Sunday, June 9, 2013

Meatless, Luscious, Fun - Cherries and Berries Salad!

Do you like cherries? I do! And happily, they are loved the world over. I was thrilled to see cherries as part of a beautiful fruit plate in our hotel room in Fez, Morocco last week. (By the time I thought about taking the picture, I had almost eaten all the cherries – there are still a few lurking around the edges, tho…)

In Georgia, we are in the midst of cherry season. I will return home this week and immediately start pitting! Here is one of the recipes I will be making – full of cherry flavor, accented with the flavor of the Middle East, too.

Cherries and Berries Salad

2 ½ Cups Water
1 Cup Wheat Berries*
2 TB Lemon Juice
2 TB Canola Oil
1 TB Pomegranate Molasses (or Honey)
½ Tsp Cinnamon
¼ Tsp Salt
¼ Tsp Ground Black Pepper
1 Cup Pitted and Chopped Cherries
1 Cup Berries, (You Choice - Chopped if Necessary)
1 Cup Shredded Carrots
¼ Cup Thinly Sliced Green Onions
6 Cups Baby Spinach
¼ Cup Chopped Dried Cranberries, Cherries or Blueberries
½ Cup Chopped Toasted Pecans

Step One
Bring the water to bowl in a small saucepan. Add the wheat berries, return to a boil and simmer covered for 45 minutes or until tender. Drain and transfer to a bowl. Let cool before tossing the salad.

Step Two
Make the Dressing by combining the lemon juice, oil, molasses cinnamon, salt and pepper. Drizzle the dressing over the cooled wheat berries. Stir in the cherries, berries, carrots and green onions. Top the baby spinach with salad and garnish with the cranberries and pecans.

*You can find wheat berries at Whole Foods, a health food store or an international market. Can’t find wheatberries? Try using cooked lentils in the recipe and begin your salad at step two.

Loaded with vitamins, minerals and other nutrients, cherries are much more than just sweet  - they're a powerful, bite-size health boost Cherries contain anthocyanins - the red pigment in berries. Anthocyanins are potent antioxidants under active research for a variety of potential health benefits.

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