Roasted Beet & Orange Wheat Berry Salad

Roasted Beets & Orange Wheat Berries Salad | cookeatbehealthy.com

Do you ever get a really random intense food craving?!?  Something that just strikes out of the blue with no rhyme nor reason?!?  It happened to me one day last week.  I was quilting away and all of the sudden…BEETS…I just had to have some beets!  Now don’t get me wrong – I like beets!  I like beets quite a lot actually.  But considering I’m not pregnant I just thought it was an odd craving!  Has anybody ever heard of menopausal cravings?  Maybe that’s a thing and if so, I need to know about it so I can blame one more thing on menopause!  If it’s not a thing – tough!  I’m blaming menopause anyway! 😉

I use my quilting (my “real” job) time to think deep thoughts…thoughts about life, family, politics, the afterlife, relationships, business, etc., and oddly enough…to develop recipes! 😉  I just figure if I’m standing behind a noisy machine for a couple hours, doing something that for the most part comes as second nature and thus requiring little thought, I may as well put that idle thinking time to good use!  So by the time I’d finished the quilt I was working on, I’d come up with a recipe for those beets I was craving!  And today I’m sharing it with you…just in case you have a sudden random beet craving!

Roasted Beet & Orange Wheat Berry Salad | cookeatbehealthy.com

The beets are peeled and cut into bite sized pieces, tossed with olive oil and a few seasonings, and roasted until they’re fork tender.  The wheat berries are simmered in a mixture of water and orange juice to infuse them with a hint of orange flavor. The dressing is a simple vinaigrette made from olive oil, white Balsamic vinegar, orange juice, honey, poppy seeds, and seasonings.  The cooked beets and berries are combined along with a little of the dressing and refrigerated for a few hours to allow the flavors to meld and to completely chill.  

Roasted Beet & Orange Wheat Berry Salad | cookeatbehealthy.com

There’s something really wonderful about the earthy sweetness of the roasted beets and the subtle orange flavor and chewy texture of the wheat berries that combine to make an incredibly hearty and flavorful mid-winter salad! A bed of mixed greens with spicy arugula, the roasted beets and orange wheat berries, some roasted sunflower seeds for crunch, a few shavings of Parmesan cheese, and a tangy citrus dressing make this a perfect lunch! Serve it alongside a piece of baked fish or chicken and you’ve got a satisfying dinner! Any way you choose to serve it, it’s a little departure from the typical winter fare…a uniquely bold salad to satisfy my kooky beet craving!  I hope my beet-craving-inspired salad brightens your day and helps chase away the mid-winter doldrums!  

Roasted Beet & Orange Wheat Berry Salad | cookeatbehealthy.com

What have you been craving lately?  Anything as random as beets?!? Let me know in the comments what you’ve had a hankering for and what you made to satisfy your craving!  Or…share your craving and we can brainstorm a recipe together!

Roasted Beet & Orange Wheat Berry Salad
Serves 8
A uniquely bold and flavorful salad perfect for chasing away mid-winter doldrums!
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421 calories
24 g
19 g
31 g
13 g
8 g
286 g
805 g
17 g
0 g
22 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
286g
Servings
8
Amount Per Serving
Calories 421
Calories from Fat 274
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 31g
48%
Saturated Fat 8g
39%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 4g
Monounsaturated Fat 18g
Cholesterol 19mg
6%
Sodium 805mg
34%
Total Carbohydrates 24g
8%
Dietary Fiber 4g
14%
Sugars 17g
Protein 13g
Vitamin A
9%
Vitamin C
77%
Calcium
38%
Iron
9%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
For the Wheat Berries
  1. 1 1/2 cup uncooked wheat berries
  2. 1 1/2 cup unsweetened orange juice
  3. 1 1/2 cup water
  4. Zest of 1 orange
For the Beets
  1. 6 medium to large beets, peeled and cut into bite sized pieces
  2. 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  3. 1/2 tsp salt
  4. 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  5. 1/4 tsp dried ginger
For the Dressing
  1. 2/3 cup extra light tasting olive oil
  2. 2/3 cup unsweetened orange juice
  3. 3 tbsp white balsamic vinegar
  4. 2 tbsp honey
  5. Zest of 1 orange
  6. 1/4 tsp dried thyme
  7. 1/4 tsp dried ginger
  8. 1/2 tsp salt
  9. 1 clove garlic, very finely minced
  10. 1 tsp poppy seeds
For the Salad
  1. Fresh salad greens
  2. Arugula
  3. Shaved Parmesan to taste
  4. 4 tbsp roasted sunflower seeds
For the Wheat Berries
  1. Bring orange juice, zest, and water to a boil.
  2. Stir in wheat berries, reduce heat, and simmer approximately 1 hour, or until wheat berries are tender and liquid is absorbed.
For the Beets
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Farenheit.
  2. Toss chopped beets with 2 tbsp EVOO and seasonings.
  3. Place on baking sheet and roast for 20-25 minutes until fork tender.
  4. Remove from oven and combine with cooked wheat berries and 1/2 cup dressing.
  5. Refrigerate at least 2 hours, or until ready to serve.
For the Dressing
  1. Combine all ingredients in blender and blend until emulsified.
  2. Transfer to jar and refrigerate.
For the Salads
  1. On each plate, place a generous amount of greens and arugula.
  2. Top with 1 cup Beet/Wheat Berry/Dressing mixture.
  3. Sprinkle with a few sunflower seeds and Parmesan shavings.
  4. Drizzle with a little more salad dressing as desired.
Notes
  1. The dressing can also be made by combining all the ingredients in a lidded mason jar and shaking well to combine.
  2. This salad makes an excellent light yet satisfying lunch, or a perfect accompaniment to an evening meal.
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calories
421
fat
31g
protein
13g
carbs
24g
more
Cook Eat Be Healthy http://cookeatbehealthy.com/

