepper

1. Toast your wheat berries in a dry pot briefly over low heat. Add broth and bay leaves and cook for about an hour, until they reach the consistency you like. You might need to add another half cup or cup of water. Mine eventually all absorbed, but sometimes it has to be drained.
2. Turn heat to lowest setting. Stir in remaining ingredients and a splash of white wine if you happen to have some around (optional).

*TJ’s rosemary pecans & cranberries are… amazing. If you lack a TJ’s, you have my empathy, and here’s a recipe for making your own. You could just toss in pecans, cranberries, and fresh or dry rosemary, but it wouldn’t be the same. The TJ’s pecans have absorbed the herb.

For the carrots and sweet potatoes I simply whisked together olive oil, honey, orange juice, cumin and dried ginger, plus salt & pepper. Then tossed the veggies in the glaze and roasted at 425° for about 30-45 minutes.

The Swiss chard is a classic, easy recipe, just wilted with garlic and red pepper flakes.



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