Scratch n Sniff

August 26, 2010

Lots of food fun to come!

Ever had an Asian pear? I LOVE them!! Like an apple-pear cross with a hint of vanilla.

IMG_1404 (640x427) (2)

Ever had wheatberries!? An old favorite returns!

IMG_1393 (640x427) (2)

I used to make a pot of wheatberries weekly to throw into my oats every morning. Guess I got busy. They are back!

IMG_1394 (640x427) (2)

A long time ago I got tired of overnight soaking and long simmers, so now I just do an abbreviated method. It seems to work just fine!

I cover them in water like you would pasta

IMG_1402 (640x427) (2)

And then bring to a boil, cover and simmer for 26 minutes. They’re pretty darn chewy, so you could give them another +10 minutes if you want them more tender, but who wants to wait that long :-)

Drain them 90% (because they will dry out if you don’t leave a litttle water) and chomp down.

IMG_1409 (640x427) (2)

IMG_1413 (640x427) (2)

Dinner tonight was created on the spot and was a HUGE winner!

IMG_1445 (640x427)

A block of extra firm tofu, cut into very large cubes (Matt’s idea that I loved!)

IMG_1416 (640x427) (2)

Patty pans from the market

IMG_1417 (640x427) (2)

Oooo I’m gonna make you sweat

IMG_1415 (640x427) (2)

Beer, of course. He loves it.

IMG_1420 (640x427) (2)

This was a Lambic beer – which has to do with bacteria and produces a very sour taste. I didn’t think I’d like it, but it reminded me of a cross between hard cider and chardonnay, so I liked it!

IMG_1423 (640x427) (2)

IMG_1424 (640x427) (2)

My taste

IMG_1425 (640x427) (2)

IMG_1426 (640x427) (2)

He also loves to cook!

IMG_1427 (640x427) (2)

We sauteed the pattypan in the usual (garlic gold, salt, pepper) and the tofu the same way in a different batch – just let them sit until they brown!

IMG_1433 (640x427) (2)

I was in charge of the wheatberries and the dressing.

Lemon Herb Dressing

Juice of half a lemon

IMG_1431 (640x427) (2)

This much mustard

IMG_1432 (640x427) (2)

This much Garlic Gold (or EVOO)

IMG_1434 (640x427) (2)

This much dried dill (or fresh if you’re lucky!)

IMG_1435 (640x427) (2)

Sea salt + black pepper

IMG_1437 (640x427) (2)

Handful of basil

IMG_1419 (640x427) (2)

Chopped

IMG_1438 (640x427) (2)

Layers of wheatberries, squash, tofu, then dressing, then a wee bit of goat cheese + parmesan and…

IMG_1455 (640x427)

Some Halvah by Rejuvenative Foods [of the same line of the Pecan Pie Butter I debuted a while back that was a bit pricey]. The Halvah is much less expensive – $13. It’s quite interesting.

IMG_1440 (640x427) (2)

It’s like a thick paste made from sesame seeds and honey. It was sweet and dry – I’m not sure it would melt very well on oats, but I crumbled a few pieces onto my dinner for a little burst of flavor and enjoyed it a lot [It’s also come with me to 3 different houses during my move! Don’t know why it’s taken me a while to try out!]

IMG_1442 (640x427) (2) 

IMG_1446 (640x427)

This dinner TOTALLY ROCKED!! The burst of lemony herbs with the chewy wheatberries, the soft crispy tofu, crunchy tender squash, tangy cheese, sweet Halvah…

IMG_1449 (640x427)

We began our evening outside..

IMG_1452 (640x427) (2)

IMG_1448 (640x427) (2)

But we were swarmed by mosquitoes

IMG_1451 (640x427) (2)

So we moved indoors.

IMG_1459 (640x427) (2)

Wrapped up all of my online work for the day and now we’re going to watch High Fidelity, which neither of us have ever seen!

See you turkeys tomorrow!

Previous post:

Next post:

{ 97 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Coco @ Opera Girl Cooks August 26, 2010 at 7:18 pm

It’s cubed tofu day! I just had some in my rice salad, pressed with a TofuXpress so it was nice and firm. So good!

Reply

2 Estela @ Weekly Bite August 26, 2010 at 7:19 pm

What a creative dinner! I love all those flavor combos!

