Healthy Hollywood: Try It On Tuesday - Get Your Freekeh On!

Greek Salad with Kalamata Olives & Tomatoes --
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Greek Salad with Kalamata Olives & Tomatoes --

Healthy Hollywood is always on the lookout for the next superfood craze. The ancient grain freekeh might be it!

Never heard of it?

Well, not many of us have, but Health Hollywood can attest it's tasty, nutrient-dense and is giving the hipster grain quinoa some major competition in the wellness world.

Dr. Oz is a fan and celebrity chef Jamie Oliver, dubbed it 'a favorite new superfood.'

This ancient Middle Eastern grain has been enjoyed overseas for nearly 2000 years and it's finally making its way into American kitchens. Just like other super-grains, freekeh delivers a major nutritional punch. "Freekeh is similar to quinoa in terms of fiber and protein content and cooking process. It's a complex carb with a low glycemic index and has a texture more similar to bulgur.

Compared to brown rice, freekeh offers a lot more protein and fiber," reveal the folks at Freekeh Foods.

Each low-fat serving of freekeh provides eight grams of protein, four grams of fiber and 130 calories. So, how exactly can it be served? It can be used just like any other grain, and it is excellent in salads, as a side dish, in soups, pilafs or you can even make a freekeh burger.

The folks at Freekeh Foods shared a few recipes with Healthy Hollywood. So, go ahead and freekeh out!

Greek Salad with Kalamata Olives & Tomatoes

(Servings 4-6)

Ingredients:

1 8-ounce package cracked freekeh (1 cup) 2.5 cups water or vegetable broth Fresh tomatoes, cut into chunks Kalamata olives, pitted and cut Fresh basil leaves, a good handful or two, chopped 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil A few tablespoons red wine vinegar Fresh cracked pepper, and salt to taste Low-fat crumbled feta cheese or crumbled goat cheese

Pour 2 1/2 cups of water and the freekeh in a saucepan and bring to a boil for 1 minute. Reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer for about 25 minutes until the freekeh is tender. After it's cooked, remove from heat and let cool in the refrigerator. Slice up the tomatoes and Kalamata olives. Toss in a large bowl with the freekeh. Add in olive oil, red wine vinegar, and the remaining ingredients and stir.

Vegetarian Freekeh Burger with Chipotle Mustard

(Makes 6 -8 burgers)

8-ounce package cracked freekeh (1 cup) 1 egg, beaten 1 1/2 cups brown rice flour or whole wheat flour 1/2 onion, diced fine 1 cup chipotle mustard 1 15-ounce can Aduki beans, black beans or little red beans, rinsed and drained 1 12-ounce can artichoke hearts, drained and diced (packed in water, not oil) 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar Grape seed or vegetable oil

Spices:

1 tablespoon chili powder 2 tablespoons onion powder 8 -10 shakes of cayenne (if you dare!) 6 garlic cloves, chopped

Pour 2 1/2 cups of water and the freekeh in a saucepan and bring to a boil for 1 minute. Reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer for about 25 minutes until the freekeh is tender. Once cooked, remove from heat and cool in refrigerator. In a small bowl, whisk the egg and set aside.

Pour spices in a large bowl and mix together. Add egg, freekeh, Aduki beans, chipotle mustard, onion, artichokes, oil, vinegar and 1 cup of flour. Mix well.

Take a little of the flour and pour on the counter. Take a small handful of the burger mixture and form a ball in your hands. Place the ball on the counter and slightly press into the flour on both sides so that there's a light dusting of flour on each side. Continue until all the burgers are formed. You may need to put a little flour on your hands in between making each burger.

In a nonstick skillet, heat up about 1/8-inch of grape seed or vegetable oil on medium to high. Carefully place each burger into the heated oil. Cook on one side for about 3 to 4 minutes, or until you begin to see the edges brown and crisp. Then carefully flip the burger over and cook another 3 to 4 minutes. Cook only a few burgers at a time so you have room to flip them. Serve with chipotle mustard, lettuce, onion.

For more Freekeh recipes, check out www.freekeh-foods.com.

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