New addiction

31 Jul


Yesterday I was pretty tired, so my dad just popped a frozen spinach and mushroom pizza in the oven, topped it with some red onion, and we called that dinner. I’ve loved cooking every night, but it’s so exhausting! I can’t imagine how people do it every night. I could have been tired from spending a few hours shopping for a birthday dress and shoes (successfully! I love when that happens), but that is neither here nor there.

I picked up my game again tonight, though. Today was pretty low-key. I woke up around 10:30 and made a trusty bowl of banana oats, read some blogs and Facebook crept, ate a tiny lunch for whatever reason, watched some Food Network, walked the dog with my dad, and went to the grocery store. I attempted to do a 45-minute Yoga Download class after that, but my breathing just wasn’t going well and I got pretty frustrated and only ended up doing about 30 minutes. This may or may not have caused me to have a mini breakdown about my “fitness progress” this summer, but then I started on dinner and all was well again.

I decided to make a recipe from my trusty Vegetarian bible: Summer Vegetable Stew with wheat berries. This recipe used two things I’ve never tried before: leeks and wheat berries. I couldn’t find wheat berries at my local grocery store, but after driving 30 minutes to Whole Foods, I found them in the bulk section.

My dad had never had wheat berries before, either, so the cooking time was kind of a mystery to us. We didn’t time it exactly, but it probably took about 35-40 minutes. It might even take longer – this is just when they tasted done to us. They very well could  have needed more time and we just didn’t know it because we’re not familiar with wheat berries.

Fortunately, this dish turned out pretty well. I was only able to get one decent picture of the finished product because I lack photography skillz/my lens might be kind of dirty and I haven’t bothered to clean it since I got my camera 2.5 years ago…

I really liked the wheatberries, even though I’m not quite sure they were even done. We’ll pretend they were.

Anyway, here’s the recipe for anyone who wants it! It was pretty tasty 🙂

Summer Vegetable Stew with Wheatberries

  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium leek, including a little green, thinly sliced
  • sald and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 pound green or wax beans, sliced into 1-inch pieces (1 scant cup)
  • 1 small zucchini, pattypan, or summer squash, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup white wine, vegetable stock or water (I recommend wine, it really added to the flavor)
  • 2 cups cooked wheat berries
  • 2 medium ripe tomatoes, cored and cut into wedges
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil or parsley leaves
  1. Put the oil in a large saucepan or deep skillet with a lid over medium-high heat. When hot, add the leek and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 2 minutes. Add the green beans and zucchini and stir to coat with the oil. Stir in the wine.
  2. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and cook, stirring once or twice, until the vegetables are just starting to get tender, 5 to 7 minutes. Raise the heat a bit and stir in the wheat berries.
  3. Cook, stirring frequently, until hot and bubbling, a minute or two. Stir in the tomatoes, season again with salt and pepper, cover, and turn off the heat. After about 5 minutes, add the herb and fluff the stew gently with a fork. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Serve right away or at room temperature (up to an hour or so later), drizzled with a little more olive oil if you like.

Pretty easy, even for an amateur cook like me!

I found some other recipes I want to try out this week. I won’t be cooking every night, but I think it’s safe to say I’ve found a new addiction 🙂


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