Recipe: Tropical Wheat Berry Salad

Story and recipe by Jim McGrody.

Cary, N.C. – I am on vacation this week, basking in the intense heat that has hit Cary.

Summer in the Pit

My vacation has brought out the chef in me, something that needs to come out every now and again. I have become a pit master this week, cooking pork loins, beef brisket, sausages and scores of vegetables we bought in downtown Apex.

Gotta Serve Somebody

So I spent the week cooking outdoors enjoying ice cold “adult” beverages and listening to all my old Grateful Dead albums. I really think I need to go back to work.

Wheat Berries

I was thinking about what to write for CaryCitizen, and I began thinking about places that have great food right now –  inviting, freshly made and well-presented food. I immediately thought of Rex Hospital… What??? Yes, I said Rex Hospital. I may be partial, but we really do have great food.

As I was finishing off the brisket I was making I was thinking what would be a good sidedish to go with this? What would be healthy, delicious and amazingly different? Tropical wheat berry salad!

If you’ve never had wheat berries, you are missing out. They are whole grain, a great source of fiber, have a great mouth feel and are absolutely delicious.

Tropical Wheat Berry Salad

Ingredients (Serves 6)

t = teaspoon, T= Tablespoon

1 cup dried wheat berries (available at Whole Foods) cooked per directions on package. Drain and cool thoroughly) or use a 2-1 ratio stock or water to wheat berry.
2  T diced onions
2 T diced red bell pepper
3 T chopped cilantro
2 t fresh jalapeno diced finely
3 T crushed pineapple
¼ cup  diced fresh pineapple
2 T olive oil
2 t salt
½ t black pepper
¼  cup dried cranberries
3 T golden raisins

Serve as a side to your favorite dish or just eat by itself.

Written by Chef Jim McGrody – Director of Culinary and Nutrition Services at Rex Healthcare and Author of  What We Feed Our Patients. Available at or at