Posts tagged ‘wheatberries’

May 10, 2011

Wheatberry Chili

Have you ever had a wheatberry? Aren’t they just darling?

I first met these little guys at the Whole Foods cold bar. Cooked and cooled wheatberries were just hanging out among all of the other salad add-ins as if it was totally normal. No big deal, just a wheatberry pretending to be a regular salad ingredient like peppers and carrots and cucs.

Yeah, right. Wheatberries are a way bigger deal than chopped veggies.

If you want to give them a whirl, look for hard red winter wheat in the bulk bins of your local natural food store, like Whole Foods. These are an absolute cinch to make (cinch meaning you can do other things while they simmer away!) and are perfectly delicious all on their own but way better when you dress them up a bit.


Typical procedure for wheatberries…

  • Place whatever amount of wheatberries you need in a pot and cover with water.
  • Bring to a boil and then simmer for 30 minutes.
  • Drain about 90% of the water out.
  • These will keep in your refrigerator in a closed container for up to 10 days!

I kept stirring last week’s batch into my oatmeal but when I saw Kath’s Sunday dinner last week, I knew I had to try it! I didn’t have the fancy pants packaged kit and spices like she did but I’m pretty sure I know how to make a decent chili without the help!

Wheatberry Chili

serves 2- 4, depending on portion size


  • 1 cup uncooked wheatberries
  • 1 28 oz. can of diced tomatoes, including juice
  • 1 can organic kidney beans, rinsed well (Eden’s Organics are great)
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, diced
  • 2 large carrots, sliced into half-moons
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 2 teaspoons dried basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon peperoncino (red pepper flakes)
  • 1.5 tablespoons tomato paste (~ half can)
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • Follow the typical procedure for the wheatberries, reserving slightly more of the water to add to the chili.
  • Meanwhile, prep your other ingredients. Then add the diced tomatoes, beans, onion, red bell pepper, and carrots to a large pot and allow to cook over medium high heat for about 10 minutes.
  • Add in the spices and tomato paste, stirring well, and cook until the wheatberries are done.
  • Add in the cooked wheatberries. 
  • Here’s where I made my mistake. I forgot to allow the veggies ample time to soften (I was ravenous)…so instead of digging in immediately after adding the wheatberries, cook for another 20 minutes or until the carrots are easily pierced by a fork.

Top with whatever you like! Avocado, cheese, corn bread, corn chips…salsa…go nuts.

Despite the slightly underdone texture of the carrots, this was such a filling, feel-good meal. My roommate also had her share and she couldn’t believe that even after riding 50 miles that day, she was stuffed!

Just a little microwaved broccoli hanging out in the background.

I’ll admit…it was also underdone.

Just not my night for vegetables, I guess 😉