You might not know this, but I’ve learned to speak a unique language. It only takes a bit of effort to learn, no text books involved, no hours of memorization, no painful conjugation to master ……….. besides, it’s quite fun and brings many smiles and sweet memories. If you don’t already know it, you can speak it too.
……………. I call it “culinary love language” and this is how it works; cultivate the habit of listening carefully, studying the likes, dislikes, favorite flavors and ingredients of your loved ones; family and friends alike. File these findings, either mentally, written down or bookmarked on your computer . When perusing through recipes, keep in mind these “love files”. After awhile you’ll find yourself thinking “oh, this would be perfect for mom……….. or for my friend Karen, or for …………. (fill in the blank).
When preparing a meal for a friend or family member, treat them with a recipe you’ve prepared with love just for them. Wait till you see the delight and enjoyment that this special treatment brings. It’s worth every minute you’ll spend on “language training”!
This Wheat Berry & Wild Rice Salad W/ Mango, Cranberries & Cashews was created for my son-in-law, Josh. A fancy dessert, no matter how delicious, is not what pleases him. He could pass up this or this in a heartbeat. But a dish that’s loaded with great fresh ingredients, lots of protein, fiber and anti-oxidants with a low glycemic index…………. like this one ………… well, let’s just say he’s happy as a lark!
While I was sure Josh would love this, I was surprised what a hit it was with the rest of the family as well. I took some of the leftovers to work for my lunch and I couldn’t wait till break time when I could enjoy this yummy salad once again. It’s savory with a touch of sweet from mangos and dried cranberries. It can be made up to a day in advance and either warmed or served at room temperature. It makes a lovely side dish, but add a bit of shredded chicken and you’ve got a whole meal. Try it, I have a feeling you’ll love it as much as we do ………… who knows? You may be speaking someone’s culinary love language!
P.S. If you’re a regular visitor at The Café, you know that we’re spending time with our daughter and her family in London and have been anticipating the birth of a new grandchild. Little Luke was born on Friday. He was a true British gentleman and allowed his sister to celebrate her birthday on Thursday before announcing his arrival the following day! He’s cute as a button and we’re thrilled to be able to be here and help this little family transition into being a six-some!
Wheat Berry & Wild Rice Salad W/ Mango, Cranberries & Cashews
1 cup hard red winter wheat berries*, covered with at least 3 inches of water and soaked overnight
1 cup uncooked wild rice blend, cooked according to package directions
1 cup dried cranberries
1 medium mango, peeled, cored and cut into small dice
½ cup chopped fresh parsley
½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
4 green onions finely chopped
½ cup finely chopped red onion
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoon white balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
1 teaspoon sea salt, more to taste
freshly ground black pepper
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 cup salted roasted cashews
fresh herbs, for garnish, if desired
1. Drain the wheat berries in the morning 0r after 6-8 hours. Bring 6 cups of water to a boil, add wheat berries and simmer for about one hour, or until tender. Add more water as necessary to keep wheat berries covered during cooking.
2. Drain excess water from the wheat berries when done. Cool.
3. Combine the cooked wheat berries and wild rice in a large bowl. Add the cranberries, mango, herbs and onions,Whisk the lemon juice, vinegar, honey, mustard, sea salt and pepper. Add oil in a thin stream whisking continually. Add dressing to the wheat berries and wild rice to taste, mix thoroughly. (You will probably have more dressing that you need. Dressing will be great on any type of green salad). Scatter with cashews and garnish with fresh herbs, if desired. Serve immediately or refrigerate for up to 1-2 days.
~ Wheat berries are available at health food stores or at markets like Whole Foods or Fresh Market.
We’re sharing this on Meatless Mondays.