Hello, my friends! I’m partnering with the Grain Foods Foundation today to bring you this awesome Leftover Turkey and Wheat Berry Salad with Cranberry Vinaigrette. Let’s put those Thanksgiving leftovers to good use, shall we?
If you’re like most people in the U.S. today, you’re working your way through some serious leftover turkey. While I do love a good leftover turkey and cranberry sandwich, this recipe is a nice way to mix it up. 🙂
Besides the leftover turkey and homemade cranberry sauce (which is utilized in the form of an awesome vinaigrette), the other star of this recipe is the wheat berries.
Are you guys wheat berry fans, too? Here is what they look like:
Wheat berries are among my favorite whole grains because of their great texture – nice and chewy! They make a wonderful salad topper or grain-based dish, as done here.
Wheat berries are whole, unprocessed wheat kernels in their most natural form. They are extremely nutritious because they contain the germ and bran, which are the components of grains that are often (sadly) removed in processing. That’s why “whole” grains are always the best choice vs. a refined option – they contain a much higher level of nutrients and fiber since their hearty outer layer is still there!
Wheat berries aren’t super fast to cook – they need to simmer for about 45 to 50 minutes – so anytime I make them I make a LOT. Yay for leftover grains to throw on salads later on in the week!
As for this recipe, the wheat berries are paired with tart granny smith apples, crunchy toasted pecans, and leftover turkey to make a delicious grain-based salad.
The cranberry vinaigrette is a variation on my standard favorite balsamic vinaigrette – made using my leftover homemade cranberry sauce in place of lemon juice! So good.
This salad is great alone or you can toss it atop some greens (arugula would be tasty!)for extra veggie power. To add even more awesomeness, consider topping the salad with some cheese – crumbled blue, feta, or goat cheese go well here.
Without further ado – here’s the recipe. Hope you love it, too!
- 2 cups dry wheat berries
- 2 cups cubed leftover turkey
- 1 large granny smith apple, diced
- 1/2 cup chopped, toasted pecans
- 1/2 cup chopped parsley
- 3 tablespoons leftover cranberry sauce
- 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Optional: crumbled blue/feta/goat cheese
- Place the wheat berries in a large pot, cover generously with water. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for 45-50 minutes, until tender. Strain wheat berries and set aside.
- Chop turkey, apple, pecans, and parsley and add to wheat berries.
- Make the cranberry vinaigrette: whisk the cranberry sauce, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, and dijon mustard together in a small bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Add dressing to the grain salad and toss evenly to coat. Top with cheese (blue cheese, feta, or goat cheese work well here) if desired.
- Serve as is or atop greens!
Thank you again to the Grain Foods Foundation for sponsoring this tasty post! Check out their Grains for Your Brain site for some great recipes and nutrition information about a variety of whole grains. They also have an “ask an expert” section where doctors and dietitians answer common questions about whole grains, which I love, especially since there is so much misinformation out there nowadays about nutrition. Great resource!