Friday recipe: wheat berry salad

September 20, 2013 —

DMU’s wonderful wellness program staff are always seeking and offering students and employees ways to get and stay healthy and more fit. For example, they recently kicked off a six-week “Murder Mystery” program set up like the game Clue in which participants get a clue for every 75 minutes of exercise. (Was it Jerry on the basketball court with the dumbbell? Nicole in the group exercise room with the stability ball? Stay tuned!)

The wellness staff also are offering a new-to-DMU weight management program, “The Triminators,” which uses nutritionist Dr. Barbara Rolls’ volumetrics eating plan as a guide. Volumetrics focus on eating foods with lower energy density – such as fruits, vegetables and other items with high water content – that help one achieve satiety, while also keeping a log of one’s daily diet and exercise and increasing physical activity.

“To become successful at lifelong weight management, you’ll need an eating pattern that lets you feel full with fewer calories,” Dr. Rolls states in the introduction to one of her books, The Volumetrics Weight-Control Plan. “The basic strategy of volumetrics is to eat a satisfying volume of food while controlling calories and meeting nutrient requirements.”

Mmm...DMU's wellness staff served up this nutty, yummy salad.

Mmm…DMU’s wellness staff served up this nutty, yummy salad.

At a recent meeting of DMU’s Triminators, the wellness staff prepared this week’s recipe from Dr. Rolls’ book The Ultimate Volumetrics Diet: Smart, Simple, Science-Based Strategies for Losing Weight and Keeping It Off. A key ingredient is wheat berries, the whole wheat kernel full of fiber, nutrition and – with the salad’s seasonings – flavor.  Wheat berries can be found in natural-foods markets and online at King Arthur Flour, (800) 827-6836, and Bob’s Red Mill, (800) 349-2173.

To quicken the actual cooking time, the night before you want to eat this salad, rinse the wheat berries. well with cold water. Place them in a bowl filled with cold water and let it soak overnight. Rinse them thoroughly and drain the water. Place wheat berries in a pan with water and bring it to a boil. Cover the saucepan and let it simmer for about 1 to 1-1/2 hours, until the grains are tender and chewy.

Wheat berry salad

From The Ultimate Volumetrics Diet

  • 1 cup wheat berries
  • ½ cup fresh or thawed frozen corn kernels
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 medium tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 green onions, white and light green parts only, sliced into thin rounds
  • ¼ cup crumbled fat-free Mediterranean herb feta cheese (regular feta cheese works well, too)
  • 2 tablespoons capers, drained (optional)
  • ¼ cup finely chopped fresh basil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Cook the wheat berries according to package instructions or by using the overnight soak method described above. Drain, place in a large bowl and, while the wheat berries still are hot, stir in the corn, vinegar and olive oil.

Add the tomatoes, green onions, cheese, capers if using, and basil and toss gently. Season with salt and pepper. Serve at room temperature or chill before serving. Makes 6 servings, about 1 cup each.

NOTES:  Adding the corn to the hot wheat berries will cook the corn. Cover and refrigerate salad for up to two days or freeze for up to one month.

Nutritional information per serving: calories: 155; CD 0.97; carbohydrate: 28 g; fat: 3 g; protein: 8g; fiber: 5 g


Endlessly curious and easily entertained, Barb Dietrich Boose loves being a member of the friendly, fascinating DMU community and its creative communications team. The University's publications director and DMU Magazine editor, Barb is always on the hunt for story ideas, good books and new recipes to try out on her family, such as her surprisingly tasty pork-and-bean bars.

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