Friday, August 14, 2009

Greek-ish Salad with Spelt Berries

Greek-ish Salad with Spelt Berries

I'm back!!! It has been killing me to be away from the blog and the kitchen. I am finally settled in to my new surroundings and as of last night I FINALLY have an Internet connection. Let me tell you, the people at AT&T were useless when it came to setting that up (no offense if you work there, but it was a PAIN). Anwayyyyy, happy Friday!! I am so happy to have something to share with you.

I have been looking for healthier meals that don't skimp on flavor. As I briefly mentioned last week, I am on a quest to be hot by my next birthday. In fact, I even joined a gym last week as part of my mission. Even though the farmers market is no longer down the street, I managed to squeeze in a trip last weekend. I loaded up on veggies with this salad in mind, but I wasn't sure how it was going to come together. I should not have been worried. It was really delicious. I have had the spelt berries for a while because I wanted to see how they compared to other grains I have used. They are very similar to wheat berries. In fact, I didn't really notice a difference. Since they take so long to cook, you can use that time to chop the vegetables, do a load of laundry, give yourself a manicure, or whatever else you're in the mood for. Instead of making a real dressing, I just added a couple splashes of vinegar and a splash of olive oil until I got something that I liked. Since I had salted the water that the spelt was cooked in and the olives and feta are salty, I was really careful about the amount of salt I added to the finished product, plus I was serving it to someone who can't have too much sodium. Not only did it get rave reviews from that person, but I thought it was pretty darn good myself. This is perfect for summer when you don't feel like doing a lot of cooking and you want something fresh. Plus it is delicious without making you feel guilty after eating it!

PS, thanks to my Twitter friends for helping me pick red wine vinegar over balsamic. Is was the right way to go!

Greek-ish Salad with Spelt Berries

Greek-ish Salad with Spelt Berries
(By Esi)

Makes 2-3 servings

1 cup spelt berries
4 Roma tomatoes, seeded and chopped
2-3 handfuls baby spinach, roughly chopped
4-5 Persian cucumbers, chopped
2 tablespoons sliced black olives
Red wine vinegar to taste
Extra-virgin olive oil to taste
Salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese

Cook the spelt berries according to package instructions. Drain and rinse with cold water to cool the spelt down. While the spelt is cooking, chop all the vegetables and mix together in a large bowl. Lightly season with salt and pepper. Add the cooled spelt berries to the vegetable mix and toss to combine. Add vinegar and olive oil to taste and season with more salt and pepper if necessary. Spoon the salad onto plates and top each plate with the crumbled feta.

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vanillasugarblog said...

And what a way to come back! Those photos are so sharp and clear. Wow.
Never had any spelt berries, but I would LOVE to now.
I know I missed you and yours posts and twits on twitter.
I had a similiar thing happen to me with ComCrap and it took me 4 supervisors to find one that gave me 2 months free for all the downtime I had.

The Food Librarian said...

This is beautiful! And I'm glad you are in your kitchen and have internet! :)

Lisa said...

What a fantastic twist on Greek Salad with the spelt berries! Your photos are mouth watering, and the colors pop so wonderfully! Must try this!

Maria said...

I love the addition of spelt berries!

lisaiscooking said...

Welcome back! Your salad looks fantastic. I love those veggies together.

Erica said...

I love greek salads (aka anything with feta cheese in it ;)). I had one for dinner out tonight. Love the addition of the spelt berries. Hooray for joining the gym- what kind of workouts are you planning?

Mary Bergfeld said...

The spelt berries are a wonderful addition to your beautiful salad. It's good to have you back.

Teresa Cordero Cordell said...

Esi, thank you. You taught me something new. I'd never heard of spelt berries. When I saw your photo, the "berries" look like pomegranate seeds. Now I know that they are wheat grains. Lovely. Must look for them.

Simones Kitchen said...

Welcome back! I've never used spelt berries although I did buy some recently.
As for the connection bit; you have me all worried now since we will be changing by the end of this month and unfortunately we won't be home either so I am sooooo afraid they mess up badly! Which is bound to happen if our previous experiences are anything to go by. Anyway, glad to have you back!

Joy said...

Glad you finally have internet or we'd still be missing out on this gorgeous salad!

test it comm said...

I really like greek salads and I really like whole grain salads! The idea of combining the two is a good one!

Alicia Foodycat said...

I love the idea of adding grains to make a more substantial salad! Maybe with some grilled prawns on top as well!

Summer said...

This looks fantastic. So light and healthy!

Esi said...

Hello everyone! It's great to be back :) Thanks for coming by!

Erica, For now, I am just doing some cardio and a bit of strength training, but I am hoping to start taking some group fitness classes once I get my stamina back :)

Simone, hopefully your transition goes smoothly. I started a new service so I think that was the problem.

Foodycat, excellent idea to add some prawns!

Kerstin said...

Welcome back! What a lovely salad, I love the feta on it.

Anonymous said...

welcome back! this salad looks light, refershing and very yum!

Reeni said...

I'm glad your settled and have internet! This is a gorgeous salad! So fresh and summery!

Vicki said...

Looks delicious! I make a salad like this pretty often, using wheatberries, lentils, brown or red rice, whatever I have laying around.

Lo said...

Greek inspired salads are some of my favorites. The spelt berries here are a nice touch. Bet this would be great as leftovers for lunch!

We missed you! Glad you're back. :)

Chef Fresco said...

I agree about AT&T! They are the worst!! But anyways, this salad looks amazing! I really need to try spelt berries.

Unknown said...

sounds very refreshing! glad things are getting settled for you :)

Diana said...

Wow, just how long does spelt take to cook??

I think part of the reason I love quinoa so much is because it's so fast! 15-20 minutes - DONE!