Well today was Easter and the last day of spring break. It was nice to spend a sunny morning with family and good food before real life starts again tomorrow - in full gear. The next few weeks are the final push to AP testing, the rush to finish (erm, start and finish) my term paper for grad school, and the last weekends I'll spend in Chicago before dotting around the planet for various travels. That means lots of late nights at school for review sessions, hours past bedtime reading and writing, and even more cups of coffee.
Stop freaking. I cooked up a storm in the past week and have enough recipes and photography to hold you over until life calms down for a second in mid-May. Not only was there holiday cooking for Passover, Holi, and Easter in the last week, but it was also Garrett's birthday so expect a breakfast post coming up (who doesn't get pancakes made for them on their birthday?).
So before I work myself into an ANXIETY ATTACK, let me dwell on what a nice brunch my mom hosted today. She is a consumate host who pulls out all the stops for these events. We (my siblings, and I) always bring a dish or two (or three) but regardless of what we bring, my mom always cooks enough for an army. There will be two kinds of eggs, three styles of potatoes, various forms of bacon and sausage, quiche (my favorite food, gets its own category outside of "eggs"), and coffee cakes in addition to regular cakes. My sister also brought some awesome ombre cupcakes that my nephew just loved.
Maybe it goes without saying, but in the Easter spirit of rebirth I left brunch today with a strong commitment to further burdening myself over the next ten weeks with a new health kick. Luckily, some of the leftover veggie and wheatberry salad I made is a fantastic way to start tomorrow on the right foot.
- 1 cup wheatberries
- 2 zucchini
- 2 squash
- 1 bunch of asparagus
- 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 cup kalamata olives, halved
- 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
- 1/4 cup chives, finely chopped
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- 2 tbsp. lemon juice
- 1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
- salt and pepper to taste
Cook the wheatberries in a small pot of boiling water. They cook in about 10 minutes, but drain them whenever they feel al dente and spread them on parchment paper to cool. Heat a grill pan (or your grill) over medium-high heat.
Cut the squash and zucchini into 3/4 inch slices and toss in 2 tbsp. olive oil, salt, and pepper. Grill on each side until you get some good grill marks. Set aside to cool.
Snap off the ends of your asparagus and toss in the same bowl as the zucchini to pick up the remaining oil. Grill and set aside to cool. Once cool enough, chill the vegetables further in the refrigerator.
Toss the kalamata olives, pine nuts, chives, balsamic, lemon juice, salt and pepper with your wheatberries. Set aside to marinate while you dice the grilled vegetables.
Roughly chop the zucchini, squash, and asparagus (about 1/2 inch pieces) and return to the same bowl to use those good juices released during grilling.
Just before serving, combine the grilled vegetables, wheatberry mix, and tomatoes. Add any additional oil, vinegar, lemon juice, salt, or pepper to taste.