Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Dinner Bowls

So far, this week has been all about long work days and dinners that can fit into a bowl.

I had planned to make quinoa veggie bowls this week, but after digging through my cabinets I realized I only had a tiny bit of the grain left, so I had to improvise. I found a forgotten jar of wheatberries, and they did the trick. My grandmother actually got me into wheatberries last year, and I love their firm, chewy texture. So different from most of the grains we eat on a regular basis! Wheatberries are actually the entire wheat kernel - bran, germ and all - so they are full of health benefits. I also love that they're nearly impossible to overcook - you can simmer away for as long as you want, but those little grain buds will never become mushy.

I made "Greek Wheatberries"by sautéing red onion, garlic, zucchini, cauliflower, mushrooms and green pepper together (okay, not entirely Greek here, but I needed to use up some veggies) in a little olive oil and tossing them together with a cup of wheatberries I had cooked with vegetable broth. Then I added oregano, crushed red pepper flakes, s&p, low fat feta cheese, a few kalamata olives I had lying around, a sprinkling of toasted walnuts, and a handful of freshly chopped basil (also needed to get used up).

Matt and I both agreed, this was one delicious bowl. The feta cheese melted into the vegetables and made the dish a little creamy, and the olives gave it a nice salty bite. One of the better hodge podges of vegetables I've thrown together!

Last night gnocchi was on the menu - whole wheat gnocchi with ricotta, lemon and peas, that is.

That looks like a whole lotta white, but it was much more flavorful than it looks. I've been making this dish for 5 or 6 years now - I originally saw a recipe for it on Food Network (theirs of course was filled with olive oil and parmesan cheese), and now I always make it when I have leftover ricotta cheese that I need to use up. Into the pan went:

(Gnocchi for two people)

- 2 cups of cooked gnocchi (I used frozen here)
- 1/2 cup skim ricotta cheese
- 1 cup frozen peas
- Zest and juice of 1/2 a lemon
- Salt and pepper

Voila - Italian in 10 minutes. And it's sooo good. The lemon really gives it a nice fresh flavor. We ate our gnocchi alongside green salads before watching (I know) another episode of Sons of Anarchy. We're into season 2 now, and it just keeps getting better. I'm just going to plow through this show until I've watched everything Netflix has to give me.

Off to start that work thing - happy Wednesday!


  1. how do you cook your wheatberries? i have a bag and i screwed up making them the first time so i've been reluctant to try again. i tried to do wheatberry risotto. i cooked them forever! but they were still really hard. any suggestions?

    1. I actually cook them like I cook rice - double the water for how many wheatberries you have (ex. 2 cups of water for 1 cup of wheatberries). Then I boil them for about 45 minutes, then drain the excess water. Keep in mind they will still be really chewy when they're cooked, they don't get soft like rice or pasta. I kind of like the texture though, it's different!

    2. yea, mine didn't even seem edible haha. i'll try again...thanks for the tip!