Enjoy the movie :)

Reply

3 Jessica @ How Sweet It Is August 26, 2010 at 7:21 pm

I love asian pears too. Get so excited when I find them at the store!

Reply

4 Liza @ Health Nutting August 26, 2010 at 7:21 pm

That dinner looks sooo good! I have been wanting to try wheatberries– thank you for the tutorial, I think I’ll try it! :) And I love halvah! I never thought of using it it like that because I always see it in bar form like a candy? That looks so delish though!

Reply

5 Rachael August 26, 2010 at 7:22 pm

Yum! I LOVE the chew of wheatberries! I’m totally all about texture :)

Reply

6 Camille August 26, 2010 at 7:22 pm

I’ve never had an asian pear, but they are gorgeous!
I definitely need to hunt one down!

Reply

7 Simply Life August 26, 2010 at 7:23 pm

ooh, I’ve never had an asian pair – looks fun!

Reply

8 Christina August 26, 2010 at 7:23 pm

You’ve piqued my interest with the wheatberries, I’m going to give them a try! And I’ve never seen Halvah in a jar before, interesting, it’s usually sold in bar form.

Reply

9 Brittany (A Healthy Slice of Life) August 26, 2010 at 7:23 pm

Thank you for featuring wheatberries!!! I always get them from Earth Fare and LOVE them!… but didn’t know how to make ‘em. YAY, so excited to try ‘em :)

Reply

10 rebecca lustig August 26, 2010 at 7:25 pm

ok so many things id like to say:

1. love the color of your walls
2. man that cooks= keeper
3. at first i was like ‘ehh woudl i like that beer’? then you gave the description. now i want some! hehe
4. ive never had an asian pear!! yum
5. enjoy your night :)

Reply

11 Stacey@http://stacey-healthylife.blogspot.com/ August 26, 2010 at 7:26 pm

Thanks for the tips on the wheat berries. I tried to make them before and they were WAY too firm. I’m going to try them again this way. I love them on salads.

Reply

12 Erin August 26, 2010 at 7:28 pm

Looks like a great (almost) fall dinner. ;) I used to eat Asian pears daily in Korea, where they are sold on every streetcorner, but haven’t tried one since being back in the US.

Reply

13 j August 26, 2010 at 7:31 pm

Ohhh mosquitos! Here in NJ they are a constant spring/summer/fall problem! After the first frost?………gone. Love your new place and photos of cooking hubby:)

Reply

14 Callie August 26, 2010 at 7:32 pm

Asian pears are my favorite. :)
Sweet and crispy.

Reply

15 erica August 26, 2010 at 7:35 pm

i LOVE asian pears! so yummy :)
i’ve got to try this garlic gold!

Reply

16 Heather (Heather's Dish) August 26, 2010 at 7:35 pm

i’ve always seen asian pears but never tried one…now i think i better hit up the store for ‘em!

Reply

17 Heather August 26, 2010 at 7:37 pm

yuck I hate misquitos! they can really kill an outdoor meal!

Reply

18 Rachel (Two Healthy Plates) August 26, 2010 at 7:43 pm

There is a little cafe here that makes the best wheat berry salad – it has diced apples in it, it’s sweet and tangy – so good!

Reply

19 Mimi August 26, 2010 at 7:48 pm

Thanks so much for the wheatberries tutorial. I love the nutty, chewy texture, but I never actually knew how to make them!

Reply

20 Katheryn August 26, 2010 at 7:48 pm

I love asian pears! Super yum. I used to eat wheatberries all the time, but got out of the habit. Thanks for the reminder!

Reply

21 Michelle (The Runner's Plate) August 26, 2010 at 7:48 pm

Yum, I just bought some wheatberries, I should give this recipe a try!!

Reply

22 Krystina August 26, 2010 at 7:52 pm

LOVE wheatberries!

Reply

23 Heather August 26, 2010 at 7:59 pm

I have never had an asian pear but I love your description! Need to be on the lookout for them!

Reply

24 Chelsea August 26, 2010 at 8:06 pm

I love wheatberries! I also have forgotten about them..I have some in my pantry but I keep forgetting to simmer them. Most likely just out of laziness. Your dinners are always so creative! Looks great – fresh herbs really make all the difference.

