Wheat Berries and Greens

I love the taste and texture of wheat berries.   They are a nutritious, fiber-filled, easy to prepare grain with a satisfying, chewy texture.  I soaked a cup of the hard red winter variety overnight.  After my run this morning, I put this together and ate a big bowl for breakfast.  This is a whole meal by itself, although most people would prefer it for lunch or dinner.  I just still happen to be craving greens, and needed to find a higher calorie way to eat them today.  Running in the cold weather calls for a hearty breakfast!

Wheat Berries and Greens

Ingredients:

1 cup hard red winter wheat berries, soaked overnight in cold water and drained

1 sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1/2″ dice

1 can black-eyed peas, rinsed and drained*

2 tsp. olive oil

3 cloves garlic, peeled, smashed and minced

6 cups greens, washed and cut fine (I used pre-washed bagged mixed southern greens, but you could use kale, chard, spinach, or any combination)

1/4 cup dried cranberries*

1/4 cup chopped walnuts*

1/4 cup vegetable broth

1 Tbsp.  light miso paste

1 Tbsp.  orange juice concentrate

Method:

Place wheat berries in a medium stock pot, cover with water, and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to medium and cook for about 45 minutes, or until almost tender.  Check the pot every once in awhile, and if the water gets low, add enough so the berries stay covered.  Add the sweet potatoes and cook about 8 minutes longer, or until potatoes are tender when pierced with a fork.

While the wheat berries are cooking:

In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat.  Add the garlic and cook for 2 minutes.  Add the greens, toss to coat, then add the vegetable stock.  Saute the greens for about 5 minutes, then add the cranberries and the walnuts.  Make an empty space in the center of the skillet (the broth will pool there) and stir the miso and the orange juice concentrate into the vegetable broth until smooth.  Add the black-eyed peas and gently stir to combine.

When the wheat berries and sweet potatoes are done, drain and add to the skillet mixture.  Grind in a little black pepper and serve warm.

You could substitute raisins for the cranberries, almonds for the walnuts,  and black beans or chick peas for the black-eyed peas.  You could also add onion, bell peppers, and carrots to the greens while they cook.  This will feed four hungry people.

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