Friday, October 18, 2013

Fun with Freekah


Pesto Shrimp, Mushroom Freekah, and Garlic Roasted Vegetables


Freekah is a new food to me that I have wanted to make for months. I just so happened to come across it this week in the natural foods store at a great price so I picked some up.  For those of who aren’t familiar with this “superfood” it is a wheat product that is packed with nutrition. This ancient grain is native to Egypt and the several Middle Eastern countries. The wheat is harvested early, when still green and it is then dried and roasted. This technique gives it its characteristic hearty texture and nutty flavor. It is great as a side dish (like pilaf) or can be added to soups and casseroles.


Nutritionally speaking freekah has a lot going for it. It is a good source of many vitamins and minerals (manganese, iron, potassium, and B vitamins. Freekah is very high in insoluble fiber (about 4 times more than brown rice). Because of its high fiber content it has favorable benefits on blood sugar due to fewer available carbohydrates and helps promote the growth of the good bacteria in our guts.


½ cup=130 calories, 28 g carbohydrates, 4 g fiber, 6 g protein.


Mushroom Freekah

Makes 4 servings


1 Tbsp olive oil

1.5 cup dry freekah

½ cup chopped mushrooms

½ tsp each: garlic powder, oregano, basil

Salt and pepper, to taste

3 cups water or low sodium stock (chicken or vegetable)


Directions: Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add all ingredients and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce to medium heat. Cook for 20-25 minutes. Remove from heat and fluff with a fork.


Pesto Shrimp

1 Tbsp olive oil

½ cup grape tomatoes, halved

1 pound frozen raw shrimp (thawed and deveined/detailed)

¼ cup prepared pesto

Pepper, to taste


Directions: Heat oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Add tomatoes, sauté for 2 minutes. Add shrimp, pesto, and pepper. Saute for 5-7 minutes or until shrimp is fully cooked (and pink).


Nutrition Facts: 6 large shrimp, ¾ cup freekah, 2 cups roasted vegetables

510 calories, 19 g fat (3 g saturated), 54 g carbohydrates, 10 g fiber, 36 g protein, 275 mg sodium



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