Cracked freekeh is tossed in a creamy tahini vinaigrette with chickpeas, pomegranates and almonds to create a crunchy and addictive whole grain side dish or meatless main.
It’s time to kick off Week 4 of the Healthy New Year 6-Week Challenge with one of my favorite ingredients of all time: whole grains! As you know, I’ve been eating whole grains my entire life. I grew up eating buckwheat pancakes, steel cut oats, whole wheat bread and bulgur wheat pilaf instead of white rice.
Now that I’m cooking for my own family, not much has changed. In addition to those timeless classics, I also love finding new and creative ways to incorporate farro, spelt, quinoa and other ancient grains into my family’s diet on a daily basis. In fact, my very first blog post features another oldie but goodie: wheat berries!
Needless to say, one of my longest and most treasured brand partnerships is with Bob’s Red Mill, my trusted resource for everything whole grain including whole wheat pastry flour, flax seed meal and much, much more. One of my new favorite grains is Freekeh, a young green wheat that has been toasted and cracked. It reminds me of a nuttier version of the bulgur wheat my mom made me as a kid.
Freekeh, like any whole grain, is ideal for making ahead in a large batch and using throughout the week sprinkled in soups, tossed in to salads or as a simple side dish on it’s own. Unlike traditional pasta, a baked potato or white rice, freekeh and other whole grains are complex carbohydrates. Due to the higher content of fiber and protein, they take longer for your body to break down which keeps you satisfied longer. (Read: not craving 20 more french fries because you don’t feel full.)
This week, in honor of the Healthy New Year 6-Week Challenge, I urge you to swap out at least one refined carbohydrate a day with a whole grain. Dara has cooked up an incredible Hearty Mushroom, Farro and Ginger Soup you won’t want to miss.
Your fork is waiting.
Freekeh with Tahini, Chickpeas and Pomegranate
- 1 cup uncooked Bob's Red Mill Whole Grain Cracked Freekeh
- 1 cup pomegranate seeds about 1 fruit
- 15 ounce can chickpeas drained and rinsed
- 1/2 cup blanched almond slices toasted
- 1 juice of lemon
- 2 tablespoons tahini
- 2 tablespoons warm water
- 1 clove garlic grated
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
- Prepare freekeh according to package instructions then place in a large bowl.
- Add pomegranate seeds and chickpeas to the bowl with the freekeh.
- Toast almond slices in a 350 degree oven until slightly brown, 5-7 minutes, then add to the bowl.
- In a small bowl, whisk together lemon juice, tahini, warm water, garlic, salt and pepper. Drizzle over the freekeh, pomegranate and chickpeas then toss well.
- Stir in toasted almonds and fresh parsley to serve.
Disclosure: We are thrilled to have Bob’s Red Mill as a sponsor of the Healthy New Year 6-Week Challenge. Thank you for supporting the brands that make The Lemon Bowl possible. As always, all thoughts are my own.