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WHEATBERRY PILAF WITH ROASTED TOMATO DRESSING

WHEATBERRY PILAF WITH ROASTED TOMATO DRESSING

This isn’t an advert for Merchant Gourmet, but it could be. I just love their products. They sell the best puy lentils, my daughter’s favourite whole wheat giant couscous, their sundried tomatoes are full of flavour and not preserved in in oil. Every Christmas I buy their chestnuts and I even used their products in a gift basket for a friend’s birthday.

The latest product I spotted was a box of wheatberries. If you are wondering, wheatberries are the whole kernels of wheat that are milled into flour.They are similar to spelt or barley and can be used interchangeably in recipes. Wheatberries are high in fiber, about 6g per 1/4 cup, they are incredibly filling. They are chewy which makes them perfect food to practice mindful eating as it will you take a while to get through them. This is a good news because it means that you will probably end up eating less.

My wheatberries were paired up with some gorgeous green veggies and a dressing made out of oven roasted tomatoes and garlic. Isn’t it amazing how roasting tomatoes concentrates the flavour? This recipe has no fat added.

wheatberriepilaf


WHEATBERRY PILAF WITH ROASTED TOMATO DRESSING

Serves 4

ingredients
tomato dressing
6 medium tomatoes
4 cloves of garlic unpeeled
2 sprigs of thyme
Tbs of fresh oregano

pilaf
200g (1cup) wheatberries
1 litre vegetable stock
8 runner beans
1 bunch of asparagus
1 courgette
couple handfuls of peas

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C. Line a baking dish with some baking paper. Halve the tomatoes and put into the baking dish, cut side up. Roast for 10min.
  2. Add the unpeeled garlic cloves to the tomatoes and roast for further 20min.
  3. Next cook the wheatberries in the vegetable stock. Mine took about 30min , just read the package instructions as you may have a different product.
  4. Prepare your vegetables. Slice the runner beans diagonally. Snap the woody end off the asparagus and cut them in half. Cut the courgette in half lengthways and slice diagonally.
  5. In a large saute pan heat about 125ml (1/2 cup) of vegetable stock. Add the beans, cover with lid and cook for 2 min. Next add the asparagus and cover with a lid and cook for 2-3 min (depending on thickness). Last add the courgettes and peas and cook for 1 min. Vegetables should be tender and all the liquid should be gone.
  6. For the sauce, place the tomatoes and garlic squeezed out of its skin in a food processor. Whizz up into a smooth sauce. Taste for seasoning and add the chopped oregano.
  7. Mix the cooked wheatberries with your vegetables and serve with the dressing on the side.


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RUNNER BEAN SALAD WITH RAW TOMATO DRESSING

RUNNER BEAN SALAD WITH RAW TOMATO DRESSING

The other day I made my butternut squash edamame and peanut butter stew for my friend. Kids had noodles with tofu and veggies instead. They are not keen on spicy food (my son is starting to discover it slowly) and I just wanted to make sure they get fed. While tucking into my stew I did my best to entice my son to try some. He just said: “But I don’t like butternut squash!” Yes I knew that but I still insisted that he should give it a go. His reply was: “You don’t like raw tomatoes and nobody makes you eat them... it is the same with butternut squash and sweet potato for me.”

Now nobody likes as “smarta..e”. Right?! Kids always seem to have an answer and yes it did make a lot of sense. The role of us parents is to outsmart our kids while we can ( I quiver realising this will not be possible for much longer). Therefore I came up with a bullet proof strategy (or so I think). My last bulgur wheat salad recipe had raw tomatoes in it. And today I made another raw tomato recipe. All this in hope that if I start eating my food nemesis my son maybe more likely to confront his or at least will have to come with another smart argument whilst trying to avoid it. I will let you know if it works.

Today the tomatoes didn’t quite cooperate the way I wanted them too. I had a plan and they were having none of it. First I cut a cross into the skin, than poured boiling water over them, left them for a minute, cooled them in cold water and NOTHING. The skins would not come off!!! So I decided to change my plan and just deseeded and blended them rebels skin and all which resulted in a rather yummy dressing for my runner beans. My son loved it, my husband didn’t even notice he was eating raw tomatoes (yes he doesn’t like them either...) and I proved a point! Job well done.

runnerbeans1

RUNNER BEAN SALAD WITH RAW TOMATO DRESSING

serves 4 as a side salad

ingredients
300g (about 3/4 lb), sliced thinly on the diagonal
4 small to medium tomatoes (mine were about the size of a smaller round plum)
1 clove of garlic, sliced
1 Tbs olive oil
2 Tbs balsamic vinegar
1 Tbs water or use another Tbs of oil
salt and pepper to taste

method
  1. Put the beans into a steamer basket and steam for about 4 min or until tender but still with a little bit of a bite. Place cooked beans into a bowl of iced water to cool and stop cooking. Set aside.
  2. In a blender process the rest of the ingredients until you get a thick smooth sauce.
  3. Toss the beans with the dressing and serve.


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