Monday, 11 August 2014

Recipe: Freekeh Sweet Potato Salad (aka Let's Get Freekeh!) and My Veganniversary!

It's been nearly a year of Veganism for this sporadic blogger and I'm happy to report I could not be more committed!  I am so pleased and proud to be Vegan and my health has improved as a result.  I'm a couple of stone down (25 pounds) and my blood pressure now sits on the lower end of normal rather than the high end which is where I used to be!  Plus, think of all the suffering I haven't contributed to! So it's all going well!

I've decided to resurrect this blog and add to the lonely First Day of The Way post... so I'd like to share a nice recipe.  I'm really into my food now, more than ever before and post regularly to a Facebook group. I post both my incarnations of other people's recipes there, plus my own creations, and I get so many compliments and recipe requests that I decided I'd like to record some of my better ones.

I tend to make four portions of lunch salads (which in my mind should involve at least one grain or carb, a protein, and lotsa veggies and flavour.  I pack up my lunches into all sorts of containers and pop them in the fridge, then I don't need to worry every single day what to have.  It's a really good and healthy habit to get into.

Without further ado, let's check out a nice salad I've had for the last few days lunches.  It involves Freekeh, which for me has just become available in the large supermarket by me.  It's fairly expensive as far as grains go, but it's still cheap-ish in the grand scheme of things, i.e. what you pay per portion.  Here's the one I buy:

If you click the link it tells you about the grain freekeh; it's basically young wheat.  I don't much like the smell when it's dry in the bag but once you've cooked it, I really like the subtle flavour and particularly the texture.

Freekeh Sweet Potato Salad

Ingredients - Serves 4

400g - 450g sweet potato, peeled and diced
2 tbsp olive, sunflower, or rapeseed oil
150g greenwheat freekeh
1 small red onion (or half of a bigger one - roughly 50g)
1/2 - 1 red chilli
Juice of 1 lemon
Juice of 2 limes
1/4 + 1/2 tsp sea salt flakes
1/2 tsp cracked black pepper
400g tin black beans, drained (or 100g dried weight, soaked and cooked)
200g mixed tomatoes (or just baby plum)
1 really big handful fresh coriander - about 25g

  • Preheat the oven to 200C.  Peel and dice your sweet potatoes, pop in an oven dish (I like a ceramic one for roasting sweet potatoes), coat with the oil and mix well, and sprinkle over 1/4 tsp of the salt. Pop in the oven and set the timer for 30-40 mins.  You know your oven better than me!  But you'll want the sweet potato to be cooked but still firm-ish so it doesn't turn to mush in your salad.
  • While the potatoes are roasting, cook the freekeh according to the packet instructions or my cook-any-grain method, which is to put a load of water in the pan with a pinch of salt and the weighed grain, and bring it to the boil until it's cooked (about 15 from cold with the freekeh I've found)
  • While that's bubbling away, get a large bowl ready.  Chop the red onion and the chilli really, really small.  For the chilli, I used half a large red one, and I deseeded it.  It's up to you how much chilli you want - I just like a small kick.
  • Add the lemon and lime juices, the remaining 1/2 tsp salt, and the pepper to the onion and chilli mixture.  Stir well and leave for ten minutes.  Then add the black beans and stir very well to coat.
  • By now your freekeh should be done so go drain it over the sink and give it a really good rinse through with cold water to cool it down.
  • Chop the tomatoes into bite size pieces, i.e. halve or quarter baby plum tomatoes. Add to the black bean mixture and mix well.  Chuck the freekeh in too if it's cooled down.
  • Finally, chop your coriander (I like mine only roughly chopped, maybe I'm just lazy!) and mix it in.  Divide into 4 containers or bowls and dig in or look forward to your fabulous lunches!

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