Wheatberry Salad with Poached Egg and Potato Crisps

So it has been a month of eating mostly vegetarian and I have to say guys, I think it's honestly not half bad.  I figured by now I'd be ripping my hair out, screaming at the top of my lungs, WHERE IS THE MEAT????  But ya know, I think I enjoy not having meat in every meal...  I know what you're thinking, I am probably losing my mind due to the lack of meaty goodness in my diet but the differences that I'm noticing in my energy and the reduction of body fat is incredible.

I use to eat meat in every meal, except breakfast because for some reason I always skip that meal.  It's horrible for you, I know, I am making a conscious effort to eat breakfast this year and this week I've done pretty good.  Anyways back to meat, I use to have it up to 12-13 times a week -- I mean, that's a lot of meat.  I would also eat a lot of red meat during dinner time as well: steak, pork, bison...okay YUM.  But seeing that our bodies are made to be mostly vegetarian (the proof is in our teeth!), like our common ancestor the Monkey, it just made sense for me to cut down my meat consumption to 3-4 times a week.

Trust me, Collin was geekin pretty bad when we first started this venture.  "What are we going to eat if we can't eat meat?"  "Does this mean we'll be eating beans all the time?"  "Should I get beano?" "No really, what are we going to eat to stay full?" All valid concerns, and I don't blame him.   I've eaten at vegetarian restaurants and I always feel like something is missing...like meat.  Then I realized, why make something that "tastes" like meat when obviously you know it's not -- I mean it's just down right disappointing.  So I've embraced the flavors, textures and colors of vegetables and enjoy them for what they are, not for what they can "substitute".

For this lovely dinner I prepared last night I used a whole grain called "wheatberries".  Basically it is the entire wheat kernel: the bran, germ, endosperm and all except for the husk.  The textures of these little "berries" are incredible, they are a chewy consistency and very firm in texture and also provide an excellent source of dietary fiber.  Dietary fiber not only gives you healthy poops (tee hee) but also lowers cholesterol, prevents heart disease and several other benefits that keeps your body strong and in good shape.

I mixed the wheatberries with some diced bell peppers and toasted pecans.  I placed it on a bed of peppery argula greens and thinly sliced tomatoes and topped it off with a poached eggs and some potato crisps I baked in the oven.  It's one of those meals you wouldnt expect to be soul satisfying, but it truly is.  It's all of earth's wholesome goodness in a bowl.

Ingredients for Wheatberry Salad with Poached Egg and Potato Crisps:

(serves 2-3)

  • 2 cup wheatberries, rinsed and soaked overnight
  • 1/4 cup red bell pepper, diced
  • 1/4 cup yellow bell pepper, diced
  • 1/4 cup pecans, chopped
  • 1/2 lemon, squeezed, juice only
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 medium red skinned potato, thinly sliced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 roma tomato, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup arugula greens, rinsed and dried
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan
  • salt pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400F.

In a medium heavy bottomed pot, place your wheatberries and cover with water -- cook at medium high heat for 30 minutes, or until softened.  Meanwhile, take your thinly sliced potatoes and minced garlic and place them on a prepared baking sheet.  You can either spray with cooking spray or evenly coat with olive oil.  Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown and crisp.

While you are waiting for those items to cook, this is when you can prep the other vegetables like the diced bells, tomatoes and arugula.  You can also begin poaching your egg during this time as well, for those of you who have never poached an egg, it is better to use fresh eggs when poaching so it holds together better while cooking.

My friend Dhale has great instructions as to how to poach eggs on her site that can be found here. If you prefer a less runny yolk, leave it in for 4-5 minutes, if you like yours runny (as I do) leave it in for 2-3 minutes.  Be sure the whites are fully cooked before you consume them, you can check the whites by raising the poached egg out carefully with a slotted spoon.

Take your potato crisps out of the oven and set aside.  Once the wheatberries are fully cooked, strain and place in a large mixing bowl.  Place the lemon juice and honey along with the chopped bell peppers and pecans and mix together.  Plate your arugula and tomatoes and place a spoonful of the wheatberry salad ontop.  Top it off with the poached eggs and potato crisps and season with salt and pepper and a little bit of grated Parm -- I actually kicked it up a notch and used "smoked salt" which is VERY yummy and can be found at the bulk spice section at Central Market.

Heh heh heh, thought I'd share some pictures with you guys -- both of my animals and some of my food art.  I would love some feedback so tell me what you guys think!!

I am not sure what Lily is doing here, she looks like she's recovering from a hangover, oooh kitty....

Heh heh heh heh

It didn't work quite as well on Lays -- and just so you guys know (because it is not seemingly evident in the pictures), my animals love me hahahahaha :)

Can anyone guess what this is?

Food art time!!

There ya go folks! Until next time ...