One way to improvise with whole grains is to think of the comfort of sandwiches. A sandwich is a predictable thing, two pieces of bread holding together the satisfying main dish – but since that so-called main dish is often meat and for a variety of reasons people are avoiding meat, let’s reconsider the approach.
I’ve had to do this in my own family because my daughter is avoiding meat and our meals are vegetable forward. To rebuild our dinners I am making salads that have whole grains and lots of vegetables, as well as some thing to stand in for what we expect to be the star of a dish, the protein. In this salad, Spelt is the bread of the sandwich and jackfruit is the pulled pork.
By reconfiguring standards, I have a new pattern from which to creatively satisfy my family and rework the puzzle of feeding the people I love. Curtido is a Salvadoran slaw often added to sandwiches and it is a wonderful combo with the sweetness of Spelt.
Curtido Spelt Salad
1 cup of Maine Grains Spelt berries, cooked*
1 cup of green cabbage, finely sliced
1 cup of purple cabbage, finely sliced
½ cup of carrots, shredded
½ cup of onions, finely sliced
1 jalapeño, sliced and seeded if desired
2-3 oregano leaves from two small branches or 1 tsp dried
1 cup of jackfruit in brine, drained or used cooked pulled pork.
¼ cup of apple cider vinegar
Pinch of cumin
Salt and pepper to taste
- *Simmer Spelt Berries for 1 hour in a sauce pan with two parts water on the stove top – or until the grains are tender and chewy but not mushy
- *Soak Spelt Berries overnight, drain
- Add grains to a slow cooker, cover with water and cook for 3 hours on high. Rinse in cold water
- To assemble salad: mix all ingredients in a large bowl – including rinsed and drained berries – and add 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar, salt and pepper to taste
- Let marinate a few hours to a whole day – serve cold or at room temp
Amy Halloran contributed to this recipe.