Reply

25 Priyanka August 26, 2010 at 8:10 pm

Love your dinner. What a strange thing, halvah is also the name of an Indian dessert (halwa) made out of semolina and milk. Or carrot halwa, where the carrot is cooked with milk. Something like a dry pudding!

I am curious how this halvah tasted ?!

Reply

26 Kath August 26, 2010 at 9:22 pm

Literally like sesame and honey mashed up!

Reply

27 Marisa @ Loser for Life August 26, 2010 at 8:11 pm

Wheatberries are so good! I love them in salads.

Reply

28 Amanda (Two Boos Who Eat) August 26, 2010 at 8:14 pm

that is totally my favorite movie! Enjoy!

Reply

29 Mary @ Bites and Bliss August 26, 2010 at 8:15 pm

That looks SO good! I’ve never had wheat berries before but I saw them the other day at EarthFare. Thanks for the tutorial! :)

Reply

30 Marcia August 26, 2010 at 8:22 pm

Wow, that salad dressing looks totally rockin’. I just got a lemon from the CSA, so I’d have tried it, except I already made up a balsamic.

Reply

31 Michelle @ Give Me the Almond Butter August 26, 2010 at 8:24 pm

I love how you just put that together. I’ve never tried Wheatberries, but I have always wanted to.

Reply

32 Dynamics August 26, 2010 at 8:27 pm

Plant Rosemary by your porch and it will help with the mosquito’s. There are other plants also that work. Here are two ways to keep mosquito’s away that my cousin swears by and he lives in Minnesota the land of 10,000 lakes and lots of mosquito’s Put Listerine mouthwash in a spray bottle and spray the area you are sitting in. The second way to keep them away is to put a dryer sheet in your back pocket. The rosemary plant works for me and I have not had the need to try the other two ways. Hope this info helps.

Reply

33 Kate August 26, 2010 at 8:28 pm

Looks good! I love High Fidelity by the way. It’s in my Top Five ;-) Hope you enjoy it!

Reply

34 Kath August 26, 2010 at 9:23 pm

Haha – got the joke!

Reply

35 kate August 26, 2010 at 8:34 pm

Ive had some wheatberries hanging in my cupboard for a while now. I need to get down to business and make them already!

Reply

36 Chelsey August 26, 2010 at 8:38 pm

26 minutes huh? you are oh so precise!! :)

Reply

37 Wei-Wei August 26, 2010 at 8:39 pm

That sounds like such an amazing meal! I love Asian pears by the way, I’m not used to eating non-Asian pears! :)

Reply

38 holly @ couchpotatoathlete August 26, 2010 at 8:39 pm

I love eating dinner outside, but the mosquitos drive me nuts too.

What a beautiful meal! Enjoy the movie, I’ve never seen it either.

Reply

39 SB August 26, 2010 at 8:46 pm

Re: Halva. I have never seen it come in a jar. My parents are Israeli and Halva is a staple there and among many Middle Easterners. There are different flavors but they generally come in blocks or in flatter pans. The base is always sesame seeds and sugar but there is also chocolate, marbled chocolate, pistachio, vanilla,and chocolate covered of all of the above. My father always ate it spread on bread- usually with butter- YUM!!!. I’ve had it in desserts for passover which had it melted together with dark chocolate spread on softened layers of matzo (softened in sweet wine) to make a cake and-ohmygosh=so incredibly delicious. So give it a try and you may go to an Middle Eastern grocery for a more authentic version. We Americans are totally missing out on a really yummy treat.

Reply

40 emily August 26, 2010 at 8:50 pm

I 2nd this! I can’t exactly picture what jarred halvah would be like but I think you would LOVE it in block form Kath.

Reply

41 Joanne August 26, 2010 at 8:49 pm

Wonderful pics. Everything looks great.
I found a new tofu I just LOVE. It’s from Sunergia but I can’t find any place to
buy it. Such a bummer! I’m trying to get the co. to sell me a case because I’m pretty sure you can freeze tofu without a problem.
Anyway – if you ever come across Sunergia tofu. You just have to try it and let me know what you think.

