Cilantro-lime wheatberry salad

photo taken from Oh She Glows, because I still don’t have a camera.

You know how sometimes you just need someone else to take care of you? Not because you’re physically incapable of caring for yourself, but because you’re too tired and hungry and overworked and all the decisions you would make are bad ones.  Like, yes, I would love to eat that whole chocolate cake and wash it down with a bottle of champagne.  And a bag of Doritos. 

Well, sometimes you can get someone else to make decisions for you (stop whining, eat the soup, and then go to bed), but sometimes you have to be that person for yourself.  Even though in the overworked/underfed state it seems impossible.  And, though it may seem cirquitous, that’s where this salad comes in.

I’ve been working a lot of hours recently and every night I would try and pack myself a lunch for the next day, only to realize that nothing I could make out of stale bread and questionable Costco ham was going to make me feel energized and enthusiastic after eating it.  I saw a recipe for this salad on one of my new favorite blogs and it struck me: I could make a big batch, portion it out on Sunday night, and then not worry about cooking lunch again until the next weekend.  This might not work as well if you get bored of repeat meals but for me it works great. The salad is delicious, rich in protein, and keeps well.  I pack it with a piece of fruit and a string cheese and feel like someone’s looking out for me.

makes 7.5-8 cups, serving about six

Salad Ingredients:
1 cup dry wheatberries
1 medium carrot, peeled & diced
1/2 red onion, diced (yield ~1 cup)
1 English cucumber, diced
1 bell pepper, diced
1 large tomato, diced
3 green onions, diced
2 cups cooked black beans

Dressing Ingredients
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
5 tablespoons minced cilantro (1 cup whole Cilantro, with large stems removed)
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice ( from about 1.5 limes) + 1/2 tsp zest
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon ground cumin, or to taste
3/4-1 teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste
ground pepper, to taste

Put the wheatberries in a medium pot, cover with 3 inches of water, add a few big pinches of salt, and boil over medium heat until cooked through, about 45 minutes.  They’ll still be chewy but they won’t be hard in the middle.  When the berries are done drain well and rinse with cool water.

Meanwhile, dice the vegetables and mix them together in a big bowl.  Add the cooked beans and drained berries. 

Whisk together the dressing ingredients in a small bowl, then add to the diced vegetables, beans, and wheatberries.  Mix well and season with additional salt and pepper.  Keeps for 3-5 days (in fact, I think it’s best 2-3 days after you make it).