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Stir-fried vegetables with freekeh

Stir-fired vegetables with freekeh

Stir-fried vegetables with freekeh

Stir-fried vegetables with what? Exactly. That’s the reaction I got when I answered the boys’ daily question ‘what’s for dinner’. Freekeh seemed to gain on popularity a couple of years ago and was even called the ‘new quinoa’. But to me, it seems it’s already losing ground and is disappearing from the shelves in supermarkets. Which is a pity, if you ask me. Fortunately, I still had one box stashed away in the pantry and I made this delicious side with it.

Freekeh

Now what is freekeh? Actually, it’s simply wheat but harvested when it has not ripened yet. It’s dried on the land with the chaff and then set to fire. Might seem a strange process, but due to the high moisture of the unripe kernels, only the chaff and straw are burnt. The kernels remain and get a nicely toasted flavour. Freekeh is chuck full of nutrients and fibre which makes this grain a healthy supplement to your diet.

Freekeh

Preparation

Freekeh is cooked like rice and can then be used in a wide variety of dishes, hot and cold. The cooking time is a bit longer compared to other types of grain and rice. The instructions say 15 minutes, but I usually cook it quite a bit longer. But even after cooking it longer, the texture remains quite chewy. I use stock to cook it in, which gives it even more flavour.

Flat beans

I went even a bit further than this extraordinary grain, by adding a less obvious vegetable to the stir-fry: flat green beans. As it is, I happen to love flat beans, but rarely prepare them. When I spotted fresh flat beans at the store, I had to buy them (without thinking about what I would make). So, when I stood in front of the fridge, contemplating what I would make for dinner, I figured I could use them in a stir-fry. And I think this really is a nice addition.

Middle East

Freekeh finds its origins in the Middle East. It is often added as a filling to soups and stews. But it is also a great addition to salads or stuffed vegetables. As I used it in this stir-fry with peppers and flat beans, I figured that a Middle Eastern spice mix was just fitting: Baharat. With only a handful ingredients, you’ll get this fragrant and delicious side everyone will love.

Ingredients

200 g freekeh

2 chicken stock cubes

1 yellow bell pepper

1 red bell pepper

400 g flat beans

1 à 2 tsp Baharat

2 tbsp vegetable oil

Instructions

Put the freekeh with 1 litre water and the chicken stock cubes in a pan and bring to a boil.

Let cook for about 20 to 25 minutes.

Cut the peppers and flat beans into 1-2 cm pieces.

Heat the oil in a frying pan and stir-fry the vegetables with a pinch of salt, pepper and the Baharat spice mix.

Preparing the freekeh and the vegetables

Drain the freekeh and add to the vegetables.

Stir and fry for one more minute.

We served the freekeh with lamb burgers and a fresh salad. I actually saved the cooking liquid as it had become this gorgeous, thick and tasty broth. Would have been a sin to just throw it out. Added a small can of tomato puree and let it reduce a little bit. Then a bit of sugar and pepper to taste and we ended up having a wonderful, rich tasting tomato sauce with our meal.

If you don’t have Baharat at home or you don’t like the taste, simply add your favourite spices. Anything goes, really.

Geroerbakte groente met freekeh

Have you ever tried freekeh?

Enjoy!

Stir-fired vegetables with freekeh
5 from 1 vote
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Stir-fried vegetables with freekeh

Author Nicole

Ingredients

  • 200 g freekeh*
  • 2 chicken stock cubes
  • 1 yellow bell pepper
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 400 g flat beans
  • 1-2 tsp Baharat spice mix**
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil

Instructions

  1. Put the freekeh with 1 litre water and the chicken stock cubes in a pan and bring to a boil. Let cook for about 20 to 25 minutes.

  2. Cut the peppers and flat beans into 1-2 cm pieces.

  3. Heat the oil in a frying pan and stir-fry the vegetables with a pinch of salt, pepper and the Baharat spice mix**.

  4. Drain the freekeh and add to the vegetables.***

  5. Stir and fry for one more minute.

Recipe Notes

*You can swap the freekeh for rice or other grains such as quinoa or bulgur.

**Baharat is a spice mix from the Middle East that contains spices such as paprika, coriander, pepper, cinnamon, cumin, cardamom, garlic, nutmeg and cloves. The composition might vary per brand and you can also make your own spice mix. Of simply use your favourite spices.

***You could use the cooking liquid to make a sauce, by adding tomato puree, a little bit of sugar and pepper to taste. Let reduce if the sauce is too thin.

Tip: you could also use other vegetables of your choice, such as zucchini, eggplant, onion, leek etc.

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30 Comments

  • Reply

    Sally@Good Dinner Mom

    August 17, 2018

    What a beautiful, good-for-you recipe, Nicole! I’ve been meaning to try Freekeh and this recipe sounds like the perfect “jump in” meal. My family loves recipes with healthy ingredients and since one of us doesn’t eat meat, this is perfect for me to get that protein onto the menu. Thanks for the informative post!

    • Reply

      Nicole

      August 17, 2018

      Thank you, Sally! I hope you do give it a try, it’s really delicious and a great addition.

