This flavourful and healthy vegan freekeh salad is loaded with nutrition. It’s high in plant-based protein, works well for food prep, is oil-free and contains heart-healthy essential fatty acids. It can be made gluten-free by using brown rice instead of freekeh.
For the Turmeric Tahini Sauce
- 1/2 tsp ground turmeric (taste and add up to 1 tsp if desired)
- 5 tbsp tahini (75 g)
- 1/4 cup + 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 3 tbsp water (use more to adjust consistency as needed)
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
For the Freekeh Salad
- 1 cup uncooked freekeh or any other whole grain of choice (about 3/4 cup cooked per serving)
- 1 butternut squash, peeled and cubed (approx. 4 heaping cups, 600 g)
- 2 red peppers
- 3 cups very finely chopped de-stemmed kale (see instructions and notes)
- 1/2 a small red onion, finely diced (2-3 tbsp diced per bowl)
- 1/2 cup raisins (2-3 tbsp per bowl)
- 1/2 cup crushed or chopped raw walnuts (2 tbsp crushed per bowl)
- black pepper, to taste
- Cook the freekeh. If you’re using uncooked freekeh, cook according to package instructions. If you already have cooked freekeh, you’ll need about 3/4 cup per serving or a heaping 3 cups.
- Roast the red peppers. Turn the oven on to broil. Line a pan with tin foil or use a silicone baking mat. Slice the red peppers in half, remove the seeds then smash them flat on the pan with the skin facing up. Broil on the top rack until they’re black and bubbling. Remove from oven and let cool to the touch while you prepare the rest of the salad. Once they’re cool, remove most of the peel using your hands then slice into strips.
- Roast the butternut squash. Pre-heat the oven to 400 F. Place the cubed butternut squash on a pan and sprinkle with salt and pepper then use your hands or a spatula to mix. Roast for 20 minutes then stir and roast for 20 more.
- Prepare the kale. Remove the kale leaves from the stems then take some time to chop it into very small pieces. Once it’s very finely chopped, drizzle it with 1/2 tsp of olive oil or avocado oil and a sprinkle of sea salt. Use your hands to massage the kale with the oil and salt so it’s all coated and darkened in colour.
- Prepare the bowls. There are two ways to prepare this salad. You can either prepare individual bowls or mix it all up in one big bowl. I like doing individual buddha bowl-style salads but either way is totally fine. If you’re mixing up one big bowl of salad, add the cooked freekeh, roasted butternut squash, sliced roasted red pepper, diced red onion, kale, walnuts and raisins to a large bowl, otherwise, divide the ingredients amongst 4 bowls or containers.
- Make the dressing. To make the dressing, blend all of the ingredients until smooth and creamy. You can add a bit of additional water to thin it out if you want but I like it on the thicker side.
- Add the dressing. If you’ve made one big salad, add the dressing and mix well to combine. If you’ve made 4 individual bowls, drizzle the dressing evenly over each bowl.
- Season with black pepper and serve.
For the kale, you want 1 small handful per bowl/serving. To make this more of a kale salad rather than a freekeh salad, use 4-6 cups finely chopped kale.
- Serving Size: 1/4 of recipe
- Calories: 500
- Fat: 17 g
- Carbohydrates: 80 g
- Fiber: 18 g
- Protein: 17 g