Happy Meatless Monday friends!
We’ve got lots to cover today. Tina is off and running to the altar this week and I have Faith helping me out today as my co-host. Please check out her awesome blog The Conscientious Eater too.
I have a special treat for you today! I was given some samples of Freekeh to test out, create a recipe with and raffle off a set to you as well with a cookbook. What is Freekeh you ask? “According to legend, Freekeh originated by accident when an ancient Middle Eastern village was attacked and their young wheat fields were set ablaze. In attempts to salvage their crops, the villagers rubbed away the burnt chaff and found that the roasted kernels inside were delicious! Since that time, Freekeh (which literally means, “to rub”) became a mainstay of Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisine.” (source)
I find it to have a crunchy, nutty texture that is versatile to use in place of rice, quinoa or any grain. Freekeh has more protein than rice and less calories than quinoa & rice. It does contain wheat and is therefore, not gluten free. Don’t be afraid of cooking whole grains, they are as easy as rice to make.
I blended some of my favorite Mediterranean flavors into one amazing dish today. I’ve combined roasted eggplant, tomatoes, mozzarella, whole wheat past and Freekeh to bring you one hearty salad that meat eaters and vegetarians will love.
- 1 package of Freekeh (prepared according to package directions) and cooled
- 1 package of bow tie whole wheat pasta (prepare as directed) and cooled
- 1 large eggplant (cute into bite size pieces)
- 1 pound of grape or cherry tomatoes
- 16 oz fresh mozzarella diced into small bites
- lemon olive oil
- balsamic vinegar
- juice of lemon
- salt, pepper, oregano, basil, cinnamon
- Cook pasta and Freekeh according to directions and allow to cool
- pre heat oven to 350
- Toss eggplant with olive oil (to coat), salt, pepper, oregano, basil, cinnamon
- Roast for 20 min or until soft
- Toss tomatoes with balsamic, salt & pepper & roast for 20 min
- In a large mixing bowl combine:
- Freekeh, pasta, eggplant & tomatoes
- Add mozzarella
- Drizzle with lemon, Olive Oil and balsamic to coat and flavor
- Serve at room temperature or chilled