Saturday, July 28, 2012

Beating Hunger Pangs with Wheat Berry, Corn & Cottage Cheese Salad

How do you beat hunger pangs while/after watching Masterchef Australia ?  I am hooked to the episodes of culinary adventures Down-under and like the previous seasons this one is turning out to be a cracker. Not sure about you, but I also have this hungry urge to cook eat hog right during the show or sometimes after the episode finishes. Seeing Audra,Beau & ilk dish out something funky one after the another, the rumbling in the tummy gets hard to ignore.This when the  show is inundated with a whole lot of animals and birds on the negative side of the spotlight. But when the trio of Gary, George and Matt blaze the screen it is electric. The ultra-modern kitchen stocked with a pantry to die for has the kitchen buzz with abundant energy and bagful of flavours.Also laced with humour, warmth and camaraderie, the show is  not over the top and at the same time tugs the heart. So when you are addicted to such a show it is natural that the hollering tummy seeks your attention more than once and sneaking in to the kitchen to take a lick (ok make that a few spoons) from that jar of Nutella or peanut butter does not satiate the tummy. Neither does it look good on the bulging curve :P

Why not toss a salad that is supremely blissful,filling and very healthy to dig in ?  Hubby dearest had picked up a few items on his recent trip to Hyderabad and one of them was the Honey and Mustard Dressing. When the nutty & chewy wheat berry along with the sweet and crisp corn kernels blended with the rich goodness of the dressing, the salad tasted a different high. The salad is also dotted with black olives, onion and diced pepper.

Wheat Berries are  the whole wheat kernels and is the seed from which the wheat plant grows. These whole grains contain high fibre and have a very earthy and nutty flavor when cooked. To reduce the cooking time it is advisable to soak it for a few hours. You can use any ingredients in the pantry - carrots, shallots,feta or goat cheese, snow peas or dates, nuts like walnuts and dried fruits like raisins and apricots to give it a different twist; literally anything as the cooked berries can absorb the flavor of the other ingredients well

What's in it :-

  • Wheat Berry - 200 grams (soaked & cooked)
  • Cottage Cheese - 100 grams (cut in to mini cubes)
  • Sweet Corn - a big fistful (boiled)
  • Onion - 1 small - thinly diced
  • Bell Pepper - 1 small - thinly diced
  • Black Olives - 10 to 12 - halved
  • Honey & Mustard Dressing - 1 to 2 tbsp (I used store bought)
  • Apple Cider Vinegar - 1 to 2 tsp
  • Black pepper Powder - 2 tsp - to taste
  • Salt - to taste
  • Mint Leaves - a fistful - washed and roughly chopped
Here's How :-

The recipe is no rocket science. Wash the wheat berries well in running water and soak it with adequate water for 6-8 hours or overnight. Cook it in a pressure cooker up to 5 or 6 whistles. The berries would be done well and chewy to the bite. Alternately you can bring it to a boil in a sauce pan with enough water and cook on a medium flame for a good 40-45 minutes.

Drain the water from the cooked grains in a colander. Tip it in a mixing bowl. Add cottage cheese, sweet corn,diced onion and pepper. Tip in the black olives and toss. 

Add the honey and mustard dressing along with apple cider vinegar. Season it with salt and pepper. Finally add the mint leaves. Fluff it up.

Let the salad stand at room temperature undisturbed for a good 45 minutes to 1 hour so that the flavours are infused thoroughly.

Verdict :-

Every bite is guilt-free indulgence guaranteed. The refreshing flavours of mint combined with the acidic touch of apple cider vinegar adds the much needed pep. Also the honey & the mustard dressing gives the zing.Lazy Sundays or a leisurely brunch the salad is ideal.And yes Masterchef viewing is more satisfying now.



  1. Loving ur writeup. No words can describe the fullness u achieve when you watch masterchef... I just love the show...

  2. I have to make this... loved the combination, any idea where I will get wheat berry in Bangalore? I am a huge MC fan as well!

    1. almost any grocery store/ departmental store ; sometimes even the local kiranas stock it.

  3. Healthy salad and new to me...

  4. OMG. I love this Priya. What a combo. by berries do you mean the wheat itself that we buy from shop that we use for grinding. Hope I'm understanding this correctly.

  5. a healthy salad. bet it would be good with couscous too.

  6. Simply awesome cottage cheese salad.

  7. One of the best recipes I have come across. :) Will try it and let you know how it tasted.

    1. sure saru; can give the salad your own spin based on what's in the pantry :)

  8. Hi Priya,
    Good morning.
    Hope you had a nice weekend.

    I spent my weekend with my grandparents and cousins.

    I have eaten salad from different chef's and various cultures but never knew it is prepared this way. I thought it would just be a cut and mix program.

    I hardly get 1-2 hours a day for food preparation that I normally prefer vs the one in the restaurants. Considering the recent incidents of food poisoning in hotels of Cochin, I think I am good preparing my food at home.

    I shall give this salad a try during the next weekend.
    Wishing you a great day ahead!


    1. hey abhi- so glad to hear from you; this salad is a breezy preparation if the mise-en-plase is done before hand. let me know how it goes. cheers

  9. Oh God !!! Love this healthy, tempting salad...

  10. I am totally going to try this recipe - Love the look of it - I have to watch more of these shows - I was watching sweet genius for a bit and then we got hooked on catching up with 2 seasons of Downton Abbey and now the Olympics! And so my summer goes.
    This dish is a keeper, mon amie!

  11. Healthy salad.. loving it .. It is good lunch box item

  12. thats a very healthy preparation with wheat berry ..thanks for stoping by at my blog..hugs

  13. Beautiful salad, I love your combination of ingredients, so fresh and healthy;-)

  14. Beautiful salad. I know what I am missing. If I can stop the Nobita watcher I will get Master chef . will try that tack now.
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