Reply

42 Hannah August 26, 2010 at 8:50 pm

That halvah seems a bit odd to me – I’ve never seen it in a jar, only as solid blocks! Love it, though. High in calcium, so it’s healthy, right? :D

Reply

43 Amy August 26, 2010 at 9:03 pm

Yum, that looks so good!
Hope you don’t mind but I mentioned you in a post of mine…

Thanks for the inspiration!

Aimee

Reply

44 Nancy @ The Wife of a Dairyman August 26, 2010 at 9:05 pm

Sounds like a great evening:)

Reply

45 Sara August 26, 2010 at 9:09 pm

hey kath,
please, please, please buy yourself some decent havah that someone from the MIddle East would actually eat if you really want to try it —
try your local middle eastern or israeli/kosher market…

Reply

46 Sabina August 26, 2010 at 9:13 pm

Do you have a rice cooker? If yes, try cooking wheatberries in it the next time you make them. It’s super easy, energy efficient, and doesn’t require babysitting. If you don’t have a rice cooker, think of getting one. Mine is indispensable – cooks any grain, has a steamer on top for dual grain cooking and veg steaming. I haven’t tried OATS in it yet, but imagine, it would work just fine. :)

Reply

47 Kath August 26, 2010 at 9:25 pm

I don’t have one! I would like one, but I just can’t justify it if I can make something on the stove!?

Reply

48 Sabina August 27, 2010 at 6:21 am

We try and minimize our stove use; it’s not really an energy efficient model (we’re renters). I’m pretty abysmal at cooking rice on the stove. With the rice cooker, it (and other grains) turn out perfectly every time. I’ve seen small ones (4 cups?) for less than $30, so it’s not a huge investment (say, like a Vitamix… something I want but can’t justify, as my Kitchen Aid blender and food processor work just fine. ;) ).

Reply

49 Lele August 26, 2010 at 9:19 pm

That is the terrible thing about Virginia summers- you’ve got the nice weather, the beautiful trees, the chirping crickets, and you go out and it seems like it’ll be so lovely… and then the mosquitos invade.

Reply

50 Kath August 26, 2010 at 9:24 pm

Maybe it’s just traditional havlah inspired in the jar??

Reply

51 Mandy A August 26, 2010 at 9:31 pm

I have been such a wimp about trying wheatberries! Thank you for the help :) I have no excuse now!

Dinner looked gorgeous!!!

Mosquitoes have been horrible in Nashville this year, too! Can’t go outside for ten minutes without being eaten alive!

Reply

52 Meg August 26, 2010 at 9:33 pm

I la la looove Asian pears! Dinner looks amaazzinng, as usual!

Reply

53 Paige @Running Around Normal August 26, 2010 at 9:35 pm

SO many foods I’ve never heard of before! Never had an Asian pear – but it sounds delicious! And I’d swear you made up the word pattypan if I didn’t know better ;)
Looks like a fantastic dinner.

Reply

54 Melissa August 26, 2010 at 9:40 pm

How did you make the tofu? I keep screwing up tofu and ruining it, but I am determined to learn how to make this squishy food into something delicious. Please, please, please help :)

Reply

55 Kath August 26, 2010 at 9:41 pm

The Front Burner has an excellent tofu tutorial!

Reply

56 Eliz August 26, 2010 at 9:45 pm

Yum! I love pattypan squash! So cute and delicious!

Reply

57 Liz @ Tip Top Shape August 26, 2010 at 9:46 pm

That dinner really does look pretty good for being thrown together!

Reply

58 Cara August 26, 2010 at 9:51 pm

Asian Pears are just coming into season here in South Korea…Now is a great season for produce….we are still getting nectarines and white peaches and pears are starting to pop up. Yeah! Great smoothie days ahead!

Reply

59 Jenn (Jenn's Menu and Lifestyle Blog) August 26, 2010 at 10:04 pm

Your dinner looks so good! I like the big chunks of tofu, they look fun to eat. :D

Jenn

Reply

60 Amy August 26, 2010 at 10:14 pm

I liked that movie! Your dinner has peaked my interest, though I have to admit I’m not sure of how you thought up that combo!

Reply

61 Zeus' Mom August 26, 2010 at 10:22 pm

Yikes, that’s some overpriced Halvah. You can find it MUCH cheaper in cans at Middle Eastern stores or in the ethnic aisle of the grocery store. That stuff is so friggin yummy!

