Cooking is simpler than you think

You know, it’s funny what you discover as you wander the internet for recipes.

I was looking for a good cold salad recipes that included both wheatberries and lentils. It’s all part of an effort to eat more high fiber foods, and lentils are way up there. I’ve been doing various grains like the wheatberries with various beans, but when I checked list or two for amounts of dietary fiber, I discovered that lentils are way up there. So I thought to figure out a good one. Looks like it won’t be hard. There’s quite a few recipes out there that combine them.

As I was looking at those recipes, the main thing I’m looking at is the dressing: what works best with the berry and lentil combination? (Lemon juice is clearly the way to go. The fresher the better.) But what kept surprising me as I looked at these recipes was the lengthy preparation and cooking time for the wheatberries. Most of these recipes require you to 1) soak them overnight and 2) cook them for an hour or two. I, on the other hand, cook them in the same way I do my steel-cut oats. I toast them in the pot, pour in boiling water, and cook them for approximately thirty minutes. This produces a completely cooked but nicely chewy seed. The one time I soaked them longer — I let them sit in the water before finally draining them — they were too soft for my taste. I like the chewy texture. I would think that cooking them longer would have the same effect.

Well, presumably cooking them longer leaves them still edible, just softer. So you could do them either way. Just now what you are getting, really soft seeds or chewy ones. Which works better for the recipe you are cooking?

Maybe one day I will try them with the longer cooking time, but I’m in no rush. I like the way I’m cooking them now.

So let’s consider the possible recipe…

1 cup wheatberries

1 cup lentils

onion, either freshly chopped or caramelized

any other vegetable that strikes your fancy, or nothing at all

blend of red wine vinegar, lemon juice, olive oil, salt, pepper

maybe another spice to go in there? What would go good? Cumin maybe, or, No! let’s try ginger.

Any suggestions?