Really, I’m not. I am trying to be though. This is my first time participating in a blog carnival called “Real Food Wednesday”. It’s a collection of recipes and ideas about how to eat real food.
So… what is real food?
- Real food is whole, natural, and nutrient-dense
- Humanely raised (animals on pasture, not in factories)
- Grown locally when possible
- Whole and unrefined (real maple syrup instead of high-fructose corn syrup)
- Processed as little as possible (raw milk instead of pasteurized and homogenized)
- Nutrient-dense (enzymes, vitamins, minerals, and probiotics)
- Free of additives and preservatives
- Free of synthetic and chemical ingredients
- Not genetically modified
- Traditionally produced and prepared
In other words, butter or lard instead of shortening or vegetable oil. Real milk from a cow instead of soy milk. Real sprouted flour (ground fresh or purchased) instead of refined white flour. Real, natural sweeteners like honey or unrefined cane sugar (rapadura or sucanat) instead of white sugar.
Shew! Those are some high standards. Higher than I am currently meeting, to be sure. I am trying many (but not all) of these things though, little by little. I think I have a recipe that qualifies, for the most part. It involves wheat berries.
OK now you’re getting weird. What are wheat berries?
Big Binder: Wheat berries, I’d like to introduce you to my readers. Readers; wheat berries.
Wheat berries: Enchanté!
Big Binder: Settle down, wheat berries. They’ll like you. Eventually.
They are just wheat, in it’s least processed form. It’s the entire kernel, minus the hull. A whole cup is about 300 calories, and has lots of fiber, protien, and iron. They are sort of nutty tasting, and I can see them going in either a sweet or savory direction.
In order to make it appealing to my husband and children, I mixed it with meat, cheese, and sauce. They all absolutely loved this recipe and liked that the wheat berries ‘pop’ and are ‘chewy’. So here it is:
Pepper Casserole with Wheat Berries
1/2 pound ground beef (raised and processed to your liking)
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 cup cooked wheat berries (Very easy to cook – here is a recipe. Make a big batch and freeze them.)
2 tbsp Muir Glen tomato paste (very good stuff as far as tomato paste goes)
1/2 cup plus 1/4 cup Grada Padano or Parmesean cheese, shredded
14 oz (roughly half a jar) pasta sauce. (I like the Meijer regular/cheap brand – the ingredients are: tomato puree, diced tomatoes in juice, organic sugar, imported olive oil, salt, dehydrated onions, garlic, spices, lemon juice, and parsley)
Brown the ground beef, and set aside. In the same pan you used for the beef, sautee the red peppers until slightly soft. Turn heat down to low. Add beef back to pan, then add wheat berries, tomato paste, and 1/2 cup cheese. Mix together, then add spaghetti sauce. You can either let it simmer on the stove for a while until everything is warmed through, or transfer to a casserole pan and bake in the oven for 25 minutes at 350. If you like it a little ‘saucier’, add more or the spaghetti sauce. Either way, 5 minutes before serving, add the remaining cheese.
I’ve talked long enough. Now head over here or more Real Food Wednesday.