Honey & Citrus Sour Mix

Honey & Citrus Sour Mix | cookeatbehealthy.com

Today is all about celebrating!  Partly because it’s Friday, and we all know that’s reason enough, but also because it’s my birthday!  Today I turn the ripe old young(ish) age of 55.  I remember when I thought 55 was old.  When I was 16 I thought that if I managed to live to the age of 55 then I would have lived a good long life.  Funny how my perspective has changed!  Now, I still feel young at heart, and by embracing the Cook Eat Be Healthy Lifestyle I’m hopeful that my body will cooperate and give me several more years!  

When it comes to Cook Eat Be Healthy and alcohol I generally avoid it.  Not that I don’t enjoy an occasional drink – trust me – I do!  But most generally I prefer to avoid the sugar and calories that are inherently present in alcohol.  I don’t like beer.  I’ve tried to like wine but it’s all just bitter tasting to me and leaves me with a headache.  I do, however, enjoy a good, smooth, perfectly aged whiskey like the one I get from Cedar Ridge Winery & Distillery right here in Iowa!  There’s just something about this whiskey that makes it extra special, not the least of which would be the fact that it’s produced right here in I-OH-WAY!  😉

Honey & Citrus Sour Mix | cookeatbehealthy.com Honey & Citrus Sour Mix | cookeatbehealthy.com Honey & Citrus Sour Mix | cookeatbehealthy.com

Back in the olden days (now I sound like my kids when they were little) and I’d drink whiskey it was mixed with diet soda.  Now that it’s been years since I’ve last had any pop, and since I intend to never drink it again, I needed a new way to enjoy my whiskey!  I do cook with it occasionally and that’s always results in a super delicious meal like my Triple ‘B’ Burgers.  But when I want to enjoy a celebratory cocktail on my birthday I wanted to mix my whiskey with something that I could feel at least a little bit better about!

So the end result was a recipe for Citrus & Honey Sour Mix!  I love lemons and limes.  Their tart bright citrusy flavor makes me happy.  But mixing straight up lemon and lime juice with whiskey….wow…..that’d make you pucker up!  😜  When I bought sour mix from the store I was disappointed by the flavor.  It wasn’t really all that sour – mostly it was just sickly sweet – probably due to high fructose corn syrup that was used to sweeten it.  YUK!  Once again using the Cook Eat Be Healthy rule of any occasional treat being a part of the plan if it’s homemade, I knew I could make my own sour mix and thereby enjoy a Whiskey Sour birthday cocktail!  

It was a simple process of juicing several lemons and limes and combining the juice with a honey and water simple syrup to make a Honey & Citrus Sour Mix that not only tasted deliciously sour, but also wouldn’t bust my live-it!  

Honey & Citrus Sour Mix
Yields 4
A healthier version of sour mix perfect for mixing cocktails such as Whiskey Sours!
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Prep Time
20 min
Total Time
20 min
Prep Time
20 min
Total Time
20 min
314 calories
88 g
0 g
1 g
2 g
0 g
373 g
28 g
74 g
0 g
0 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
373g
Yields
4
Amount Per Serving
Calories 314
Calories from Fat 5
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 1g
1%
Saturated Fat 0g
0%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0g
Monounsaturated Fat 0g
Cholesterol 0mg
0%
Sodium 28mg
1%
Total Carbohydrates 88g
29%
Dietary Fiber 4g
15%
Sugars 74g
Protein 2g
Vitamin A
1%
Vitamin C
107%
Calcium
5%
Iron
7%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 2 cups fresh squeezed lemon and lime juice
  2. 1 cup honey
  3. 1 cup water
Instructions
  1. Heat water to a boil in medium saucepan.
  2. Remove from heat and stir in honey until it completely dissolves.
  3. Set aside while juicing the citrus fruit.
  4. Squeeze as many lemons and limes, in any combination to yield 2 cups of juice.
  5. Strain pulp from juice.
  6. Stir juice into honey water until well mixed.
  7. Pour into jar and refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.
Notes
  1. For this batch I squeezed 7 lemons and 5 limes.
  2. To mix a whiskey sour, I use 2 parts sour mix to 1 part whiskey, but you can mix it to whatever strength you prefer!
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calories
314
fat
1g
protein
2g
carbs
88g
more
Cook Eat Be Healthy http://cookeatbehealthy.com/
So today raise a glass and celebrate the fact that it’s Friday!  And if you want to drink one for me since it’s my birthday- go ahead – the more we celebrate life and each other, the happier we’ll all be!  🍹