Keeping in line with our companies focus towards healthier eating in the month of November (oh why couldn’t it be January instead?), our Thanksgiving potluck organizer (read me) encouraged the staff to prepare something healthier. Oh the resistance, the moaning and the groaning. Thanksgiving is when you let it all hang out, consume huge quantities of fat and calorie ridden foods, when you pop open the top button of your pants to make room for more. When you eat yourself into a food comatose, nap and go back for more.
Why, why, why would anyone want to eat healthier, after all it’s just one day of the year. But then there are the leftovers and one day stretches into 3 to 5 days. Seems like you finish your leftovers from Thanksgiving and Christmas is already here. Christmas only comes one time a year, so why, why, why would anyone want to eat healthier? To provide a little motivation, I offered to post on my blog, the best healthier recipe brought to the potluck. Everyone got excited about having their recipe posted!
Then the day of the potluck came around, and I got the usual: I forgot, I ran out of time, I was going to but…..
We had a few troopers who made an effort. I made my Pumpple Pie, there were mashed potatoes made with soy milk, Parmesan Corn Bread Puffs and reduced fat green bean casserole. Everyone’s favorite was a wheat salad. The salad is more on the ambrosia side and really not a side salad but more of a dessert. What amazed everyone, was that it was made from wheat berries. Mary, one of our nurse’s brought the dish in. She told me that she grew up eating this salad, and once she was on her own she would get her wheat berry from her parents because you couldn’t buy it in the stores. Times have changed and now Mary buys her wheat berry at the local health food store. Mary told me she likes getting it from the store because she doesn’t have to clean it.
Wheat berry is very healthy. They are small and circular and impart a slight nutty flavor. Their main contribution to nutrition is fiber. Plus wheat berries are chewy (think grape nuts), they take awhile to eat which can give your stomach more time to realize it’s full and be more satisfying to chew.
Keep in mind, this is a healthier dish and not necessarily the healthiest thing you could eat, but it was well like by all staff. No one, not no one, equated any part of it with being healthy. So, if you want to sneak one in on the family, try this recipe.
- 1 1/2 cups wheat berries
- 1 8 oz package cream cheese (reduced fat)
- 2 cans crushed pineapple
- 2 small boxes vanilla pudding (sugar free)
- 2 large containers of cool whip (lite)
- Place the wheat berries in a crockpot, cover with water and cook on low overnight for 8 to 10 hours. Drain and rinse with warm water. While the wheat berries are still warm mix in the cream cheese, then add 1 can crushed pineapple drained and the second can not drained. Stir in the vanilla and cool whip. Keep chilled until ready to serve.