Grilled Fish Tacos with Freekeh
I know you’re thinking it, what the freak is freekeh? Well, jump on board, Freekeh is the “new” ancient whole grain on the market, although it’s been a staple of Middle Eastern cuisine for centuries. It’s a wheat (yes, it contains gluten) that’s harvested while young and green. Freekeh is slightly chewy and has a distinctly nutty flavor.
Why should you make freekeh happen?
- Because, fiber. A 1/2 cup serving of cooked freekeh packs 4.5 grams of fiber (and is just 100 calories). The reality is, most of us don’t get our daily dose of fiber – women need about 25 grams of fiber per day and men about 38 grams per day. Fiber keeps us feeling fuller longer and aids in digestion..
- And because of other essential nutrients like zinc, iron, copper, and potassium. Freekeh is crazy high in each of these nutrients and eating just a 1/2 cup serving of cooked freekeh puts you well on your way to meeting (or exceeding) your daily needs.*
- Lastly, protein. Freekeh is a good source of vegetarian and vegan protein with 3.5 grams per 1/2 cup cooked serving.
*A 1/2 cup serving of cooked freekeh contains 155% Daily Value (DV) of zinc, 134% of iron, 128% of copper, and 85% of potassium.
How do I cook freekeh?
Just like any other grain! You’ll want a little more than a 2:1 ratio of liquid to freekeh, so combine about 2 1/2 cups of water or low sodium broth with 1 cup of freekeh.
Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook 15-20 minutes. This is the cooking time for cracked freekeh. If you find yourself staring down a bag of whole freekeh, you should prepare it the same way, but it will take about 45-50 minutes of stove time.
Once the freekeh is tender and the liquid has been absorbed, you’re good to go.
And how do I eat it?
We recommend eating freekeh in tacos, of course. Grilled Fish Tacos with Freekeh, to be exact. But you can also use freekeh anywhere you might use rice or other whole grains, such as in salads, stir-fries, risotto, and soup.
Grilled Fish Tacos with Freekeh is a great starter recipe if you’re new to this ancient whole grain. The freekeh lends a pleasantly chewy and nutty flavor to the heat of seasoned tilapia, the crunch of fresh cabbage, and the tang of queso fresco. Grab a few friends because this recipe makes eight tacos, although we won’t be surprised if you find it hard to share.
Grilled Fish Tacos with Freekeh
Try these Grilled Fish Tacos with Freekeh – a perfect blend of chewy and nutty freekeh, spicy seasoned tilapia, crunch of fresh cabbage, and tang of queso fresco.
Makes 8 tacos
|4 ounces dry freekeh|
|2 cups water|
|1 pound tilapia|
|2 teaspoons Cajun seasoning|
|8 6-inch corn tortillas|
|1 cup shredded red cabbage|
|1/2 cup diced tomatoes|
|2 ounces queso fresco, crumbled|
|1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro|
|8 scallions, chopped|
|8 lime wedges|
- Prepare the freekeh: In a small saucepan, combine freekeh and water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat then reduce to a simmer. Simmer 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until freekeh is tender and all the water has been absorbed. Transfer freekeh to a bowl and set aside.
- Prepare the tilapia: Sprinkle tilapia with Cajun seasoning. Heat a large saute pan or grill pan over medium heat. Add tilapia and cook until opaque and the flesh flakes easily with a fork, about 4 minutes per side. Using a spatula, break filets into thin strips and set aside.
- Once all ingredients are prepared and you are ready to build your tacos, lay each tortilla flat. Divide cabbage evenly among tortillas. Top each with 2 ounces tilapia, 1 tablespoons tomatoes, 3 tablespoons freekeh, 1/4 ounce queso fresco. Garnish with 1/2 teaspoon cilantro, 1 sliced scallion, and 1 lime wedge.
Nutrition information per taco: 180 calories, 4.5 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 30 mg cholesterol, 150 mg sodium, 21 g carbohydrate, 2 g sugar, 4.5 g fiber, 16 g protein
Stay tuned for whole grain recipes from the FLIK team. For more information about this article or others, please email us at FLIKblog@compass-usa.com.
Written by Danielle Cushing, RD, LDN, CNSC