Reply

62 Jessica@tastyandtrim August 26, 2010 at 10:33 pm

A cross between an apple and a pear sounds like something I would adore! I must find some asian pears :)

Reply

63 Annie@stronghealthyfit August 26, 2010 at 10:37 pm

Mm looks so yummy! I need to try wheatberries soon.
Hope you liked HIgh Fidelity! I love that movie.

Reply

64 La. August 26, 2010 at 10:52 pm

Oh, thank you for the tutorial on wheat berries! I just bought some and I was unsure of the soaking method. I didn’t even have to do a search! Thank you Kath!

Reply

65 Rebekah @ Rebeltarian August 26, 2010 at 10:54 pm

I have been getting asian pears in my CSA share for weeks. I LOVE them! I freaked out when I saw how exspensive they were the other day at whole foods.

Reply

66 Paula August 26, 2010 at 11:39 pm

Ah yes! That diner looks perfect. I have some forgotten wheat berries that need to be used. Thanks for the quick cooking tip!

Reply

67 lynn (The Actors Diet) August 26, 2010 at 11:55 pm

when i was a kid i hated asian pears but now i love ‘em. ever had them with salt? that’s the way the asians eat ‘em!

haven’t seen high fidelity since it was in theaters. the bald guy who works in the record store with jack black is my neighbor.

Reply

68 Amy Pea August 27, 2010 at 8:25 am

The same actor from Jerry Maguire who plays the nanny? I like him, he’s good!

Reply

69 Kath August 27, 2010 at 8:33 am

No way!!

Reply

70 Madeline - Greens and Jeans August 26, 2010 at 11:57 pm

High Fidelity is maybe my favorite movie. It’s also the only movie that I loved as much as the book!

Reply

71 Marina August 27, 2010 at 1:15 am

Interesting dinner. I never found a way too make a patypan squash yummy, but this maybe a good recipe to try it again :)

Reply

72 Freya @ Brit Chick Runs August 27, 2010 at 1:40 am

I desperatly want some wheatberries, cos that whole meal looks SO delicious!!!

Reply

73 Anna August 27, 2010 at 3:19 am

That meal may be tasty, but it just seems off to me. Why not try real Halvah and give it a shot the way it s supposed to be eaten? And please, please tell me you don’t mean that you add pasta to cold water? It should be added to boiling water and left to boil without a lid until al dente. I am sure you know that, but with Americans I am always shocked at how you can mistreat good food…

Reply

74 Kori August 27, 2010 at 5:04 am

I’m pretty sure that Kath is quite skilled at cooking, especially pasta. She was only meaning that you add plenty of water to a pot for wheatberries as is done for cooking pasta. I really do not appreciate your comment that “but with Americans I am always shocked at how you can mistreat good food”. Don’t you think that’s a pretty bold statement? I don’t feel that I “mistreat” food AT ALL! You definitely sound just a bit biased and rude.

Reply

75 Kath August 27, 2010 at 8:35 am

My intention was not to try an authentic halvah – it was to use up a product in my kitchen. And wheatberries are NOT pasta and you don’t cook them the same. I agree, your comment was on the rude side..

Reply

76 Marcia August 27, 2010 at 10:36 am

Yep, that’s a problem with us Americans. We like everything.

I mean, really. I’ve got friends from everywhere. India, China, Korea, Malaysia, Denmark, Brazil, Mexico, Germany, etc. etc. etc. And on occasion, before eating, one will say “I don’t know if you Americans will like this”. And I always do. Love the “authentic” foods.

But I like the Americanized versions too, and I think that’s what often frustrates some foreigners. You gotta work with what you’ve got. “How can I get that flavor without shopping at 5 different specialty stores?” or “how can I make a good curry, when I have these three vegetables, but not those three?” Answer: don’t be picky.

Reply

77 Lauren August 27, 2010 at 5:28 am

Beautiful dinner! I love it when simply tossing ingredients together results in a delicious and satisfying meal. The crispy tofu looks fantastic.

I may need to follow your lead and bring wheatberries back into my life as well. As soon as pumpkin is back on store’s shelves, I’m going to drown myself in pumpkin & wheatberry oats!

