Happy Healthy Hump Day!It's finally gotten a little warmer here! Sadly, it's supposed to rain later today and for the next couple of days...but I'm trying not to think about it for now. For now, let's talk about how I was finally able to run OUTSIDE! At a cool 50 degrees, I was running comfortably outside and taking in the views. [skip down for the recipes!]
Runs around the lake are never bad. Even if I did struggle through it.
Random narrative of the day: I set out pretty excitedly on what was my first run outside in months. I started off walking, my typical warm-up aside from my Tara Stiles morning yoga video. I approached my usual transition point and began to pick up a tiny bit of speed until I was rudely plowed into by a bug. Not a fly, but seemingly bigger than a nat. I think it was as freaked out as I was because it went into a tailspin directly into my ear. Naturally, I spazzed out and instinctively went to brush it away. I still felt what I thought was a residual sensation and scratched my inner ear to terminate the annoyance. What I terminated, however, was the bug. Still in my ear. I smashed the bug IN. MY. EAR. yuck.
Back to the food and normalcy. WHEAT BERRIES! Super healthy grains that serve as a good source of fiber, protein, and Vitamin B while imparting a satisfying chew with enough heft to keep you full for hours. What more could you ask for?
I cooked them according to an adapted version these instructions and tossed them in a lemon vinaigrette with diced cucumber, bell peppers, and avocado. I ate some alone as a light, vegan lunch and paired it with broiled spicy & sweet salmon for a substantial dinner.
Wheat Berry Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette [printable recipe]
Yields: 2-4 servings
- 1 C wheat berries
- 1 Tbs salt
- 3 C water
- 1/4 C red bell pepper, diced
- 1/4 C yellow bell pepper, diced
- 1/4 C cucumber, diced
- 1/2 avocado, diced (as much as you want!)
- 3 Tbs lemon juice
- 1 tsp dijon mustard
- 1 - 1 1/2 tsp honey or agave nectar
- 1/4 tsp salt (add more to taste)
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 6 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
- Transfer the wheat berries and water into a sauce pan with 1 Tbs salt. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer keeping the pan covered. Simmer for 30-35 minutes.
- While the berries cook, dice your bell peppers and cucumber. Set aside.
- Check for doneness by tasting a couple berries. They should be chewy but not tough. If undercooked, continue simmering for another 5 minutes then check again. Continue, if needed, for up to an additional 25 minutes.
- Drain the berries and toss with the vinaigrette.
- Dice your avocado.
- Toss avocado and vegetables with the berries.
- Serve immediately or refrigerate for up to a week.
Recipe and directions for the wheat berries adapted from TheKitchn.
Spicy & Sweet Salmon [printable recipe]
Yields: 1 serving
- 4 oz salmon fillet
- 1 Tbs extra virgin olive oil or vegetable oil
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1/2 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp brown sugar, honey, or agave nectar
- pinch each of salt and pepper
- Transfer oven rack to top third level and preheat broiler on high.
- Line a baking pan with aluminum foil (if you want to save cleaning time!) and add oil.
- Dry off salmon with a paper towel to get rid of excess moisture. Toss the salmon in the oil already in the baking pan and rest the salmon skin-side down in the pan.
- If using honey or agave nectar, spread that onto the salmon flesh first.
- Sprinkle salt, pepper, cayenne, chili powder, and brown sugar (if using) to the salmon. Rub the seasoning into the flesh.
- Broil for approximately 8-10 minutes, until opaque but still translucent in the center. The salmon should flake apart easily with a butter knife and should be firm but bounce back when pushed.
- Serve immediately or refrigerate for up to a day.
You can also pair the salad with some chunks of chicken breast, roasted shrimp, or more vegetables. The versatility of this dish only part of why it's so glorious, so explore the possibilities and enjoy!