  • Reply

    Valerie

    August 17, 2018

    This sounds nice and easy to make. I’ve never heard of freekeh before. It looks like it gives the dish a really great texture.

    • Reply

      Nicole

      August 17, 2018

      Thanks Valerie, it’s really good and quite different from other grains.

  • Reply

    Gloria

    August 17, 2018

    I have never tried this product. I will have to look for this next time I grocery shop. I love buckwheat so I know this would be a welcome addition in our pantry.

    • Reply

      Nicole

      August 17, 2018

      This will definitely be up your alley if you like buckwheat!

  • Reply

    Nicolas Hortense

    August 18, 2018

    What an interesting ingredient. It looks like it made for a perfect stir-fry. I always like seeing and reading about new ingredients that inspire me so thank you for sharing this.

    • Reply

      Nicole

      August 18, 2018

      Thanks Nicolas, and same here. I’m always curious to find out about new ingredients and what you can do with them.

  • Reply

    Claudia Lamascolo

    August 18, 2018

    I love a good stir fry like this one the vegetables are so tasty and go great with any meal!

    • Reply

      Nicole

      August 18, 2018

      Totally agree, so adaptable!

  • Reply

    Veena Azmanov

    August 18, 2018

    I have never eaten or made freekeh myself until today. I have always wanted to try it though. This looks so good and packed with flavors. I love trying new things so this one is on my list to must-venture. Thanks

    • Reply

      Nicole

      August 18, 2018

      It’s really good, Veena. Indeed packed with flavor but also texture. Much different form other grains.

  • Reply

    Noel Lizotte

    August 18, 2018

    I love stir fry veggies! This sounds like a good way to make an entire meal out of them. My corner of the Midwest doesn’t know about Freekah. We’re a bit behind the trends, you know. Sounds like it would be a good replacement for rice.

    • Reply

      Nicole

      August 18, 2018

      LOL, not just in the Midwest, I can assure you. Freekeh is fairly unknown, anywhere. And I think it deserves a shout-out as it’s really a great grain.

  • Reply

    Haha, I had the same reaction! With what??
    I don’t think I have ever seen it in stores in Canada!!

    • Reply

      Nicole

      August 19, 2018

      Hahaha, well, the boys are picking up quite a bit of English with movies and games and understand quite a bit, they actually thought I said ‘freaky’. Those faces… 😉

  • Reply

    Marisa Franca

    August 19, 2018

    We’ve been making dishes with freekeh for quite some time now. We love it. We first discovered it at Costco and bought a huge bag. Since then we’ve bought several more. We love the texture and use it frequently instead of rice. I haven’t tried those beans and your spice with our freekeh — thank you for the inspiration.

    • Reply

      Nicole

      August 19, 2018

      You’re welcome, Marisa! It’s so unknown to many, so happy to hear that you have tried it before and love it as much as we do!

  • Reply

    Celeste

    August 19, 2018

    Freekeh is amazing and I love using it in place of rice. I would love to use it more, however, I have a hard time finding it in the grocery stores in my area. I think I’ll just have to order it online.

    • Reply

      Nicole

      August 20, 2018

      Same here, actually. I was in doubt whether to publish the recipe as it’s so hard to get. But it’s so good, it deserves a shout-out.

  • Reply

    Carmy

    August 20, 2018

    I’ve been trying to find freekeh in my local grocery store! It’s been a little hard to get my hans on so I’ll probably have to order it online. I can’t wait to try this stir fry with it!

    • Reply

      Nicole

      August 20, 2018

      Some have found it at Costco, but here it’s just as hard to get. But it’s such a lovely grain and deserves some attention 🙂

  • Reply

    Tammy

    August 20, 2018

    This sounds so good and I love freekeh. It’s a shame that it’s kind of under the radar when it comes to ancient grains but it is so good! Such a hearty side dish…loving the sound of this 🙂

    • Reply

      Nicole

      August 20, 2018

      Thanks Tammy! It is a shame and it so deserves a lot more attention. If the demand for it increases, maybe more stores will be willing to sell it.

  • Reply

    Natalie

    August 20, 2018

    Oh this sounds so flavorful and delicious. I never heard of freekeh wheat but I do love middle east cuisine so I’ll look up for it in a store. I love that you used a flat beans here. I so love that veggie. I have it a plenty from my grandmas garden. Can’t wait to try this.

    • Reply

      Nicole

      August 20, 2018

      Thank you, Natalie! Flat beans are such a great vegetable. And freekeh is perfect for so many dishes, it gives so much texture and flavor.

  • Reply

    Alexis

    August 20, 2018

    I had no idea about the harvesting process of frekeh. I’m going to look for it next time I’m in our local specialty store. This dish sounds delicious.

    • Reply

      Nicole

      August 20, 2018

      Thanks, Alexis. I hope you can find it, it really is so delicious.

  • Reply

    swathi

    August 20, 2018

    Thanks for introducing me to Freekeh, I love ancient grains, want to try it my cooking, first I thought it is farro. Then I came to know it not that. I love flat beans too, which I used to make curries.

    • Reply

      Nicole

      August 20, 2018

      You’re so welcome, Swathi :). Flat beans are great in curries, I love that vegetable.

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