By: Leah Golden, MS, RD

“Sweet Spring is your
time is my time is our
time for springtime is lovetime
and viva sweet love”- E.E Cummings

Spring is here! I love all the flowers and beauty that come out during Spring. It’s certainly a teaser to Summer and a time to get ramped up for vacation, exercise, eating well and possibly starting an outdoor garden. I know I need to get cracking on my deck garden. Not sure I’ll be growing any Brussel sprouts (for this salad!), but that would be fun! Brussels sprouts are versatile and can be eaten raw or cooked. This salad is a great way to try them raw. They’re shaved thin and combined with wheat berries, bacon, almonds, red onion and oranges. It’s a delicious combo- trust me!

 

This salad is fresh, yet satisfying and bright. If you’ve never cooked with wheat berries, here is your opportunity. It’s definitely an underutilized whole grain. Wheat berries are the whole wheat kernel- which means they haven’t been stripped of their nutrients. They have a yummy chewy texture and provide a good amount of protein, fiber and iron.

 

 

Before I experimented with this recipe, I hadn’t made wheat berries since before I moved to San Francisco, which was quite some time ago! I happened to pick some of these up at a farm I visited months ago and hadn’t touched them until recently. I’m so happy I did, because I forgot how wonderful they are!

 

 

This citrus vinaigrette is simple and refreshing. It requires few ingredients and I love that. For me, this orange juice dressing reminds me of home. My Mom used to make salads for dinner and simply drizzle olive oil, fresh orange juice and a sprinkle of salt over the top. It was healthy, easy to make, and a hit with everyone in my fam. I think it’ll be a hit for you also!

 

As Spring moves forward and we prepare for Summer, healthy eating is on the horizon. No need to try a boring salad, go for this one! It’s full of fiber, protein, nutrients and flavor! And yes, there’s bacon in the salad! Eating is about balance; a little bacon won’t hurt you and won’t deter you from your goals! You can also throw in some shredded chicken and make it an even more balanced and complete meal. This is a great salad to make at the beginning of the week and can be enjoyed all the way to Friday. Yum!

“Sweet Spring is your
time is my time is our
time for springtime is lovetime
and viva sweet love”- E.E. Cummings

Enjoy this salad, Spring and the beautiful weather ahead! 😊

~ Leah

Shaved Brussel Sprout, Wheat Berry & Bacon salad with an Orange Vinaigrette

This Spring salad is delicious! The chewy wheat berries, shaved Brussels sprouts, bacon and orange vinaigrette are a great combo. It’s full of nutrition and could be served alongside a lean protein or eaten alone. Great for a picnic as well. Happy Spring!

Prep time: 15-20 minutes
Cook time: ~35 minutes
Total time: 45-50 mins

Author: Leah Golden, MS, RD
Recipe type: Appetizer, Salad
Cuisine: Dinner, Lunch
Serves: 6-8

Ingredients:

SALAD

  • 1 cup wheat berries
  • 3 cups water or stock
  • 5 slices bacon, crumbled or chopped
  • 1/3 cup red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/3 cup slivered almonds, toasted
  • 1 navel orange, sliced in half circles
  • 16 oz shredded Brussels sprouts

FOR THE DRESSING

  • Juice of 1 orange (about 5 T)
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 tsp orange zest
  • 1.5 tsp honey
  • ½ tsp salt (additional to taste)
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste

Directions:

  1. To make wheat berries combine uncooked wheat berries with 3 cups of water or stock in a pressure cooker (I use an Instant Pot). Set pressure on high for 30 minutes. Once complete, let the pressure release before opening. Strain wheat berries (not all the liquid will be absorbed). They should have a soft and chewy texture. Let wheat berries cool.
  2. While the wheat berries are cooking, preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Lay bacon in a single layer on a baking sheet and put in oven. Cook until desired crispness (~12 mins). Take out of oven and transfer to paper towels to drain and cool. Chop and set aside.
  3. Meanwhile, thinly slice red onion and set aside along with the toasted almonds.
  4. To slice orange, first cut off the top and bottom of fruit. Next peel away skin. Turn orange on side and cut round slices so the flesh is revealed. Cut these pieces in half. Set aside.
  5. To make vinaigrette combine fresh squeezed orange juice, orange zest, salt, pepper. Slowly whisk in olive oil. Set aside.
  6. To assemble salad, place shaved Brussels sprouts in large bowl. Top with wheat berries, red onion, toasted almonds, bacon and orange slices.
  7. When ready to serve, gently toss salad with dressing and serve. Add additional salt and pepper to taste.