Wheat Berry and Barley Salad with Pears and Goat Cheese + a Whole Grain Sampling Day Giveaway

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One week from today? Is Whole Grain Sampling Day. What does that mean? Well, it’s the nationwide, annual initiative designed to introduce consumers to the health benefits and great taste of whole grains. Are you obsessed with whole grains? Because I am. I think some people are often a little bit resistant to try them, but after you sample a whole grain product or two, you likely realize how much better tasting whole grains are. I mean, I can’t even imagine eating white bread anymore because whole grains just taste SO much more delicious. And luckily they’re better for me, too. When Oldways and the Whole Grains Council asked WANM to become whole grain ambassadors, it made perfect sense.

They sent along a whole grains sampling pack that had all kinds of goodies in it. Everything from chips to cookie mix to rice and crackers to totally new-to-me grains (freekeh, anyone?). Read along to the end of the post for a chance to win this sampler pack for yourself! And get ready for April 3, Whole Grain Sampling Day. Hopefully even more people will be convinced of the goodness of whole grains!

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Here’s what comes in the sampling pack. I haven’t tried everything just yet, but will comment where applicable:

  • Among Friends Cookie Mix
  • Barbara’s Shredded Oats (I was skeptical of these, but they are SO good. Full of flavor and not cardboard-y at all)
  • Bob’s Red Mill Muesli (I’m a muesli lover and this makes it easy!)
  • Brown Rice Triscuits
  • Whole Grain Wheat Thins
  • Way Better Sweet Potato Chips (SO delicious!)
  • Real McCoy’s Chips (love the Sweet and Spicy)
  • Goose Valley Rice Fusion
  • Upfront Nutty Granola
  • Jovial pasta
  • Frontier Soups Wheat Berry Chili (I made this and LOVED it. A fabulously unique chili that definitely satisfies)
  • Freekehlicious Wholegrain Freekeh (I guess I like to get freekeh? These are strange and awesome)
  • Home Free Cookies
  • Tasty Bite Garlic Brown Rice
  • Pamela’s Oatmeal Cookie Mix
  • Engine 2 Crispbread
  • Mestemacher Sunflower Seed Bread
  • And a Whole Grains Day t-shirt (hopefully eating whole grains will ensure I’ll NEVER fit into this as it’s an XL!)

Everything I’ve tried so far has been awesome and hopefully you can’t overload on whole grains because I’m almost surprised I haven’t turned into one by now. I suppose that would be better than turning into my Cadbury Egg Milkshake?

In honor of Whole Grain Sampling Day, I wanted to share a little recipe I developed that contains lots o’ whole grains. And it’s just about the easiest thing in the world to make. And creates a lot of leftovers that are perfect for bringing to lunch for the next week.

Wheat Berry and Barley Salad with Pear and Goat Cheese:
Print this recipe!

  • 1 C wheat berries
  • 1 C pearled barley
  • 1/2 C dried cranberries
  • 2 pears, chopped (and peeled if you want)
  • 1 1/2 C baby spinach, coarsely chopped
  • 1 T chopped parsley
  • 3 oz. crumbed goat cheese
  • Avocado dressing (recipe below)

We’re talking simple simon here. Cook the wheat berries and barley according to directions (there are very differing camps on how long to cook wheat berries for, but I’m with less time is better camp… I like them chewy!). Drain. And then combine in a large bowl with all of the other ingredients.

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See? There’s not much else to say about the method. Except I guess you could peel the pears if you wanted? I like to keep the skin on fruits since it adds a little extra nutrition.

You could obviously eat the salad like this if you want to.

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But you might want to make this avocado dressing to go along with it. Because why the heck would you not want an avocado dressing? By the way, that’s a rhetorical question.

Avocado Dressing:
Print this recipe!

  • 2 avocados, halved, peeled, and pitted
  • 1 T lime juice
  • 1/2 C water
  • 3/4 C buttermilk
  • 2 T chopped parsley
  • 1 T chopped basil

Again, easy. You just put al the ingredients in a blender. Every single one of them.

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And blend until smooth. Add more water or buttermilk if you want to thin it out more.

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But I would serve the dressing on the side and don’t put it on the salad until you’re ready to dig in.

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Like, I said, you could keep the dressing off all together and drizzle a little olive oil over the top or something. The ingredients all work so well together as is and the wheat berries add a delicious nuttiness that blends well with the barley. Obviously the creaminess of the goat cheese is perfection.

