Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Blog-worthy Dinner

The past week has been a whirlwind of packing, moving, unpacking, organizing, hours at the DMV, changing banks, changing insurance, endless trips to Target/Home Depot/Harris Teeter, and orientation for residency.  I have several posts in the works that I'll be sure to post in the next few days, but for tonight, I'll share with you the delicious dinner I whipped up tonight.

I'm not one to follow recipes exactly.  Instead, I like to sort through many recipes and get ideas for good flavor combinations, and then create my own masterpiece.  The ingredients that inspired tonight's menu were wheatberries and farmer's market kale.  Definitely make the wheatberry salad ASAP - I promise you won't regret it!

Summer Kale Salad
5 cups kale, chopped
1 cup cucumber, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1/2 cup carrots, chopped
Juice of 1 lemon
2 tbsp Dijon mustard
3 tbsp EVOO
1 tsp coarse sea salt
1 tbsp local honey

1.  Combine lemon juice, mustard, olive oil, salt, and honey in a bowl.  Whisk to combine.
2.  Add half of dressing to chopped kale and massage until kale begins to soften
3.  Add remaining vegetables and mix to combine.
4.  Refrigerate for at least 2 hours to allow flavors to mix well.  Serve chilled.

Savory Wheatberry Salad
1 cup wheatberries
1.5 cups water
1.5 cups vegetable broth
2 tbsp EVOO
1 medium vidalia onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 cup chopped portabella mushrooms
1/2 cup raisins
1/3 cup whole foods organic hoisin sauce

1.  Soak wheatberries for at least 6 hours before cooking.
2.  Place wheatberries, water, and vegetable broth in a heavy pot over medium heat.  Bring to a boil and allow to cook covered for 40 minutes.  Check at 30 minutes to ensure all of the liquid hasn't boiled off.  Add broth if necessary.
3.  While the wheatberries are cooking, heat a saute pan over medium high heat, adding oil once it is hot.  Add onion and garlic and saute until onion begins to become translucent, approximately 5 minutes.
4.  Add mushrooms and raisins and saute an additional 3 minutes.
5.  Add cooked wheatberries and hoisin sauce and allow to simmer for 5 minutes.
6.  Serve warm.

These dishes were the perfect mix of flavors and so simple to make.  Don't be afraid to forgo recipes and let your imagination take hold of your ingredients!

Enjoying dinner from my comfy leather chair while watching the NBC Nightly News.

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