Warm Wheatberry, Brussels Sprout Salad with Feta and Crispy Tofu ~ ElephantEats.com

Well, it’s been another whirlwind week. We put an offer on a house on Tuesday, got it accepted (!!!), and did an inspection on Saturday (because it’s an 85 year old house that they’re selling “as-is”). We were mainly concerned about finding a buried oil tank or major structural issues.

Thankfully, there was no below-ground oil tank, and the house was in pretty darn good shape for such an old geezer. There were some issues we’ll have to fix but overall it’s a well-built house.

Our attorney told ust that today should be the end of attorney review, so before the end of the day, we should be under contract!

Warm Wheatberry, Brussels Sprout Salad with Feta and Crispy Tofu ~ ElephantEats.com

It’s a funny story, this house. Basically my realtor was visiting her daughter at college last weekend, so she told me to just go to all the open houses that I wanted to. I had a list in hand and since I only had from 1pm-4pm, I had to quickly go through each of the 8 or so houses. Some I was more interested in than others, but I figured I should at least check out the ones I wasn’t sure of, since I’m totally fine with doing some renovations (then I could really customize the home the way I want it). This house was one of those.

I went in and there were already 2 or 3 families walking through it. Since a 96 year old woman currently lives there (who I met and she seriously looks maybe 75!), it’s decorated as you’d think it would be. I’m pretty sure it hasn’t been updated since the 50s and the first floor is covered in carpet…even in the dining room.

Anyway, to say I got a bad impression was an understatement. I’m really good at looking past the decorating in a house and just looking at the “bones,” but I was in a rush and I just didn’t look very hard. I took one look at the first floor, briefly glanced at the second, and didn’t even think to go in the basement or attic.

Warm Wheatberry, Brussels Sprout Salad with Feta and Crispy Tofu ~ ElephantEats.com

It wasn’t until I finished all my house hunting and came home to assess everything, that I really started to think about this house that I had pretty much dismissed. When I found out there were already several interested parties in it, I had to really think about what I wanted quickly, and realized that this house really had everything I was looking for- great neighborhood, walk to train, not too big or too small, needs updating so I could customize to my liking, character. Basically, it was kind of perfect. And so we decided to put an offer in!

I was so excited to go back to the house on Saturday for the inspection since I didn’t really remember it too well (I had the realtor go back and check it out before we put our offer in). Honestly, it was sooo much better than I remembered. It has gorgeous wood moldings, a beautiful newel post and staircase, hardwood floors, a cute front porch, and an awesome walk-up attic that can totally be finished down the line. So basically, I’m psyched!

Warm Wheatberry, Brussels Sprout Salad with Feta and Crispy Tofu ~ ElephantEats.com

Anyway, with all this mental exertion and stress I’ve had this week, I’ve been craving some hearty, healthy REAL food. I had bought wheatberries the other day at Whole Foods because I love them but don’t think I’ve ever bought them. I figured I’d just come up with some random salad based on what inspired me. I decided on brussels sprouts for the veggie and the rest just came together from there.

It was really delicious and totally just what I needed to make it through the week!

Warm Wheatberry, Brussels Sprout Salad with Feta and Crispy Tofu ~ ElephantEats.com

Warm Wheatberry Brussels Sprout Salad with Feta cheese and Crispy Tofu

Recipe by me

Print this recipe!

Makes 4-5 large servings

1 1/3 cup hard wheatberries, uncooked
12 oz. extra firm tofu, drained well, squeezed with paper towels, and cut into bite-sized pieces
10 oz. brussels sprouts, bottoms cut off and thinly sliced
1-2 Tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, thinly sliced
2 Tbsp white sugar
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 Tbsp sugar
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives, drained and halved
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese (plus more for garnish)
salt and pepper to taste.

Preheat oven to 425.

Bring 4 1/2 cups well-salted water to a boil. Add wheatberries and cook uncovered on a low simmer for 45 min or until soft but chewy.

While wheatberries are cooking, spray a foil-lined baking sheet with cooking spray. Add tofu and spray again or toss with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and cook flipping the pieces halfway, about 30-40 minutes or until golden brown and crispy.

Heat olive oil over med-hi heat in a medium saute pan. Add onion, and cook til soft. Add the sugar and cook, stirring for 1 minute.

Add garlic and cook 2 minutes. Do not let garlic burn. Add vinegar and brussels and cook, stirring occassionally, until brussels are soft but not mushy.

Remove from heat and add the olives. Drain wheatberries and toss with brussels mixture and feta. Salt and pepper to taste, toss in tofu and serve warm.

 

30 Comments

  1. look at me!! I AM THE FIRST ONE TO COMMENT!! congratulations on the house purchase, Amy: that’s SUCH A weight off, i’m sure. I can’t wait to see photos of it, because i LOVE old geezer houses, and will be looking for a similar structure for us soon enough. For now, can i say how obsessed i am with this salad: i fell in love with wheatberries during my FL spring break this year, and haven’t been able to stop thinking about them. I haven’t had time to make a recipe out of them, but this one seems like something which could easily come out of my dreams. Making it. like extremely soon, i bet.

    • Hehehe, THANK YOU , SHANNON!!! I knew you, of all people, would share my excitement! I can’t wait to share pics, I’ll have to drive by and be stealthy…I don’t want the little old lady inside getting freaked out by a woman in her yard with a creepy mile-wide smile and a camera. We don’t close for three months but we’re going to try I get an architect in before that so he can start on his plans. I’m so excited!!!! Also, I’m now officially obsessed with Houzz.com…have you seen that site?

