Tag Archives: whole wheat

Butternut and Cranberry Freekeh Salad

Butternut and Cranberry Freekeh Salad

Hang on, we’re about to get freekeh! OK, so it’s actually pronounced freek-ah, but I’m seldom funny, so let’s just go with it.

Freekeh is an ancient grain, full of beneficial nutrients. It is high in fiber, protein and calcium and it even has probiotic properties. Pretty impressive, huh? Even though Freekeh has been around for many thousands of years, it is suddenly becoming one of the newest and most delicious super foods! So, when the kind people at Freekehlicious asked if they could send me some and if I could develop some recipes, I was really excited!

There is something about this type of grain salad that, to me, is completely satisfying. Once cooked and cooled a bit, you can really turn those grains into a complete meal. One really great advantage of using freekeh in a salad like this is how high it is in protein, so once you add your favorite veggies, nuts and dressing, you’ve created a meal in a bowl. Leftovers pack up so easily for lunches during the week too!

I knew I wanted to incorporate seasonal ingredients. Eating what’s in season is always best, as far as taste and nutrition. Butternut squash is readily available in stores and farm stands now. If you think it may not be your favorite, I dare you to try roasting it this way. Once you cube it in small bites, toss with some olive oil and roast it, the squash develops caramelized bits and tastes sweet and really delicious. I think cranberries go so well with butternut squash and their color looks so pretty against the orange bits. Throw in some toasted pecans (Do you say pi-kahn or pee-can? I say both…depending on the moment!) and this may even become your family’s most favorite Thanksgiving side dish!

 

Butternut and Cranberry Freekeh Salad

 

Butternut and Cranberry Freekeh Salad

1 C. wholegrain freekeh
3 C. water
1 medium butternut squash, peeled, deseeded and cut into 1/2″ cubes
1 – 2 T. olive oil
1/2 t. kosher salt
1/4 t. black pepper
1/2 t. allspice
1/2 C. chopped pecans
1/4 C. extra virgin olive oil
1/4 C. orange juice
1 t. honey
1/2 t. Dijon mustard
1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. black pepper
1/2 C. dried cranberries (I use the low sugar variety)

Combine the freekeh and the water in a large saucepan over high heat. Cover and bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Simmer on low for 40 minutes, then remove from heat and allow to sit covered while you prepare the other ingredients.

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.

On a large baking sheet, toss the butternut squash cubes with the olive oil, kosher salt, black pepper and allspice. Use your hands to get them coated well.

Roast the squash in the oven for 18 to 20 minutes or until fork tender. Don’t over roast the cubes or they’ll become too mushy. When done, remove the baking sheet from the oven and set aside to cool.

Spread the pecans evenly on a small baking sheet. Shut the oven off, but while it’s still hot, place the pecans in and shut the door. Allow them to toast for 4 to 5 minutes. Remove and set aside to cool.

In a small bowl, combine the remaining ingredients up to the black pepper. Whisk together and set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the freekeh and the cranberries. Toss with the dressing until completely coated. Now add the squash and pecans and toss lightly.

Notes:

  • Freekeh is available in wholegrain or cracked form. I love the wholegrain in this recipe. The texture is similar to wheat berries. The cracked freekeh is very much like bulgur.

 

Freekeh, an ancient grain high in fiber, protein and calcium, makes this salad delicious, with roasted butternut squash, cranberries and roasted pecans.

 

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Olive Oil and Herb Drop Biscuits

Olive Oil and Herb Drop Biscuits
It seems like every time it snows here in the Northeast, I get this urge to make something homey and comforting. Yesterday was no exception. We had a really pretty snowfall. Just enough to make every surface bright and glittery like a Christmas card. I made a big pot of this soup and whipped up these super easy biscuits. When I tell you super easy…truly…they could not be easier.

Olive Oil and Herb Drop Biscuits

1 C. buttermilk or 1 C. milk + 1 t. cider vinegar
1 C. whole wheat flour
1 C. cake flour
2 T. golden flaxseed meal (optional)
1/4 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
1/8 t. freshly ground black pepper
1 T. Parmesan, grated
1 T. finely chopped fresh herbs
2 T. cold butter, cut into small cubes (See Notes)
2 T. extra virgin olive oil
Preheat your oven to 450 degrees.
If you do not have buttermilk, combine the milk and vinegar in a measuring cup and allow to sit while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flours through the herbs. Using either a pastry cutter or two forks, cut the butter and olive oil into the flour until it resembles course crumbs.
Make a well in the center of the flour and add the buttermilk or milk mixture. Stir just to combine. Don’t overwork it. It’s fine if you see some specks of flour.
I like to let the dough sit for a few minutes, then using a 1/4 C. measuring cup, scoop the dough out onto a parchment lined baking sheet spacing them out about 2 inches apart.
Bake for about 12 minutes. Check them early…they should be just golden on top.

Notes:

  • I like to serve these with extra virgin olive oil for dipping instead of butter. Just crack some pepper and a few pinches of chopped herbs!
  • The herbs I used in my biscuits were: parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme (I feel a song coming on!)
  • If you’d like to, you can use 1/4 C. of olive oil instead of using 2 T. butter and 2 T. olive oil.  They turn out just as delicious!