Freekeh is the new grain on the block and I can see why! This ancient super grain offers a ton of nutritional value and an earthy, smoky flavour that is super delicious.
When compared to other ancient grains, Freekeh ranks high in protein and fiber. Offering almost twice as much as our beloved quinoa. It’s also low in fat, low on the glycemic index, packed with iron, calcium and zinc – it really is a super grain! It’s versatility also offers you the ease of swapping out the other grains in your favourite dishes whether they are savoury or sweet and adding in this nutty substitute. Seriously, give it a try! I don’t think it’ll replace quinoa any time soon, but it is a very nice change. 🙂
A salad that I am super obsessed with this summer is this Wild Mushroom Freekeh Salad that I cam across on Canadian Living. So simple and so tasty, it was an instant household winner. Plus, it was a major bonus that the only thing I had to buy for this recipe were the mushrooms. Everything else I had on hand or growing in the garden – ahh the perks of summer!
While this recipe was perfect the way it was, I did make a few tweaks based on what I had on hand, and whenever I cook mushrooms I always add garlic and white wine (it just naturally happens!). Here’s the dish with a few of my modifications below.
Wild Mushroom Freekeh Salad
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon liquid honey
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup freekeh rinsed
1 teaspoon earth balance or butter
2-3 cups oyster mushrooms torn
1-2 cups shitake mushrooms torn
2 garlic cloves
4 tbsp of white wine
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups diced vine-ripened or plum tomato
4 cups packed baby arugula
Lemon Vinaigrette – In large bowl, whisk together oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, honey, salt and pepper. Set aside.
Salad – In large saucepan of boiling salted water, cook freekeh according to package instructions. Drain and rinse with cold water until cool. (Refrigerate in airtight container for up to 2 days.)
In large nonstick skillet, melt earth balance or butter over medium heat; cook mushrooms and salt, stirring often, until softened, 5 to 6 minutes. Add in garlic and white wine and cook for another 3-4 minutes.
Add freekeh and tomatoes to vinaigrette; gently toss to coat. Gently stir in mushrooms and arugula.
This recipe is a new household favourite and if looking to entertain, this one will be sure to impress your guests. I’m still impressed each time I whip it together, it is just so good! I have decided it will be my new go to dish for when friendships join for dinner- who’s coming over!? 🙂 It is simple in its preparation and explodes with flavour, the perfect dish to kick off the spring season.
I have only tried it with salmon, but this herb crust would be absolutely amazing on just about anything. I stumbled across this tasty dish on one of my favourite food blogs, Freshness GF, followed it to point (per filet) and it was perfect.
Now for the accompanying salad. This may look a bit familiar (see here) however I adapted it for a more spring-like pop of flavour. Omitting the salty variable and adding cucumber and pomegranates to freshen it up! Again this colourful, flavourful mix is a great addition to just about any protein and leftovers make a great salad topper.
Herb Crusted Salmon (yields 3 servings)
3 salmon filet
salt and pepper
3 tsp mustard
3 tsp honey
6 Tbsp fresh herbs (cilantro or parsley or both) – I use both!
3 Tbsp gluten free bread crumbs
3 clove garlic
3 tsp olive oil
3 Tbsp walnuts
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lay salmon in baking dish. Season with salt and pepper. Mix honey and mustard together, spoon over salmon, coating it evenly. Think of it as the glue.
In a food processor, combine herbs, bread crumbs, garlic, oil and walnuts. Chop until finely blended. Spoon over salmon evenly including the sides.
Bake for 12-15 minutes. When you start to see white oozy parts, it’s done.
Pomegranate, Corn, Pepper Salad
2 cups corn
seeds from 1 pomegranate
1/2 a cucumber, diced
1/2 a red pepper, diced
1/2 an orange pepper, diced
1/2 a red onion, diced
1/2 cup of heirloom tomatoes, diced
2 cups arugula
This recipe is a quick one to whip together, and you really can add as much or as little as you like of each ingredient. The flavours will still pop.
Soften onion and peppers in a frying pan for about 8-12 minutes.
Remove from skillet and cool.
Stir in tomatoes, cucumber, and pomegranate.
Serve on a bed of arugula with herb crusted salmon, and a squeeze of lime.