Whole Living Daily

Lunch Bunch: Curried Freekeh, Apple Muffins, Sweet Potato Salad, and More

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Lunch Bunchers fall into a rut? Never! OK, maybe sometimes. But this week's meal was noticeably lacking two of our mainstay ingredients: quinoa and kale. Instead we had dishes with freekah (roasted green wheat) and brown rice, plus a bright salad of raw sweet potato, celery, and apples. And instead of our usual cakes and cookies (no, we're not complaining!), we got our sweet fix from baked-this-morning muffins filled with apples just picked in the Catskills. Amazingly, all the flavors didn't clash, but complemented each other. A Lunch Bunch mystery? We're not questioning it.

Sweet Potato, Celery, and Apple Salad
(from the 2012 Whole Living Action Plan)

2 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
1 small sweet potato, peeled and finely julienned (2 cups)
1 tart apple, cored and finely julienned
1 stalk celery, thinly sliced
2 scallions, thinly sliced
3 radishes, finely julienned
3 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
1/4 cup packed fresh cilantro leaves
In a small bowl, whisk lemon juice, ginger, and oil. Season with salt and pepper.

In another bowl, combine sweet potato, apple, celery, scallions, radishes, sesame seeds, and cilantro.

Drizzle dressing over salad and season with salt and pepper.

Curried Freekeh Salad
(adapted from “30 Ways to Freekeh!” by Bonnie Matthews)

1 8-ounce package of freekeh
2 ½ cups water or vegetable broth
2 red peppers, diced
1 purple onion, diced
4 garlic cloves, diced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 ½ tablespoons curry powder
1 cup raisins
½ cup dried apricots, chopped
½ cup sliced almonds
Salt and pepper to taste

Combine water or broth in a saucepan with freekeh and bring to a boil for one minute. Reduce heat to low and simmer for about 25 minutes or until freekeh is tender. Remove from heat. Pour olive oil into a skillet and sauté garlic, onions, and peppers for about 5 minutes, then add curry powder, salt, and pepper. Add raisins and dried apricots. Toss freekeh and vegetable mixture in a large bowl, then add sliced almonds. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Roasted Tomato Brown Rice

4 cups brown rice, uncooked
4 containers cherry tomatoes
4 small leeks
2 cloves garlic
Block feta cheese
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

Preheat oven to 375. Combine 4 cups brown rice plus 9 cups water in large pot. Bring to boil, reduce to simmer and cook 30 min or until all water is absorbed and rice is tender. Cut tomatoes from 2 container in half, spread all tomatoes on baking sheet with olive oil, salt and pepper, and red pepper flakes. Roast tomatoes 20 minutes or until broken down and browning. Slice leeks in 1/4 inch rounds, break apart loosely, spread on baking sheet with olive oil, salt and pepper. Mince 2 cloves garlic and sprinkle over leeks. Roast alongside tomatoes until broken down, about same amount of time.

Combine rice, roasted tomatoes, roasted leeks in a bowl. Crumble feta in large chunks. Add apple cider vinegar and toss to combine. Taste. Salt. Eat.

Whole-Wheat Apple and Coconut Muffins
(Adapted from Smitten Kitchen)
Makes 18

1 cup whole-wheat flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp fine-grain sea salt
1 Tbsp ground cinnamon
1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
1/2 cup cane sugar
1/4 cup dark brown sugar, plus more for sprinkling
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 cup low-fat buttermilk
2 large apples, cored and coarsely chopped

1. Heat oven to 400°. Butter and flour 18 muffin cups.

2. In a large bowl, whisk together flours, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. In a separate bowl, mix together the coconut oil, sugars, and egg. Stir in buttermilk. Fold wet ingredients into dry and add apples.

3. Divide batter evenly among the prepared muffin cups and sprinkle each with brown sugar (the more, the better!). Bake 15 to 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean. Let cool.

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