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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?

Roasted Root Vegetables

November 6, 2012

As much as I embrace an easygoing approach to all things food related and try to promote creativity and substitutions whenever possible, I have to admit this tendency does not carry over to all aspects of my lifestyle. In fact, there are certain things about which I can be kind of obsessive.

For one, I’m a sucker for lists. Going through an orderly list and checking off items as they are completed gives me an incomparable sense of accomplishment. I have lists for everything; grocery lists, errands, Christmas presents, books to read or topics to research … even the margins of my day planner are not safe from my scribbles.

As of late, I’ve been thinking about one list in particular. This list chronicles my food fantasies – dishes I want to try. Some are dishes I consider classics, while others are those that have grabbed my interest. The recipe I’m sharing with you today is Roasted Root Vegetables. I’ve been working on perfecting roasted root vegetables for a while. Getting them to come out of the oven crispy on the outside and creamy on the inside is no small feat (but when you get them right, they are oh-so delicious!).


Roasted Root Vegetables

Vegan & Gluten-free

Serves 2


  • 1 parsnip, peeled and diced
  • 1 medium beet, peeled and diced
  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled and diced (I left the skin on)
  • 3 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tsp. rosemary, fresh or dried
  • 3 Tbsp. oil of choice (I used olive oil)
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • freshly ground pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 425°F (218°C).
  2. Prepare all of the vegetables, making sure they are cut about the same size.
  3. Mix the oil, garlic, rosemary, salt and pepper together in a small cup or bowl. Using your hands, mix the vegetables with the oil mixture until well coated. The vegetables should be in a single layer on the sheet for proper roasting.
  4. Place coated vegetables on a pan covered in parchment paper.
  5. Place in the oven and roast for about 25-30 minutes or until the root vegetables are soft and a bit browned. Serve right away and enjoy.