I must admit that I am fairly new to the world of grains. Up until recently, I would only eat white rice and well… more white rice. Basmati, Jasmine, Arborio, shushi, or the very popular guy known as Uncle Ben’s. All of them white!
Then I’d throw the occasional barley in my soup… and I’d have bulgur maybe once a year!
I have to say that the more I discover grains, the more I like them. They have so much taste and texture to them, I am hooked: I want to try them all.
My latest discovery, wheat berries, ranks pretty high on my nomness scale. It’s just so chewy and flavourful, unreal! While it does take a long time to cook, it’s so low maintenance that you can easily make it ahead of time without really disrupting your schedule.
Basically all you need to do is soak it the night before, then cook it in the morning as you get ready to go to work. You don’t even need to attend to it, just let it simmer away while you work at your hair and make-up… Just don’t forget to put it in the fridge before you leave! Mind you, it just smells soooo good as it cooks that there is very little chance of this happening!
- 1 cup wheat berries, soaked overnight
- 2½ cups water
- ¾ tsp salt
- 4 large zucchinis
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 1 celery rib, finely chopped
- 6-7 button mushrooms, coarsely chopped
- 2 tbsp Japanese soy sauce (or tamari)
- 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
- ½ tsp black pepper
- ½ tsp Sambal Oelek
- 45g toasted hazelnuts, chopped
- 45g low fat cheddar cheese
- Preheat oven to 375F.
- In a saucepan, bring water, salt and wheat berries to the boil. Lower the heat, cover and simmer for about an hour, until all water is absorbed and wheat berries are tender yet chewy.
- Meanwhile, cut the zucchinis in half and scoop out the flesh/seeds with a spoon. Do not discard the flesh; roughly chop it with a knife and set aside.
- Place the zucchini “boats” in a shallow baking dish and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Set aside.
- Coat a large skillet with cooking spray and cook the mushrooms over medium-high heat until they are nice and golden brown, about 5 minutes. Add onion and celery; season with salt and pepper to taste. Continue cooking until the onions become soft and translucent, about 2-3 minutes.
- Stir in zucchini flesh and cooked wheat berries Incorporate soy sauce, Dijon mustard, pepper and Sambal Oelek. Stir to combine. Add toasted walnuts, adjust seasoning and stuff zucchinis with this mixture.
- Sprinkle cheddar cheese over the stuffed zucchinis and cook in the oven for about 20 minutes, until the cheese starts to melt and takes a lovely gold color.
- Serve immediately.