Saturday, March 2, 2013


For the past month or so, I’ve eaten quinoa every day as either a cereal for breakfast, a salad for lunch or a warm grain for dinner.  Yesterday I went out in search of another grain that would give Quinoa a break.  I am having okra and tomatoes tonight for dinner and I don’t want brown rice or the ubiquitous Mother of Grains.  Growing up my Mom would prepare okra and tomatoes with a piece of smoked pork.  Since I have gotten older and more health conscience, I leave out the pork.    As I walked through the Middle Eastern section of the supermarket, I came across a grain called Freekeh.

Freekeh is a green wheat.  An ancient grain used in the Middle East, it is harvested while still young resulting in a highly nutritious alternative to rice.  Freekeh is high in  protein and fiber which  can make you feel more satiated.  What ’s more, this grain is rich in lutein and zeaxanthin both of which have been positively associated with prevention of age-related macular degeneration. Since freeheh is slightly roasted, it takes on a smoky nutty flavor and the texture similar to bulgur wheat.

It is very easy to prepare and cooks in about 20 minutes.  One of the things I really like about freekeh is that it has great flavor on its own.  I didn’t have to add carrots, celery, onions and herbs the way that I do to many of the other grains I prepare.  I simple added scallions and garnished it with young celery leaves and that nutty smoky flavor really held its own.


1 cup freekeh
1 cups chicken stock or water
1 teaspoon salt
1 bay leaf
¼ cup chopped scallions
1 teaspoon olive oil
Young celery leaves garnish

In a small pot heat olive oil, add scallion; saute for 1 minute
Add freekeh, chicken stock, bay leaf and salt
Simmer for 20 minutes or until all liquid has evaporated. 
Enjoy this grain as you would a rice. I was having okra and black beans tonight. 

Since the freeheh had a smoky flavor, I didn't miss the smoked pork in the okra. 

The black beans were the perfect addition.  It all came together very nicely.

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