Delightfully Healthy! Freekeh and Red Kuri Squash Salad

squash_redkuriSampling: October 30, 4:30-6:30pm.

This Freaky Freekeh and Red Kuri Squash Salad is packed full of autumn colors, powerful nutrients, and delicious flavor. Try it as an accompaniment to your dinner, and take the leftovers to work for an easy and satisfying lunch. This recipe is high in protein, fiber, and vitamins to keep you going throughout the day. Keep reading to learn about the ingredients in this salad that may be new to you!

Freekeh

Even though it’s almost Halloween, don’t be freekeh-ed out by trying this new food! Freekeh is an ancient cereal grain of Arabian decent. With a nutty and chewy texture, freekeh can be used in place of (or in addition to!) rice, quinoa, or other grains. It is roasted and cracked for use in soups, salads, pilafs, or side dishes. Freekeh is an excellent source of essential nutrients that will keep you full and give you energy to enjoy all of this beautiful fall weather we’ve been having.

Fiber– Freekeh has nearly four times as much fiber as other similar grains, which is vital for gut health, preventing disease, and keeping you full. The fiber content of freekeh puts it low on the glycemic index, which is good for people with diabetes or needing to stabilize their blood sugar.
Protein– Similar to many other ancient grains, freekeh is an excellent source of protein. One serving (3 ½ ounces) of freekeh provides 12 grams of protein. Good news, all you vegetarians!
Iron– One 3 ½ ounce serving of freekeh delivers 35% of your daily iron needs. For people avoiding red meat (especially women) it is important to find good sources of iron for your diet.

Red Kuri Squash

High in fiber, calcium, iron, potassium, folate, and vitamin A, Red Kuri squash is an excellent addition to your fall table. This native Japanese squash can be used anywhere you’d think to use sweet potatoes, butternut or acorn squash, or pumpkin. Try it in soups, salads, sweet breads, or roasted with your favorite root vegetables for an easy and seasonal side dish.

Freekeh and Red Kuri Squash Salad

INGREDIENTS:

1 cup cracked freekeh *
3 cups water
1 red kuri squash; washed, seeded, and diced into 1/2″ cubes. No need to peel if organic.
2 TBS olive oil *
1/2 tsp salt *
1/4 tsp black pepper *
1 tsp allspice *
1/4 cup each pecans and pumpkin seeds *
1/4 cup each olive oil and orange juice
1 tsp honey *
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp salt *
1/4 tsp black pepper *
1/2 cup dried cranberries *
1/4 cup each cilantro and scallions chopped

PREPARATION:

Preheat oven to 375°
1) In large saucepan, combine freekeh and water.    Bring to boil, cover, reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer 20 minutes or until tender and water absorbed. Remove from heat and let stand.
2) In large bowl, mix squash, olive oil, salt, pepper, and allspice. Spread squash onto baking sheet.  Roast for 15-20 minutes until fork tender.
3) Turn oven off. Place pecans and seeds on new baking sheet. Toast in oven for 5 minutes.
4) In small bowl, whisk olive oil, orange juice, honey, Dijon mustard, salt, and pepper.
5) In casserole dish, combine freekeh, cilantro, scallions, and cranberries. Toss with dressing.  Add squash, pecans, and pumpkin seeds.

*can be purchased in the MFC bulk section

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