We don't know about you, but when creating this recipe we realized that there are very few (if any!) classic Halloween foods or meals. Of course there are plenty of favorite Halloween treats and sweets but what are people eating for dinner? Or is it just all dessert all day? We have so many questions and one great answer....this salad. It really is the first food we've ever had that gives us a Halloween feeling, and all holidays should have a classic meal right? And what's more is that this salad features a grain with a spooky name, freekah! Read on to find out what freekah is and why this salad is a must for dinner this Halloween.
Freekah, also known as roasted young green wheat, is freakin' amazing! Now you may be asking, how does this grain compare to standard wheat? Well freekah is harvested from a wheat plant when the grain is still young which means it retains more nutrients such as protein, vitamins, and minerals (yay!). With eight grams of plant protein, four grams of fiber, essential nutrients such as potassium, selenium, magnesium, and a little zinc and iron all packed into a 1/4 cup uncooked serving, this grain definitely needs a spot in your pantry! When cooking freekah it is best to use a ~2:1 ratio of liquid to grain. Uncracked freekah will take longer to cook (~50-55 minutes) versus cracked which takes ~20-25 minutes. This grain has a bite to it and even when fully cooked has a semi-hard chewy texture adding a unique element to your pantry. So it's about time you stock up on this amazing grain and start on this Halloween recipe before it's too late.
Freaky Freekah Halloween Salad
PREP TIME: 90 mins
TOTAL TIME: 95 mins
Servings: 4 large salads
1 cup dry Freekah
1/2 cup black lentils
1/2 small sugar pumpkin, reserve the seeds for roasting (~1/3 cup seeds)
1 medium purple carrot
1 small head Romanesco broccoli
5 Tbsp olive oil
2 oz sweet soy sauce (or 4 Tbsp regular soy sauce with 4 tsp honey added)
Juice of 1 lime
1-2 tsp sriracha hot sauce
In a large pot combine 1 cup freekah and 2..5 cups water. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer and cover with a lid. Cook for 50-55 minutes or until freekah is slightly tender. Drain freekah then place in a bowl to cool.
While the freekah is cooking begin the lentils. Rinse lentils until running water until water runs clear. Combine 1 cup rinsed lentils with 4 cups water in a pan over medium to high heat. Bring lentils to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer, cover with a lid, and cook for 30 minutes. Once lentils are fully cooked, drain remaining water and set lentils aside.
While the lentils are cooking, carefully take the skin off of the pumpkin and cut into 1"x1" cubes. *Note if you can find raw cubed pumpkin this would be a lot easier! Reserve the pumpkin seeds for roasting. Rinse the pumpkin seeds under running water until clean. Pat dry with a paper towel and add to a parchment lined baking sheet. Add 2 Tbsp olive oil and 1 tsp sea salt on seeds. Roast at 350° for 12-15 minutes or until crunchy. Drizzle pumpkin cubes with 2 Tbsp olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt. Roast on a parchment lined baking pan at 350° for 25-30 minutes or until soft. Remove from the oven and set aside.
Using a mandolin or very sharp knife, slice the carrots paper thin into circular rounds then set aside. Chop broccoli into small florets and pan saute with 1 Tbsp olive oil and a sprinkle of sea salt for 5-7 minutes or until slightly soft with golden edges.
Finally make the dressing by combining the juice of 1 lime, sweet soy sauce, and sriracha. Phew! You're still with us? Now it's time to assemble the salad! In a large spooky bowl, combine the freekah, lentils, pumpkin, pumpkin seeds, carrots, and broccoli. Pour dressing over the top of salad and fully mix to combine flavors. Enjoy warm or at room temperature.
The combination of flavors and textures in this salad is so good that it's well, spooky! A perfect addition to your Halloween this year as a filling and fall themed meal prior to hitting the streets (for trick or treating that is!).
Happy Halloween from TGBK,
Jess and Cecelia
Jess and Cecelia welcome you to our kitchen. We are fun-loving and passionate foodies working to make the world a healthier, happier place one plant based recipe at a time.