I was never a fan of grain dishes. I liked rice and pasta and the occasional quinoa recipe but things like wheat and bulgur left me feeling like I was eating unflavored cardboard. In fact, I was so averse to these grains that I left them out of all my recipe development.
Then, Freekeh Foods sent me a sample of their Original Roasted Green Wheat. That day I had planned to test a new recipe for Spaghetti with Spring Pea Sauce. Since the Freekeh arrived right before I started cooking and the marketing literature that came with it insisted that the possibilities for its use were limitless, I decided to make it in place of the spaghetti.
The instructions on the back were simple and easy to follow, and I enjoyed reading the story behind it. From the package:
“Freekeh? What is that?
So glad you asked! Freekeh is a process which means “to rub” in Arabic. Freekeh was created by accident nearly 2,000 years ago when a Middle Eastern village was set ablaze. Most folks would sulk over their misfortune, but the crafty villagers rubbed off the chaff, cooked it up and ‘Eureka!’ Freekeh was created.”
I piled a generous helping into a bowl, covered it in rich and green Spring Pea Sauce and was fully prepared for it to be bland and dry as had been my experience with grains in the past. I was not expecting the reality of it at all. The roasted green wheat was moist and nutty with a good bite and hearty texture. Since this had never been my experience with grain before, I went to the pot and scooped out an unadorned spoonful, just in case it was the sauce that was making my giddy. It wasn’t. By itself, Freekeh is just as flavorful and succulent. I fell in love instantly.
Walt and I finished every last grain of that package for dinner and I soon began to whine that they hadn’t sent me the other two flavors to sample. I can’t imagine what kind of euphoria the Tamari and Rosemary Sage flavors will send me into but I am totally willing to take the hit for the team. Freekeh has done the nearly impossible. I am now a grain lover and am anxious to try more.
Your very own pouches of Freekeh deliciousness can be found at www.Freekeh-Foods.com. The site has a store locator, which is limited to the Midwest and East Coast -- $3.99 per 8oz. bag at select Whole Foods. But you can also buy it online through their site. Downside: You have to buy it by the case. They also have a cookbook featuring the grain but it isn't vegan.
Photo credit: Freekeh Foods Inc. Disclaimer: Freekeh Foods Inc. supplied a sample for review