  2. Amy, to you and your husband congratulations on “your” new house. Hope all went well and it is now 100 % yours. Having done a certain number of houses yours sounds just great and I am sure, once you are in there you willl discover many features, you now have missed. Untouched for a long time? Great, just great! Peope on the whole do not always have the ability to look through the first picture, they can not visualise what potentials there are. Oh how I envy you – good luck, have fun and why not keep us involved with your frequent postings and pictures, pictures, pictures!!! Carina

    • Hi, Carina! So happy you stopped by!! Oh wow have you lived in all the houses you’ve renovated or are you a designer/architect?? My mom is an interior designer and I’ve seen her transform ugly to beautiful so I guess she’s given me the ability to envisions what something CAN be. I’ll be using her expertise and great taste for sure on this project :) I will definitely be sharing pics as we begin this journey…hopefully this won’t turn into a DIY instead of food blog ;)

      • Amy, no architect but had my own interior design business for some years in UK. You are very lucky that you have Mom to help when you need to – she must be proud of you. Mix your “House blog” with an recipe or two, why not????

        • Ah cool. I’d love to see your work! I love looking at houses :) If I end up posting too much house stuff I might have to start a new blog :)

  3. Congrats on finding a house! That’s so exciting! Your story kind of reminded me of our house hunt. When we first walked into our house, it was dark and the power had been shut off, so I was taking pictures with the flash so we could see it better. :P We ended up going back the next day while we still had some sun and confirming that while it needed A LOT of work, it had good bones that we could definitely work with. :)

    • Thank you, Alyssa!!! We’re super excited. I’d love to see before and after pics of your house! The kitchen, I know, turned out awesome :)

      • I posted pics of the living room FOREVER ago but something happened to the link codes. I’m gonna see if I can fix it.
        We starting the garage this weekend… which means I have to get the before pictures taken tonight! Aah! Thanks for kind of reminding me. :)

  4. Congratulations in finding your dream house. :) That’s very exciting. I agree, there’s certain level of stress involved in buying a house so a nice hearty salad like this would definitely help. :) Hope you have a smooth process with everything.

  5. juanitascocina

    Congrats dahling!!!!!! Wheeee! New house!

    Also…I need this for dinner…soooo, what do you think we could do about that?

    • Thank you, Jen!!! We’re so so excited! I finally kinda feel like a grownup now :)

      Um, another foodie swap is in order. What do I get? hehe.

  6. Amy – CONGRATULATIONS!! I’m so glad to hear this. I’m sure it is going to be sensational when you are all done with any renovations you want to do and you’re settled in. I have a feeling you have very good taste. : ) I’ll bump into you at a local Starbucks, maybe?! How crazy is that…lol!

    I don’t think I’ve had wheatberries before but I am addicted to chewy texture things…like I actually crave steel cut oatmeal almost everyday, no joke! Be well and enjoy this exciting time!

    • Thanks Monica!!! I’m SURE I’ll bump into you. But if not then we’ll have to schedule a bake date :)

      Oh my gosh if you like chewy then you will totally love wheatberries. The texture of them is awesome!

      • Amy, I wanted to tell you I just cooked and tasted my first batch of wheatberries! Your post totally hooked me and then, like it was meant to be, the kitchn did a “how to cook wheatberries” post the next day! So I got some and used your salad as inspiration. I pretty much cleaned out my fridge. I cooked the berries and tossed them with some sauteed peppers, small pieces of green beans and shitaki mushrooms that I cooked with garlic. I threw in some olive oil and vinegar and now I have a few meals tucked away. Thank you so much – it is delicious. Just the texture I love!! : )

        I don’t think you soak your wheatberries? I did it since the instructions said so but I don’t think it saves much time and doesn’t seem all that necessary… Thanks again!

        • yay, I knew you’d love wheatberries, Monica!!! SO glad you made them…sounds like a delicious combo. Since you mentioned how you love steel cut oats, I’m wondering how wheatberries would be in the morning with oatmeal toppings…mmmmm.

          I didn’t soak my wheatberries and they came out fine, so that’s definitely a step you can skip!

  7. I don’t think I’ve ever bought wheatberries either but I do like them – and I love me some crispy tofu. Congrats on the new house!

    • Thanks, Bianca! If you haven’t tried wheatberries before you should def give them a try. Very easy to cook and super versatile!

  8. Congrats!!! That is so exciting, How funny that after looking at all those houses you ended up deciding on one so fast! I bet it will look amazing when you are done with it. I love houses with character and this one sounds so cool. I can’t wait to see pictures of it.

    • Thank you, Nicole! Well, we actually put offers on two other houses but got outbid. In this market, there’s no time to mull over a decision…kinda sucks. But I’m very happy with our purchase :) I promise to share pics soon!

  9. OMG I’M SO HAPPY FOR YOU!!! CONGRATULATIONS ON YOUR NEW HOUSE!! I can’t wait to see it!!

    And the salad, don’t get me started! SO healthy and delicious-looking, I’ve been on a huge salad craze lately and I’m sure this one would be a great mixup from the boring ones i’ve been eating!

    • hehehe, thank you, Natalie!!! I can’t wait to share it with you guys :) oooh, def add this to your salad craze…there’s no lettuce so it’s a good one if you’ve been eating a lot of those kinds of salads.

  10. I’m not a fan of salads usually but this looks exceptionally delicious!

  11. Aww that’s SO CRAZY EXCITING!! I’m seriously thrilled for you.

    And for this salad. it really has all my favorite salad components in it!

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  13. Marvellous!! Old houses are the best – they’re used to being loved, and get really excited about updates!

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  15. Congratulations on the house. Love brussel sprouts and they are in season now for us so this is definitely on my to do list + experimenting with wheatberries will be fun for me.

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