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But I think you should add the avocado dressing. Because it really does make it all the better.

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And adds some healthy fat, too. Whole grains, healthy fats, fruit, and spinach? This salad is everything.

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And I kind of think you should sample this for Whole Grain Sampling Day. But if you want to sample even more products, enter the giveaway! All you have to do is leave a comment on this post telling me either your favorite whole grain or a whole grain you’d love to try that you haven’t yet. I’ll give you until Whole Grain Sampling Day at 11:59 p.m. to enter!

Also, feel free to join in to the virtual whole grain toast at 12:00 p.m. on Whole Grain Sampling Day (April 3). Use the #SampleWholeGrains hashtag! And obviously follow @wearenotmartha and @oldways on Twitter while you’re at it! Cheers to whole grains 🙂

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Disclosure: Oldways and the Whole Grains Council sent me all of the whole grain samples and provided me with the opportunity to hold a giveaway. But as always, all opinions are my own! And I really do think whole grains are the most fabulous 🙂

63 Responses to "Wheat Berry and Barley Salad with Pears and Goat Cheese + a Whole Grain Sampling Day Giveaway"

  1. Vanieca says:

    I love quinoa!!

  2. Megan says:

    I have yet to try the freekeh, but I’m definitely intrigued. It looks like I need to try this salad too! (Don’t enter me as I already have a sampling pack.)

  3. Marcie says:

    Quinoa is my fave

  4. Melissa says:

    Yum!! Whole grain salads have become my favorite thing to make for lunch. Farro is my current favorite with quinoa running a close second.

  5. Regina says:

    Popcorn. I love to make it in a pot on the stove.

  6. Ali says:

    I love love love quinoa!

  7. I keep thinking I’ll go totally carb free, and then I laugh at myself. It all just tastes so good! I’d love to try those brown rice triscuits…

  8. sara says:

    Whoa, what an amazing group of whole grain products!!!! Yum. I’ve recently been using more farro, and love it…TJ’s has this great new line of par-boiled whole grains (I think there’s farro, barley, and one other one?) that are way quicker to cook and taste amazing.

  9. Erin W says:

    Quinoa is my favorite with barley a close second!

  10. Jelisse says:

    Farro!!!

  11. Anie says:

    I love barley – especially in soups!

  12. Emily says:

    I love amaranth. And quinoa, but it’s technically a seed!

  13. Shannon says:

    fave=farro 🙂 and umm, avocado dressing looks to take this over the edge!!

  14. Jen@Twenty-Something&Starving says:

    For the record, I could probably put that avocado dressing on anything and be totes happy about it. I’ve still never tried farro, and I hear good things, so Imma go with farro. All of those products look amaze, though!! (Also, if you’re a fan of HBO girls, I feel like I’m really channeling Shoshanna in my use of abbreves in this comment.)

  15. Rachel Friedman says:

    buckwheat! My Jewish grandmother taught me to make kasha with love and butter

  16. Liza says:

    I like farro a lot, but am looking to try millet!

  17. Steel Springs says:

    That looks like a great salad. I’d love to try freekeh. I’m also very interested in trying the Jovial pasta.

  18. Margot C says:

    I just love Quinoa

  19. Karen says:

    I’m on a wheatberry kick right now. Love them in my salads for lunch!

  20. Jeanine says:

    I would love to try Freekeh just for the name alone!

  21. lynn @ the actor's diet says:

    i love wheatberries but i’ve never actually cooked with them before. would love to try!

  22. Erica says:

    I love quinoa right now!

  23. A favorite whole grain? Like asking me to pick a favorite sister–I’d just feel terrible for not saying the other one! Loving me some wheatberries right now, but I’d take it all!
    PS. I feel healthier just LOOKING at the photos. Rock on.

  24. Elle says:

    I’m really curious about freekeh. I’ve been seeing it mentioned by a few different blogs.

  25. Bill says:

    I’d love to try farro

  26. Laura says:

    I would love to try the wheat berry chili and the whole grain wheat thins. oh and also the sweet potato chips! i can’t choose just one!

  27. Leah says:

    Wheatberries are my current favorite

  28. Anne Marie Denton says:

    I love quinoa…..but farro and wheatberries are next in line!

  29. Gia Grossman says:

    I low quinoa but definitely want to try freekeh now. Sort of because of the name and sort of because it looks so fun!

