The colder it gets, the more I crave protein. As a vegetarian, I often find myself struggling to get enough, especially if I’m cleaning up my diet with low-saturated fat and low-sugar vegan choices. Whole grains are often my answer for a couple of reasons. A mixture of beans and grains will create an easy-to-prepare complete protein and some “grains” like quinoa are complete in and of themselves.

Further, it’s winter, so I am all about warm, hardy food. And while I just adore steel-cut oatmeal and my hubby’s gluten-free pancakes, I want more variety and maximum nutrition—whole grains are, again, a great choice because I can turn last night’s main dish into a warmed-over bowl of pure satisfaction the next morning.

My Winter Wheat Berry Bake (Remember those wheat berries from Green Gal Tabbouleh?) makes great use of whole grains, winter veggies, nuts, dried fruit and warm spices. Have it for dinner AND for a nutritious, low-sugar, on-the-go breakfast next day! If you want all the protein you can get in the dish below, try switching out one of the cups of rice for a cup of pre-cooked lentils. Lentils are a powerhouse of nutrition and are mild enough to go from dinner to breakfast with ease.

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Well that’s about it–pretty simple, huh? The preparation step is, perhaps, the most work.

diced vegetables for Winter Wheat Berry Bake

It’s important to dice your vegetables well and in uniform size so that they bake at the same rate.

Serve immediately for dinner as a main vegan course or a meat-lovers side dish. Store your leftovers in the frig and use some extra stock to warm them back up in the pan next day—nothing better on a cold January morning.

Interested in vegan sources of complete proteins? Learn more from experts at Positive Health Wellness. Then, get cookin’!

Winter Wheat Berry Bake with turkey

My hubby thawed some of his roast turkey from Thanksgiving and pared it with the Winter Wheat Berry Bake for “turkey and stuffing.”