Sunday, 12 April 2015

Getting freekeh about spring

Food, too, can be the source of much, much anxiety. When you're trying to be one of those people making the world a better and fairer place through being a conscious consumer, anyway.

Take this innocent-looking salad, for one.

Initially I meant to use quinoa. You know, that super food bursting with fiber and minerals that the healthy eating-enthusiasts use to improve their diets which, in Western countries, are far too often based on empty calories of white flour. But what has happened since the rest of the world discovered this golden grain, initially a staple in South America? The demand has gone through the roof and the production can barely keep up with it and so the locals no longer can afford it and have moved on to what they can afford: Cheap, empty calories of white flour. Instead of freekeh you could use bulghur, couscous or cooked and rinsed pearl barley, too.

Then there's edamame; soy beans. Soy was once upon a time also hailed as a super food but has since become rather notorious. The high degree of processing the product results in less nutrients, there are potential hormonal impacts to consider which, according to some theories also increase the risk of cancer, the ecological issues associated with the crop and the questionable growth of GMO. And then there's the carbon foot print thing. I like their texture and taste though, so that's what I used. Organic, though. But they can be substituted with peas, too - especially fresh peas in the summer would be perfect.

I also wanted some salmon in the salad. Which opened another can of worms. Wild? Farmed? Which certificate to trust? Imported? Domestic? Cheaper? More expensive? If you're a vegetarian, use steamed carrot cubes.

The choice of cucumber also set my heart racing. Domestic one, grown in a greenhouse? Spanish one, flown here? Green house effect? Carbon foot print? How is one to choose?

Uhh uhh. But especially when carrying the weight of the world on your shoulders, you need energy. So, when the hunger inevitably does get the best of you, do whip up a batch of this salad. Not only is it wonderfully summery, it's also good. And good for you.

Serves 4, as a part of a buffet or a picnic table 6-8

Summery freekeh and salmon salad:

350 g skinless, boneless salmon fillet 
the juice of 1 lime
the juice of 1 lemon
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 cm piece of ginger, minced

3 dl freekeh

1/2 large cucumber
300 g edamame (soy) beans
3 spring onions
150 g green grapes
1 bunch of dill


1/2 dl oil
the juice of 1 lime
1/2 tbsp dried mint
salt, pepper

Cut salmon into 1 cm cubes. Sprinkle salt and pepper on top of it and toss in ginger. Pour over the juice of lemon and lime, cover and chill. Turn every now and then to makes sre all the fish is coated.

In the meanwhile cook freekeh according to the instructions on the package. Drain and cool.

Split the cucumber, scoop out the seeds and cut into cubes. Cut the grapes in 4. Finely chop dill and the spring onions. 

Combine the ingredients for the dressing.

Add the veggies into the freekeh, pour over the dressing and finally fold in drained salmon. Serve.




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