Despite my recent, new found love of quinoa (I know, I'm super late to the quinoa party train), I think I may have found a new favorite super grain called freekeh. Pronounced free-kah, freekeh is about as ancient as it comes when it comes to grains.
So, what is it? In short, it's wheat. So, for those of you on a gluten-free diet, this is not the grain for you (thank goodness for quinoa). Freekeh is harvested when young and green and roasted over an open fire. The straw and chaff are burned and rubbed off leaving a young grain on the inside that is too moist to burn. What you're left with is a firm, chewy, young little grain that has a very earthy and nutty taste.
It's delicious, guys. And the perfect base for any veggie bowl.
So we know that freekeh is wheat, but what makes it so super?
Freekeh is low in fat and high in protein and fiber (twice as much as quinoa), which will help keep you feeling full, longer. It's high in iron, calcium and zinc, B vitamins AND it acts as a prebiotic which means more happy, healthy gut bacteria (how awesome is that!).
I topped this super freekeh with loads of other healthy, yummy ingredients. Along with freekeh, the star of this power bowl is homemade Roasted Red Pepper, Walnut and Tahini Sauce. Red pepper, walnuts, tahini, garlic (and some other good stuff) all blended together to make a smooth, creamy, flavorful and healthy topping.
(side note: I also used this sauce as the base for pizza and it was delicious. Multi-purpose sauce, my favorite!)
The great thing about bowls are you can add pretty much whatever you want, but I chose to include roasted cauliflower, mixed salad with chopped bell pepper, avocado (oh avocado, how I love thee!), cilantro and slivered almonds.
Bing, Bang, BOOM! So good!
Freekehh Bowl with Roasted Red Pepper, Walnut + Tahini Sauce
Prep Time: 15 minutes / Cook Time: 25 minutes / Total Time: 40-45 minutes
Yield: 2-4 bowls
For the Roasted Red Pepper, Walnut + Tahini Sauce-
3 bell peppers
1/2 cup walnuts
3 tablespoons tahini
4 cloves garlic, chopped
2-3 teaspoons red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
salt (I added a little less than 1 teaspoon)
pepper, to taste
For the Roasted Cauliflower-
1 head cauliflower, cut into bite size florets
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
Mix of your favorite seasoning- I used cumin, turmeric, and chili powder
Salt and pepper
For the Salad:
1 cup freekeh, cooked according to package instructions
Your favorite greens, I used baby spring mix
3 green onions, chopped
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
1/4 cup slivered almonds
1/2 red or yellow bell pepper, seeded and chopped
For the Roasted Red Pepper, Walnut and Tahini Sauce-
Heat oven to high broil. Place bell peppers on a rimmed baking sheet and broil for 10-12 minutes, turning occasionally so that all sides are equally cooked. Allow bell peppers to cool, then remove seeds and any rough skin.
Place roasted peppers and remaining ingredients in the bowl of a food processor and blend until smooth and creamy.
Serve with chips, smeared on your favorite sandwich, topped on a bed of grilled vegetables or in a Buddha bowl, and as a pizza sauce (trust me, it's good!).
For the Cauliflower-
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large bowl toss cauliflower florets with olive oil and spices. Toss to coat. Transfer cauliflower to baking sheet, leaving space between each piece. Bake at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes, or until cauliflower is fully cooked and golden on top. Remove from oven and allow time to cool while you build the rest of the salad.
Build the Salad-
- Place a scoop of cooked freekeh in the base of a large shallow bowl. Add desired amount of greens (usually 1-2 cups), cilantro, green onion and bell pepper on one side of the bowl and cauliflower on the other. In the middle, top with a big scoop of red pepper sauce and slivered almonds. Dig in!