By the way, I’ve become a daily reader of Laura’s blog and really like it – I live in Boston and it’s great to have another Beantown-based food blog!

Reply

78 Kath August 27, 2010 at 8:34 am

Oh fun!! It took me a while to realize who “Laura” was – I always call her Larbs!! :)

Reply

79 Laura (Starloz) August 27, 2010 at 5:38 am

Oh mmm geee, I love extra firm tofu in huge chunks.

Your dressing sounds delicious

Reply

80 Lauren at KeepItSweet August 27, 2010 at 6:16 am

i have never seen halvah that way!! i am going to have to make wheatberries one of these days…

Reply

81 Sarena (The Non-Dairy Queen) August 27, 2010 at 6:28 am

I love cooking with my husband! Asian pears are so good. I love crisp sweet fruit so that totally hits the spot. I hope your hand is doing better! Dinner looks delicious!

Reply

82 Ok Chick August 27, 2010 at 7:39 am

I feel in love with Asian pears when I was in Japan. I’ve found that the ones in OKC aren’t as great as the ones in Japan, but you know that’s to be expected. :)

Reply

83 Erin August 27, 2010 at 7:47 am

Where do you get your wheatberries? I tasted some in a friend’s salad yesterday and was pleasantly surprised by the nice texture, and would like to try them.

I also have resisted a rice cooker, as we live in a teensy apt. and I don’t have much room for another appliance, but it sounds tempting especially if it’s more fool proof. Rice is a testy thing – easy to overcook/ruin.

Reply

84 Kath August 27, 2010 at 8:35 am

Whole Foods bulk bin

Reply

85 Sarah (Running to Slow Things Down) August 27, 2010 at 7:56 am

Mmm…I’m always looking for new ways to use up tofu. I usually grill mine, but this recipe sounds fabulous. Definitely giving it a try. :D

Reply

86 Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin August 27, 2010 at 8:00 am

This dinner looks great! Dill and lemon always pair so well together!

I hope you enjoyed High Fidelity. I LOVE that movie and book!

Reply

87 Chelsea (Chelsea's Chew and Run Fun) August 27, 2010 at 8:01 am

High Fidelity is easily one of my favorite movies and soundtracks. Enjoy!

That dinner looks rad, such a creative recipe improvisation!

Reply

88 Ian August 27, 2010 at 8:17 am

<3 wheat berries; I use the same quicker method you do. The chewiness is awesome!

Reply

89 Sarah K. @ The Pajama Chef August 27, 2010 at 8:26 am

i love asian pears! yum!

Reply

90 Jess @ Jessica is Getting Fit August 27, 2010 at 8:29 am

I’ve never had an asian pear – I’ll have to look for them at the grocery store as they sound yummy.

How did you like High Fidelity? It’s one of my favorite movies and even more loved novels! Nick Hornsby is a great British writer!

Reply

91 Kath August 27, 2010 at 8:35 am

I liked it!!

Reply

92 Michelle @ Turning Over a New Leaf August 27, 2010 at 8:45 am

I’ve never had an asian pear, but your description makes me want one!

I’ve never had whole wheatberries either. I did grow up around several families who milled their own wheatberries and made their own bread out of it. My local grass-fed/organic meat rancher also sells wheatberries, but I haven’t purchased any from them (yet).

Reply

93 Kathryn August 27, 2010 at 8:54 am

Mmmm, that salad looks so yummy!

Reply

94 Beth @ DiningAndDishing August 27, 2010 at 9:45 am

I really like lambic! I was never much of a beer fan until I tried lambic and that’s what got me started on trying some good beers and learning that I did in fact like some of them :). I think you’re right – it’s a bit like wine, which was the initial appeal!

Reply

95 Monica August 27, 2010 at 10:36 am

Great movie! With a great soundtrack! Hope you both liked it. :)

Reply

96 Ally August 27, 2010 at 11:20 am

I loved the book, so much so that I couldn’t get through more than 15 minutes of the movie. I was so annoyed at how they changed the location and character. I think I should have watched the movie first. Have you read the book?

Reply

97 neen@ Broad Bean to Runner Bean August 27, 2010 at 3:51 pm

what a lovely creative dinner!

Reply

Leave a Comment

Current ye@r *

Previous post:

Next post: