This healthy, flavor-packed Mediterranean Freekeh Salad will quickly become a staple in your dinner rotation. Option to serve as a light vegetarian entree or along with fish or chicken.
Being a food blogger, I clearly like to try out new recipes and experiment with different food combinations. However, when I have guests over, the last thing I want to do is try out a brand new recipe. As a result, I’m always on the lookout for go-to meals that are impressive enough flavor-wise, yet simple enough that I don’t become a ball of stress.
This recipe is one of those go-to recipes. In fact, for the past three months, I’ve made it every time we’ve had guests over and then a couple more times for lunches to bring to work.
Some may call it obsessed. And I’m okay with that. Afterall, I dare you to take one spoonful piled high with juicy, roasted tomato, roasted chickpea, buttery freekeh, bright lemon juice and slightly melted feta and not fall in love.
For lunches I usually eat this as a lighter vegetarian meal; however, for guests, I beef it up a bit with sautéed garlic shrimp or baked chicken drumsticks. Whatever you decide to serve it with, my main recommendation is to keep the seasonings simple on the protein.
What You’ll Need
For the full low-down, be sure to check out my guide on freekeh. Briefly, freekeh is a traditional Middle Eastern whole grain that’s made from toasted wheat. Packed with more fiber and protein than quinoa or brown rice, it’s important to not that it isn’t gluten-free. So for anyone with Celiac disease, be sure to use a different whole grain, such as quinoa or amaranth.
The beauty of grain salads is how easily adaptable they are. Vegan? Simply leave out the feta cheese. Don’t like tomatoes or zucchini? Any vegetables will work; however, the cooking time may be longer depending on which kinds you choose. Personally, I think broccoli or eggplant would be tasty additions.
Want to add more greens? Sauteed spinach or kale could be stirred in at the end.
Don’t like chickpeas? Marcona almonds would be a great way to get a similar texture as well as extra protein and healthy fats.
What are your favorite ingredient combinations for grain salads?
I’d love to hear your ideas in the comments below or tag me @TheHealthyToast_RD on Instagram!
Step By Step Instructions
Step 1: Preheat Oven
Preheat oven to 375oF and cover a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
Step 2: Prepare Vegetables and Chickpeas
Chop vegetables and drain, rinse, and dry chickpeas.
Place vegetables and chickpeas in a large mixing bowl and toss with olive oil, salt and pepper.
Step 3: Roast Vegetables
Place vegetables and chickpeas in an even layer on prepared baking sheet. Roast for 20-25 minutes, or until vegetables are soft and chickpeas are slightly crispy.
Step 4: Cook Freekeh
While vegetables are cooking, place freekeh and broth in a medium-sized pot. Bring to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, cover and reduce heat to a simmer. Cook for 15-20 minutes, or until soft, but still chewy.
Step 5: Combine Ingredients and Serve
Combine cooked freekeh, roasted vegetables, and cooked chickpeas in a large bowl. Add diced feta and lemon juice, stirring well to combine. Serve immediately or store in fridge for at least 3 hours for a chilled grain salad. Leftovers keep in fridge for up to 6 days.
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