Friday, February 7, 2014

Moosewood's Perfect Protein Salad - A Local Adaptation

According to cookbook author Molly Katzen, this recipe was the result of looking in the fridge and finding only some cooked soybeans and wheat berries.  Not bad for such humble beginnings, and this salad is a new family favourite!  The key for me was the addition of one habanero pepper from Mark Brubacher.  Be careful with those peppers, they are extremely hot.  But they’re worth it too, they have such great flavour and the spiciness helps warm your whole body!  But even if you leave out that extra kick of spice you’ll still find this a very satisfying salad. 
The name of the salad refers to the combination of a grain and legume, which results in the full range of amino acids we need.

Moosewood’s Perfect Protein Salad
Adapted from The New Moosewood Cookbook by Molly Katzen

·        ¾ cups dry soybeans
·        ¾ cups dry wheat (or rye) berries
·        ½ red onion, minced
·        2 medium carrots, finely chopped 1 cucumber, seeded & finely chopped
·        1 hot habanero pepper, seeded and minced (optional)
·        1-2 cloves garlic, minced 1 Tbs. dried parsley 1 tsp. dill
·        ¼ cup mayonnaise (you could make your own if you want it local)
·        ¼ cup cider vinegar
·        ¼ cup tangy yogurt 
·        ¼ - ½ cup crumbled feta cheese 2 teaspoons salt
·        freshly ground black pepper, to taste
·        optional: add other diced vegetables like celery, tomatoes, or anything else that sounds good.

Soak the wheat berries and soybeans overnight in separate jars or bowls.  Rinse them several times the next day.  Cook the soybeans in one pot, covered completely with plenty of water, and the wheat berries in another pot with 2 cups water, over low heat simmering for 1 – 1.5 hours.  The wheat berries should be soft, while the soybeans will retain a bit of a crunch.  Drain, rinse, and allow to drip dry for a few minutes in a colander. 
While cooking the grains and beans chop your vegetables and mix together the vinegar, mayonnaise, and yogurt.  Mix these together in large bowl, adding in the spices and seasonings.  Add the grains, beans, cheese, and mix all ingredients together.  Test the flavour and adjust spices and seasonings to your liking.  Serve or refrigerate for later.  Makes a great lunch or dinner!

And by the way, look what ingredients Bailey’s has right now for the salad (basically everything you need to make it):
·        dry soybeans (from Round’s)
·        wheat berries (from Oak Manor)
·        red onion(from Bowman’s or Stevanus)
·        carrots(many options)
·        cucumber(from Roseland Produce)
·        habanero pepper(from Mark Brubacher)
·        garlic, (several options)
·        dried parsley (from Brenda Knechtel)
·        dill (from Brenda Knechtel)
·        mayonnaise (you could make your own if you want it local)
·        cider vinegar (from the Cider Keg or Filsingers Organic)
·        yogurt  (several options)

·        feta cheese (several options)

From Jon Spee, who shares more of his KW Locavore adventures at

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