Earlier this year I made a decision to eat less meat — a lot less meat. I'm not a vegetarian by any stretch, nor do I envision becoming one any time soon, but I've moved from being a cook who planned nearly every meal around a cut of meat to someone who cooks meat perhaps once a week, sometimes less. My reasons for the shift are twofold: I have the same concerns about factory farming that a lot of other people have (both from an ethical standpoint and an environmental one), and I think eating less meat is healthier.
The change in diet has also encouraged me to seek out lots of different foods, from vegetables to which I'd previously paid only scant attention to grains I've never tried before. Fortunately, my local supermarket is continuously increasing its "health food" offerings (the use of that term is a subject for another time) so that my options are more varied than they were even a year ago.
A grain I'm happy to have met recently is the wheat berry. The wheat berry is the entire wheat kernel, minus the hull (milled wheat berries = flour!), and when cooked they have an appealingly chewy texture and a delightful nutty flavor that takes well to both sweet and savory preparations. They're an excellent source of fiber and even contain protein, something good to think about when you're trimming the meat from your diet.
While wheat berries take an hour or so to cook, they make up for that fact by keeping well in the fridge so you can cook them ahead of time — on the weekend, for example, when you might have more time — and then either reheat them when needed or use them as is. And what might you do with them, you ask?