Cooking Grains Workshop

Our latest workshop was a great success! We discussed a very important topic that can make a big impact on your budget and your clients’ health: grains!  We made summer salads that are healthy, delicious and easy to prepare, using wheat berries, barley, bulgur wheat, and polenta. These options are cheaper than brown rice, require no more work and are more nutritious.  Our clients appreciate the variety these grains add to our menus, but don’t be discouraged if your clients don’t know what to think the first time you serve them a new grain – take some time to talk to them and get their feedback and have fun creating new dishes. 

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Summer is the perfect time to try new grains.  When the weather is hot, you can prepare the grains ahead of time and serve them as part of a cold salad.  Try the Wheat Berry Salad with Dried Fruit and Nuts we made:

To find more great recipes look in our recipe section.

Wheat Berry Salad with Dried Fruit and Nuts

Serves 30


4 cups uncooked wheat berries

4 cups converted brown rice

1 cup chopped walnuts or other nuts or seeds (pumpkin or sunflower)

3 stalks of celery, washed and chopped finely

1 ½ cups dried fruit, raisins, cranberries, or combination

½ cup chopped fresh cilantro, parsley, chopped fresh spinach

1 red onion, chopped finely

1/3 cup olive oil or other vegetable oil

¼ cup lemon juice, bottled or fresh

½ tsp salt

½ tsp pepper


In a large pot combine the wheat berries and enough water to cover the grain by 5 inches. Bring water to a boil and cook uncovered for 1 hour, or until tender.  Drain and cool.  Put brown rice in half hotel pan and cover with boiling water by ½ inch. Cover with film and foil and cook in 325°F oven for 30 to 40 minutes.  Cool rice. Combine wheat berries and rice when cool. The grains can be done ahead of time or the day before.  Toast the nuts on a baking sheet for 5 to 10 minutes in a 325°F oven.  Watch closely so they don’t burn.  Chop celery, red onion, and cilantro or parsley. In a large bowl, combine rice/ wheat berry mixture, walnuts, dried fruit, celery, onion, and herbs.  Mix oil with lemon juice and salt and pepper.  Pour over salad.  Combine well.  Chill salad until serving.

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