Freekeh – what a freaky word! Haha, ok, that’s not very funny. But it IS an interesting foodstuff. Freekeh is a Middle Eastern grain that’s made from green wheat, which gets roasted in production. In its dry state, it looks like regular brown rice. Once cooked, it has a nice chewy texture that absorbs flavors wonderfully! It’s naturally low in fat, high in protein, and exorbitantly high in fiber – woohoo! It’s also full of complex carbs, which will leave you full and satisfied for a long time. I found the Ziyad brand of freekeh in a grocery store that has tons of international products – it was fairly inexpensive (one box has 16 servings), which just adds to the benefits!
You can use it like rice (though I have yet to try making it in a rice cooker), but you can think of it like quino and farro – cook it up with flavorful liquids and spices, add a bunch of veggies, and voila! A healthy, filling and summer-friendly stew that’s a comfort to any tummy.
Also: thank you to my Oma and Opa for sharing their organic garden-fresh cucumbers with me! One of them went into this stew 🙂
Freekeh, Chickpea and Crunchy Veggie Stew
- 1 C freekeh
- 1 onion, diced
- 3 C water
- 1 C red wine
- salt and pepper
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 1 cucumber, diced
- 3 stalks celery, diced
- 3 strips roasted red bell pepper, diced
- 5 sun-dried tomato slices, diced
- 20 oz can chickpeas, rinsed & drained
- 4 oz feta crumbles (use faux feta if vegan)
Cover freekeh in water – scoop out and discard anything left floating in the water. Drain and dump into a medium-sized pot. Add 3 cups water, 1 cup red wine, diced onion and spices. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer and let cook, covered, for about 50-60 minutes, or until desired consistency is reached.
While that cooks, get chopping! Dice cucumber, celery, pepper and sun-dried tomatoes. Rinse and drain the chickpeas. Set aside until the freekeh is done.
Stir all the veggies into the freekeh, then turn off the heat. Scoop into bowls, top with feta crumbles and freshly cracked black pepper. Enjoy!