  30. Vicki S says:

    I currently love quinoa. However, I’d love to try Sorghum

  31. Marnely Rodriguez-Murray says:

    Oh what a fun giveaway – lately loving farro but red quinoa is my go to favorite! Have some millet and buckwheat in the pantry I’ve yet to try…

  32. Larissa Funfas says:

    Never tried wheat berry…

  33. Jen says:

    My favorite whole grain is steel cut oatmeal-yummm!

  34. joan says:

    I make a baked brown rice all the time. Love it.

  35. Alison says:

    Wheatberries have been on my must-try list – this looks like a great recipe to try!

  36. Odetta says:

    Hooray for whole grains!! I want to try wheat berries now! Chili sounds great!

  37. Jessica says:

    Love oatmeal, and all whole grain CRUNCHY cereals!

  38. Sharon says:

    Kamut is an interesting grain that I discovered a couple of years ago. It’s chewy like a wheatberry, but shaped like a larger grain of rice. Steel cut oats are my go-to favorite though!

  39. Lexi says:

    This salad sounds so good! Everyone knows that goat cheese makes everything better!

    Are lentils a grain? Or a bean? I’m not sure, but I love them! If they don’t count as a grain, then I am going with quinoa! I also discovered recently that I really like wheat berries!

  40. Susan says:

    That salad looks so delicious I know I would love it! I love farro and am in love with farro risotto these days.

  41. Kelly says:

    Have you tried millet? I am a huge fan both of the whole millet and millet flour. And avocado dressing = yum. I do something similar when I make chicken pasta salads and it is so good.

  42. Judith says:

    I love barley — especially in my Mom’s turkey soup. She is going to be making some soon with the leftover turkey from Passover! Yum! What an awesome giveaway!

  43. Shannon says:

    I haven’t tried wheat berries but that salad looks delicious!

  44. Kerstin says:

    Fun giveaway! I have a confession – I have wheat berries in my pantry and they’ve been there for like 2 years, eek. I really need to try them. I recently fell in love with buckwheat – it’s soo good.

  45. i’d love to try wheat berries!!

  46. lucy says:

    I’d love to give wheat berries a shot

  47. Erica says:

    What a pretty salad! I love wheat berries. They do amazing things to salad. The consistency is just…perfect! I guess they’re my fav 😉

  48. Bree {Skinny Mommy} says:

    This looks seriously amazing! And I have never tried to make Barley before–obviously I need to!

  49. Rebecca C. says:

    Are spelt berries whole grain? My sister makes a good snack/healthy lunch with that, green apple, cranberries, nuts and vanilla yogurt. Always wanted to tried quinoa.

  50. Gail H says:

    Love barley in homemade turkey soup. Haven’t tried wheat berries yet.

  51. What a wonderful array of grains! I definitely need to get some more whole grains into my life, and this is quite the inspiration. Thank you!

  52. Tammy says:

    Love barley! 🙂

  53. Elizabeth says:

    So hard to pick just one, maybe farro, definitely one of my faves.

  54. Marybeth says:

    Id love to try farro

  55. Katrina says:

    I love oats! Mmm.

  56. Mandy says:

    I’ve been on a major quinoa kick lately. Would love to try freekah just so I could say that I have.

  57. Jill says:

    I have been putting oatmeal into everything these days…meatloaf, pancakes, and cookies just to name a few!

  58. Julie says:

    I would like to try quinoa thanks

  59. Marie says:

    I’ve wanted to try wheatberries for the longest time!!! Overnight oats have quickly become a staple breakfast in my apartment.

  60. Ann says:

    Quinoa is one of my go-tos, but I like wheatberries a lot, as well. I had two mason jars in my pantry. One I knew was wheat berries. The other one looked a lot like wheat berries but I had absolutely no idea. I’m fairly certain one is hard red wheat berries and the other are soft white wheat berries, but I sort of feel like I need to do a super geeky experiment to test them. And then dig out a dry erase marker to label my jars going forward.

  61. Kim L says:

    Keeeeenwah for sure. I even loved it before I knew how to pronounce it!

  62. Cooking Pasta says:

    It looks amazing. You are presenting a wonderful combination of salad with pears and cheese. I would love to cook it at home.

  63. Margot C says:

    I love love Quinoa; though your salad looks amazing and i want to make that!

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