Spring meal

Tuesday was simply delightful!  The weather was so perfect–a bright and sunny 78 degrees!

Fortunately the weather went perfectly with the meal I had planned for the SCL dinner.  We had a wheat berry and dried cherry salad, lentil salad, crustless spinach and feta pies, and berry trifle for dessert.  It seemed to be quite a hit and we ran out of some of the food for the first time (wheat berries and trifle went fast!).

Wheat Berry & Dried Cherry Salad

Serves 12-15

Adapted from Ellie Krieger

  • 3 cups hard wheat berries
  • 1  1/2 cups walnuts, chopped
  • 4 stalks celery, finely chopped
  • 1 cup tart dried cherries, chopped
  • 2 scallions, chopped
  • 1/2 cup flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • 6 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1  1/2 lemons, juiced
  • 1 orange, zested and juiced
  • salt and pepper to taste

In a large pot combine the wheat berries and enough water to come 2 inches over the wheat berries.  Bring to a boil and cook uncovered for 1 hour or until tender.  Drain and let cool.

Toast the walnuts in a dry skillet over medium-high heat until fragrant, about 2 -3 minutes.

In a large bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, orange zest and juice.  Season with salt and pepper.  Add the remaining ingredients and mix well.  Adjust seasoning as needed.

This lentil salad is one of my go to recipes for a light summer meal.  I use the term “recipe” loosely, I alter the ingredients based on what I have on hand, and the dressing is usually the same combination of ingredients thrown together until it tastes good.  I use the precooked lentils from Trader Joe’s.  (The few times I’ve tried to make lentils the results have been less than spectacular, any tips?)

Lentil Salad

Serves 25

  • 2 packages precooked lentils
  • 1 large can (29oz) small white beans
  • 8 large carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 cucumber, cut in fourths and sliced
  • 1 bag frozen corn, run warm water over until thawed
  • 4 bell peppers, chopped

Dressing estimates

  • juice of two lemons (about 1/4 cup)
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp basil (I use the squeeze tubes of herbs)
  • 1 Tbsp parsley
  • 1/2 Tbsp cilantro
  • 1 tsp dried dill
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp sugar

Combine beans and vegetables in a large bowl.  In a large measuring cup, whisk all the dressing ingredients together until well mixed.  Pour dressing over salad and mix well.


Crustless Spinach and Feta Pie

Serves 18 (3 pies)

Adapted from SkinnyTaste

  • 32 oz frozen spinach, thawed & liquid squeezed out
  • 1 1/2 cup scallions, chopped
  • 3 Tbsp dried dill
  • 6 Tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1  1/2 cups feta (7.5 oz)
  • 6 Tbsp parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1  1/2 cups white whole wheat flour
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 2 cups fat free milk
  • 3 tsp olive oil
  • 6 large eggs, beaten
  • 1 tsp Kosher salt
  • fresh ground pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400°F.  Lightly spray pie dishes with cooking spray and set aside.

Mix spinach, scallions, dill, parsley, and cheeses.  Spread mixture into the bottom of the pie pans.

In a medium bowl, whisk flour and baking powder  together and then add the remaining ingredients.  Mix well and pour into the pie dishes.

Bake 28-33 minutes or until a knife comes out clean from the center.  Let stand at least 5 minutes before serving.

LOVED this recipe!  Can’t wait to make it again!


Mixed Berry Trifle

Serves 15

  • 2 smaller Sara Lee pound cakes, thawed and chopped into 1″ pieces
  • 6 pack of vanilla pudding
  • 4 Tbsp strawberry jam
  • 1 large bag frozen mixed berries, if making ahead of time can assemble with berries still frozen, don’t use frozen strawberries-they’re too big
  • 1 large container Cool Whip, thawed

In a trifle dish, assemble layers in order.  Use enough pound cake to make a solid layer of  pound cake pieces, then use 1  1/2 pudding cups, then spread 1 Tbsp of jam around, cover with berries, then cover with Cool Whip.  Repeat until your dish is full.


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