cooking with whole wheat kernels

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    Cabin fever strikes, and around here that means I hit the kitchen.
    I have been using some of my soybeans & whole wheat kernels to experiment with, and while I was not too crazy about the soys so far, I did hit on some tasty salads for using cooked wheat kernels in my day to day meals. Now the wheat I am using I got at Wal-Mart; it is the white whole wheat, and they sell it here by the 25 lb bag for about $15. So I got out the 2-liter bottle I had kept aside out of the long-term storage (pails with mylar) for experimenting with and cooked up some wheat. It cooked up very nicely by just bringing it to a boil in UNsalted water, then lowering the heat to a barely-there simmer for 1 hour and 30 minutes. Drain well. I made a lot, and froze the extra in 2-cup freezer bags for further experiments.

    I tried pan-frying some (I like the fried wheat berries that you somethimes find commercially) but mine turned out hard, dry and greasy. Ugh, not what I expected at all.
    Then I made some salads, and they were teriffic…so on to the recipes!

    2 cups cooked wheat kernels (I simmer for 1 1/2 hrs)
    1 thinly sliced onion, with rings quartered to make slivers
    2 thin sliced radishes, slices cut in 1/8th (radish chips?)
    1/4 green pepper, chopped medium
    Miracle Whip (or salad dressing of choice)
    1/2 cup finely shredded cheese
    Mix, chill 2-3 hours to blend flavors.
    Variations: Add 1/4 c raisins; or omit the cheese and add 1 unpeeled apple, cored & diced, and any walnuts you have laying around from Christmas baking…both variants are tasty.

    1 1/2 cups cooked wheat kernels
    1 can black beans, rinsed & drained
    1 can corn, drained
    1 cup EACH diced sweet pepper, diced green onions, and diced celery
    1/4 c salad oil
    1/2 c sugar or artificial sweetener
    3-6 slices pickled jalapeno pepper, chopped (to taste)
    In a pot, simmer the oil, vinegar and sugar and stir to dissolve the sugar. Remove from heat. In a bowl, mix wheat, beans, corn, chopped vegetables and the pikled pepper bits. Pour vinegar-oil mixture over the top and stir well. Cover with plastic wrap and chill at least 4 hours before tasting. Drain excess liquid before serving. This is based on the recipe I like for ‘texas caviar’.

    And tomorrow?

    Wheaty Chinese Slaw, of course…
    2 pkgs crushed raw ramen noodles (save packets for other use)
    3 cups shredded cabbage
    3 sliced green onions
    1/3 cup cooked whole wheat kernels
    2/3 c vegetable oil
    6 TB white vinegar (or more to taste)
    salt & pepper
    Mix dressing and noodles, and let sit 5 minutes. Stir in remaining ingredients and chill 2 hours or more to blend flavors.

    I would call the salads a success…. I found when I ate more wheat, I had no cravings for evening snacks whatever, so I must be doing something right! Part two will be to try some pre-cooked wheat as a ‘fried rice’ grain, with some veggies & thawed frozen salad shrimp tossed in for good measure. I like the taste, I like the texture, so it should work…I think I’m going to have to get another bag of wheat for more experiments, though!

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