February Food Challenge: Tabbouleh, Chips and Candies

I’m still trying to play catch-up, so we’re gonna get right to business.  Here are three new recipes:  Wheat Berry Tabbouleh, Rainbow Chard Chips and Chocolate-Cherry-Peanut Clusters. Mmmm!

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WHEAT BERRY TABBOULEH
Makes 6-8 servings

Wheat Berry Tabbouleh

Wheat Berry Tabbouleh

This recipe, modified from the New Better Homes & Gardens Cookbook, looked so good, and it gave me an opportunity to try cooking with wheat berry for the first time.  The result was a very light and fresh salad, and I loved the chewy texture provided by the wheat berries.

Ingredients
1 cup wheat berries, uncooked
½ medium tomato, chopped
½ cucumber, chopped
2-3 tbsp fresh parsley, finely chopped
2 green onions, thinly sliced
2 tbsp canola oil
3 tbsp fresh lemon juice
Dash of salt
Lemon slices, to garnish (optional)

Directions
Soak wheat berries overnight in 3 cups water.  Transfer wheat berries and water to a medium pot and bring to a boil.  Lower heat and simmer, covered, for 50-60 minutes.  Drain any excess water.

Combine wheat berries, tomato, cucumber, parsley and green onions.

In a small bowl, combine oil, lemon juice and salt.  Pour over wheat berry mixture, tossing to coat evenly.  Transfer to fridge to chill.

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RAINBOW CHARD CHIPS
Makes 1-2 servings

Rainbow Chard Chips

Rainbow Chard Chips

I want so badly to like kale.  It’s a nutritional super star, and I’m always reading about how fantastic it is.  I’ve heard a lot about kale chips, and how they can transform anyone into a fan of kale, so I was eager to give them a shot.  But, I was drawn to the prettiness of the rainbow chard sitting next to the kale at the store instead.  So rainbow chard chips it was.  Same concept, different green.

They were amazing!  I ate the whole batch.  Granted, greens shrink a lot when cooked, so they only filled a regular bowl, but still, I ate the whole batch.  I’ll eventually try the kale chips, but for now, these are very satisfying.  If you like kale chips, you’ll love these.

Ingredients
1 bunch rainbow chard, washed and destemmed
2 tsp oil
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
Salt, or other seasoning, to taste (I like ‘em with cracked pepper)

Directions
Heat oven to 350º.  Rip chard into chip-sizedpieces.  In a bowl, combine chard, oil, apple cider vinegar and salt/seasoning.  Mix to coat.

Spread chard pieces on a baking sheet so that they barely overlap (I like the chewiness of the occasional overlapped corners) and bake for 10-15 minutes, or until crispy.  Serve immediately (they will remain crispy for several hours).

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CHOCOLATE-CHERRY-PEANUT CLUSTERS
Makes 36 clusters

Chocolate-Cherry-Peanut Clusters

Chocolate-Cherry-Peanut Clusters

Last Thursday we had some neighbors over for a game night and I wanted to make something sweet to share.  I hadn’t been able to make it to the grocery store due to the blizzard, but in my pantry I found semi-sweet chocolate, dried sour cherries and peanuts.  I mixed them all up; and, voilà, Chocolate-Cherry-Peanut Clusters!  Don’t let the simplicity fool you–these things are freakin’ amazing!  I made a second batch for a game watch on Saturday, and yet another batch for a Super Bowl party on Sunday, and every time they got rave reviews.  If you don’t have cherries, dried cranberries or any other tart fruit would work just as well.

Ingredients
8 oz. semi-sweet chocolate
Dash or two of salt
1½ cups roasted peanuts
1 cup dried sour cherries

Directions
Over low heat, melt chocolate in a small pan.  Once thoroughly melted, remove from heat.  Add salt, peanuts and cherries, and mix until covered in chocolate.   Drop spoonfuls of the mixture onto parchment paper and let cool (you can place them in your refrigerator to speed up the process). 

Tip: To prevent the clusters from melting in your hands, I recommend storing them in your freezer or refrigerator until right before serving.

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