Ready, Set, Weekend with Simply Beautiful Eating

It’s DK Publishing book review time again! I have an amazing new healthy cookbook to share with you today called COOK HEALTHY AND QUICK.  It’s a collaboration of yummy recipes that you can make in under 30 minutes. Yes, a half hour and you have yourself a meal.

This is right up my alley! I know you will love this as much as I did. Oh, and I bookmarked over 30 recipes from this gem. I managed to make 4 of them on the weekend that I will be sharing with you over the next few days.


Let’s start with this Freekeh. First of all. How do you pronounce it and what the Freekeh is it?

FREEKEH (pronounced ‘free-kah’) is a green-ish cereal made from wheat. It looks like bulgar wheat and has a greenish tinge to it.

I have made tons of different grains lately and this one has a distinct smokey flavour that is unique and delicious as a side dish or a salad.

I’m loving the addition of dried cherries and pistachios in this recipe. Now, truth be told, I didn’t have dried cherries on hand so I subbed in dried blueberries. You know what? They look exactly the same. And what about the pistachio nuts? It seemed that I could only find the ones in their shells last week.

Hulled would have been easier to use but I made an evening out of this project and just did it myself (with the exception of 5 which just wouldn’t open for me – STEVE!! HELP!!)

One thing I love about doing these reviews. Not only is it an opportunity to try new recipes (especially healthy ones), but it’s also a challenge for me to recreate the actual look of the dish.

Take a gander….I mean hello……..this turned out pretty much like the pic in the book!

And it was FREEKEN good.

Cherry & Pistachio Freekeh Pilaf

-1 cup uncooked freekeh -8 cardamom pods -8 whole cloves -1 tablespoon oil -1 onion, finely chopped -1 teaspoon ground cinnamon -pinch of salt -⅔ cup dried cherries, coarsely chopped (I used dried blueberries - also delish) -¾ cup pistachios, coarsely chopped

For the Dressing -3 tablespoons olive oil -2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice -pinch of salt

1) Place the Freekeh in a large saucepan, cover with 1 quart of water, and place over medium heat. Add the cardamom and cloves and simmer for 20 minutes or until all the water has been absorbed. Drain any remaining water and remove and discard the cardamom and cloves. Set aside.

2) Meanwhile, heat oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add the onions and cook for 5 - 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until softened and translucent. Then add the cinnamon and cook for another 2 minutes.

3) For the dressing, place all the ingredients in a small bowl and mix to combine. Add the freekeh to the onion mixture, season with the salt and stir to mix. Then add the cherries and pistachios and stir until evenly distributed. Remove from the heat. Serve hot with the dressing drizzled over the dish. *Note from me - this was so good I've been eating it all week and I don't want it to END.