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Wheat Berry Salad with Roasted Sweet Potato

December 5, 2012

With the cold and rainy days here in Ireland, this has been the perfect soul-warming kind of meal to cozy up to in front of the Christmas tree. The familiar flavors in this dish are reminiscent of the holiday season. This salad is something to savor with it’s mix of fresh greens, wheat berries, roasted sweet potatoes, pecans, cranberries and a few herbs and spices. Everything comes together for a good cause: feeding your body with warmth!

Wheat berries are the whole grain form of wheat – the whole complete grain before it has undergone any processing. They’re a high-fiber whole grain that can be used much like any other whole grain. When boiled, cooked wheat berries have a chewy bite and subtle nutty, earthy flavor. They are loaded with B vitamins for extra energy and battling holiday stress; as well as fiber, protein, folate, vitamin E, and calcium. Consuming whole grains can help lower the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes and certain types of cancer. Substituting whole grains for their refined counterparts can also help with weight control.

This dish combines some serious fall power-players when it comes to nutrition, and not coincidentally, are excellent choices for preparing the body as we head into a long winter. It can certainly be served as an accompaniment alongside a main course, but it is also hearty enough to suffice as a comforting dinner. It is delicious warm or cold.


Wheat Berry Salad with Roasted Sweet Potato

Serves 2 as a meal, 4 as a side dish


  • 1 cup uncooked wheat berries
  • 1 large sweet potato, chopped into cubes
  • 2 tsp. olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp. chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 2 cups mixed greens
  • a few fresh or dried cranberries
  • 2 Tbsp. pecans or walnuts


  • 3 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp. maple syrup
  • 1 tsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp. dried rosemary
  • pinch of salt & pepper


  1. Cook wheat berries according to package directions.
  2. Preheat oven to 400°F (204°C).  Chop the sweet potato into bite sized cubes. Drizzle with olive oil, chili powder, cinnamon and a pinch of salt. Place on a baking tray and roast for 25-30 minutes, or until they are soft and slightly browned.
  3. Stir the dressing ingredients together, set aside.
  4. Place washed greens in a large bowl. Place the wheat berries and hot sweet potatoes over them. Add the dressing and toss. Add in the cranberries and nuts or seeds of your liking. Gently toss again. Taste and adjust seasonings. Enjoy!

How are you staying warm during these colder months?

Strawberry Spinach Salad

June 15, 2012

This is one of my favorite summer dishes. A bright, seasonal salad that is super simple to throw together and really refreshing. I wanted to take advantage of the beautiful spring produce which is now appearing in abundance at the grocery store and farmers’ market.

With strawberry season in full swing we’ve been gorging ourselves daily on the sweet, juicy berries and can’t quite get enough of them. Not only are they summery and delicious, they’re a bona fide superfood, too. Nutrient-rich and packed with antioxidants (like vitamin C), strawberries offer a wide range of health benefits, some of which may surprise you. For starters, strawberries are rich in fiber. Fiber enables digestion to work properly, which is essential for proper immune function. Strawberries are chockfull of antioxidants and other essential nutrients that can flavorfully help you reduce your risk of cancer, heart disease, inflammatory diseases, and birth defects as well as mouthwateringly manage your weight.

Spinach is one of the most nutrient-dense foods in existence. Spinach contains an impressive range of active substances which are indispensable to the body. One cup of the leafy green vegetable contains far more than your daily requirements of vitamin K and vitamin A, almost all the manganese and folate your body needs and nearly 40 percent of your magnesium requirement. It is an excellent source of more than 20 different nutrients, including dietary fiber, calcium and protein. This dark green leaf will protect your brain function from premature aging, promote cardiovascular health and neutralize free radicals in the body. A good rule of thumb: the darker the leaf, the better.

Now lets get back to this salad! This recipe may be perfect timing for the weekend. If you can get yourself to a strawberry patch or a local market for some summer berries, you can whip up this simple, refreshing salad.


Strawberry Spinach Salad with Orange Poppy Seed Dressing

Serves 1


  • large bunch of fresh baby spinach
  • fresh strawberries
  • pecans, walnuts, almonds, or other nuts or seeds (optional)


  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice
  • light drizzle of agave nectar or other liquid sweetener
  • hint of orange zest
  • 1 Tbsp. orange juice
  • 1 tsp. poppy seeds
  • pinch of sea salt


  1. In a bowl combine all ingredients for the dressing. Mix well.
  2. Toss the washed and dried salad greens, and plate. Top with fresh strawberries, nuts, and any other add-ons. Drizzle a generous amount of dressing over salad. Serve.

What are some of your favorite things to eat in the summer? Please share them below! Hope you have a fun and exciting weekend. If you have lots of sun where you live, send a little this way as ours is hiding and we could always use a little more.