This Loaded Veggie Wheat Berry Salad (or as my husband likes to call it, “A vegan salad so good even your hunter husband will like it”) is as nutritious as it is delicious. It is very similar to another wheat berry salad I’ve featured on my blog but with more veggies and an easier dressing option.
Most of the veggies in this salad can be found at your local farmer’s market, too, but not for much longer now that fall is around the corner. Take a look at some of the health benefits this salad is packed with:
- Carrots-Improves Vision, Promotes Healthy Skin, and Fights Cancer
- Zucchini-Lowers Cholesterol, Maintains Low Blood Sugar, and is an Anti-Inflammatory
- Tomatoes-Builds Strong Bones, Makes Hair Strong and Shiny, and Prevents Kidney Stones
- Artichoke Hearts-Promotes Heart Health, Aids Digestion, and Supports Muscle Health
- Basil-Protects Cells from Damage, Fights Bacteria, and Improves Blood Flow
And that’s just a handful of the ingredients!
I hope I have convinced you to give it a try. Remember, even my hunter husband said it was a hit.
• 5 cups of water
• 1 cup of wheat berries
• ½ teaspoon salt
• 1 ½ cups carrots, finely chopped
• 1 ½ cups raw zucchini, chopped
• 1 ½ cups cucumber, seeded and chopped
• 1 ½ cups green pepper, chopped
• 1 ½ cups cherry or grape tomatoes, cut in half
• 1 (14-ounce) can of artichoke hearts, rinsed and quartered
• 4 ounces of baby spinach
• Handful of fresh basil leaves, torn in small pieces
• 2 tablespoons of fresh oregano
• ¼ to ½ cup onions of choice, finely chopped, optional
• ½ cup kalamata olives, chopped
• 1 ½ cups of cooked black beans or 1 (15.5-ounce) can of black beans, rinsed and drained
• ¼ to ½ cup of favorite low-fat Italian dressing*
• 1-2 tablespoons of lemon juice, if desired for taste
• Salt and pepper, if needed
• Lettuce leaves, to plate salad, optional
*I used Trader Joe’s Tuscan Italian Dressing with Balsamic Vinegar
Place the water, wheat berries, and ½ teaspoon of salt into a saucepan. Bring to boil and simmer. Cooking time varies depending on the desired texture and the brand you are cooking. Generally, I prefer to cook mine for 45 minutes. Once cooked, remove from heat, drain, and set aside to cool.
In a large bowl, while wheat berries are cooking, place the carrots, zucchini, cucumber, green pepper, tomatoes, artichoke hearts, baby spinach, basil, oregano, onion (if using), olives, and black beans, and mix well.
Add the wheat berries and the dressing to the veggies and combine. Adjust taste with lemon juice, salt, and pepper, if desired.
Place desired amount on a plate of lettuce leaves, and serve.
(You could easily replace wheat berries with quinoa. Just cook 1 cup of quinoa according to its directions and use it instead.)