My job takes me to different places, at different times, all throughout the week.  Because of this, I like to have a few choices hanging out in the refrigerator for breakfast, lunch, and dinner so I can go straight to the gym after work and not worry about cooking.  I do the bulk of my cooking on Sunday and Monday and then supplement it with baking interludes during the week.   Typically, I make all vegetarian/vegan meals and then cook meat/poultry/fish separately, so my husband and I can add it if we want to our entrees.  Stews/soups/chilis/dals and hearty salads make up the bulk of my meals with an ever changing parade of vegetables, legumes, and whole grains going into each meal.  Being on a budget also plays into what I cook.  During the winter months, kale (in the cabbage family) is an inexpensive mainstay available for about a dollar a pound.  Besides being ultra cheap, it is packed with good things for you, high in Vitamins C, B, and rich in antioxidants.

This recipe came together because of some lovely little white potatoes my sister in law gave to me, some leftover wheatberries, and a glut of kale.  I love that I can warm it a little or eat it straight from the refrigerator.  It is also great at room temperature.  Garlicky turkey meatballs complemented the salad.  To make this in the most time effective manner, start cooking the wheat berries first, massage the kale,  then put the carrots and potatoes in to roast,  followed by the meatballs, and put the salad together as everything gets done.  You will need a very large bowl to mix this in.

Roasted Carrot and Potato Wheatberry salad with Raw Wilted Kale and Garlicky Meatballs

Preheat the oven to 450F and get out a sided cookie sheet (jelly roll pan).  I don’t bother lining the sheet when roasting the vegetables but I do use a silicone baking mat when roasting the meatballs.  You could also use foil or parchment.

Wheatberries

1-1/2 c.  soft winter wheatberries
4 c . water
1/2 tsp. salt

Bring the water, wheatberries, and salt to a boil.  Knock back the heat to low, cover, and simmer to about an hour, until al dente.  They will be chewy without being mushy.

Raw Wilted Kale

2 lbs. kale, chopped into bite size pieces; chop the leftover stalk (except for very bottom) very fine
handful of cilantro, chopped
1/4 c. freshly squeezed orange juice
1/4 c. freshly squeezed lemon juice
4 garlic cloves, grated
3/4 tsp. salt
some grindings of black pepper
1/2 c. queso fresco, crumbled (or goat/feta cheese)

Put the kale and cilantro in a very large bowl.  Whisk the rest of the ingredients together (except for the cheese) and pour over the kale.  Work it into the kale with your hands.  You will see it start to break down while mixing.  Reserve.

Roasted Carrots and Potatoes

1 lb. carrots, peeled and sliced into chunky coins
1 lb baby potatoes or russet/red/Idaho potato, scrubbed (don’t bother peeling), and cut into 1″ cubes
1 tblsp. olive oil/reserved nitrate free bacon fat/schmaltz (chicken fat)/duck fat
1 tsp. salt
some grindings of black pepper

Toss all ingredients in a large mixing bowl and spread evenly on jelly roll pan.  Roast until caramelized, about 30 minutes,  scraping and turning once or twice while cooking.  Let cool a bit and then add to the bowl the kale is in and stir.  Decrease the oven temperature to 350F.

Turkey Meatballs

1 lb. ground turkey
1 small onion, chopped
1 egg
1 whole wheat matzoh piece, crumbled
3 cloves garlic
3/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cumin
few grindings of black pepper
zest of 1/2 lemon

Put the ground turkey in a mixing bowl.  Combine the rest of the ingredients in a blender or food processor and whiz them until they make a paste.  Mix that into the turkey.  You will have a pretty wet meatball, that’s OK.  Drop by scant tablespoons onto silicone/foil/parchment lined jelly roll pan (can be same one you roasted vegetables in).   Bake for 7 minutes and then turn.  Bake for another 7 minutes.  Let cool a bit on paper towels to drain some fat.  Toss with the rest of the salad.  Add the cheese last.

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