This hearty salad is bursting with harvest flavors and chock-full of exciting textures—chewy yet tender wheat berries, sweet-tart dried cherries, crunchy walnuts, and crisp celery. Served over leafy spinach and topped with cumin-scented chicken, this is a power lunch that will fill you up without slowing you down.
Wheat Berry Salad with Lemon-Cumin Grilled Chicken
(Makes 4 servings)
- 1 cup hard wheat berries
- ½ cup chopped walnuts
- 2 stalks celery, finely chopped
- ⅓ cup finely chopped parsley
- ⅓ cup tart dried cherries, chopped
- 1 small scallion (white and green parts), chopped
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice, plus 4 lemon wedges for serving
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 4 cups lightly packed baby spinach leaves
- 1 recipe Lemon-Cumin Grilled Chicken Breast (recipe follows)
- In medium-size pot, combine wheat berries and enough water to come 2 inches above wheat berries. Bring to boil, then reduce heat to simmer. Cook, uncovered, until tender, about 1 hour. Drain and let cool.
- Meanwhile, toast walnuts in a medium-size dry skillet over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes.
- In large bowl, combine wheat berries, toasted walnuts, celery, parsley, dried cherries, scallions, olive oil, and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper. Salad will keep up to 5 days in airtight container in refrigerator.
- To serve, place 1 cup of spinach leaves on plate or in to-go containers. Mound ¾ cup of wheat berry salad on top of each serving. Top with slices of Lemon-Cumin Grilled Chicken. Place lemon wedge on side of each serving.
- Right before eating, squeeze lemon wedges on top.
Lemon-Cumin Grilled Chicken
(Makes 4 servings)
A touch of aromatic cumin and a citrus punch take basic grilled chicken to the next level. Pack it in your lunch box on top of the wheat berry salad.
- ¼ pounds skinless boneless chicken breasts
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- Cooking spray
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- Put chicken between 2 pieces of plastic wrap. Pound slightly with mallet or rolling pin to even thickness of about ½ inch.
- In small bowl, combine cumin, salt, and pepper.
- Rub chicken breasts on both sides with olive oil. Then rub spice mixture on both sides.
- Spray grill or nonstick grill pan with cooking spray. Heat over medium-high heat.
- Grill chicken until grill marks have formed and chicken is cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes per side.
- Remove from heat, let rest for 5 minutes, then slice into ½-inch thick slices. Drizzle with lemon juice.
- Chicken will keep for up to 3 days in airtight container in refrigerator.
Per Serving (¾ cup wheat berry salad, 1 cup spinach, 7 slices chicken)
Total fat: 23 g
Carbohydrate: 48 g
Fiber: 8 g
Protein: 39 g
Sodium: 420 mg
Recipe and photo from So Easy: Luscious, Healthy Recipes for Every Meal of the Week, by Ellie Krieger. www.elliekrieger.com © 2009 by Ellie Krieger. Used with permission. All rights reserved.