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Wheat Berry Protein Bowl

Skillet Protein Bowl

While we love comfort food, not all things comforting are the same for all people. We want to make comfort food for vegetarians too. The best vegetarian salad a meat eater would want to devour as well. After careful research and development, we created a craveable protein bowl.

Our veggie burger (appropriately named the veggie,) already uses the ancient grain farro, but for this salad, we landed on wheat berries. Wheat berries are whole, unprocessed wheat kernels packed with nutritional benefits. A cup of cooked wheat berries has about 300 calories and is packed with 10 grams of fiber, 62 grams of carbohydrates, 9 grams of protein, and 2.3 milligrams of iron. It is also rich in vitamins B1 and B3; and the minerals magnesium, phosphorus, copper, manganese, and selenium.

This salad is mixed with greek yogurt blended with dried tart cherries and almonds for a subtly sweet flavor to balance the chewy, nutty flavor, of the wheat berries. This meal is as easy as pasta to prepare. The hardest part is mixing the cherries and almonds in a food processor, everything else worth the effort. Try it for yourself!

Wheat Berry Protein Bowl
Serves 4 as a main course or 8 as a side salad

For the dressing:
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
1 cup cut raw almonds (save a few for garnish)
3/4 c tart dried cherries (save a few for garnish)
3 stalks chopped celery
3 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 medium red onion, thinly sliced
1/4 cup fresh parsley leaves (tops from a handful of sprigs)
salt and pepper to taste

For the salad:
4 cups wheat berries
1 teaspoon salt
1 cucumber (seeds cut out)
2 cups spring salad (two handfuls)
1 grilled seasonal vegetable (chef choice)
1 cup plain Greek yogurt
2 tablespoons honey

To make the dressing:
In a food processor, blend the cherries and almonds. Then add all other ingredients. Blend until smooth.

To make the salad:
Bring 8 cups of water to boil in a large saucepan. Add a teaspoon of salt and the wheat berries. Reduce to a simmer and cook until the wheat berries pop, about 35 to 40 minutes. Drain.

Chill wheat berries until cool. Mix yogurt and honey. Toss the wheat berries with dressing. In each bowl, layer spring mix, cucumbers, grilled veggies, and top with wheat berries & dressing mix in the center. Add a dollop of the yogurt & honey mix on top of wheat berries and garnish with dried cherries and almonds.