7.08.2014

Kale and Grain Salad



Over the past year, my husband and I have gotten really into weight lifting. Recently, we started seeing a personal trainer, who explained that "what you eat is everything" and sat us down for a nutritional consult.

Her rules are strict: no pasta, no cereal, no bread, extremely limited sugar intake (and sugar includes fruit, carrots, etc). She recommends lean proteins, sweet potatoes, lots of greens, and whole grains- the typical bodybuilder diet.

I can't stick to a diet like that too closely (I'm Italian, I love my pasta!), but I do want to try to eat a little cleaner during our weeknight meals.

This salad is my bodybuilder diet "training wheels"- I mixed couscous (a pasta) with freekeh (a serious whole grain), and added kale, snap peas, and a few shavings of Parmesan.  It was pretty good- I don't like the freekeh by itself, but blended with Israeli couscous, it made for a delicious mix of textures.

Kale and Grain Salad
1/2 cup freekeh
1/2 cup Israeli couscous
1 cup chicken stock
1 bunch kale, trimmed and chopped
1 cup sugarsnap peas
1 clove garlic, smashed
Olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Parmesan cheese

Vinaigrette:
1/4 olive oil
1 small shallot, chopped
2 tbsp vinegar

Bring a pot of water to a boil. Add snap peas, boil one minute, then drain and rinse under cold water to set the color.

Combine 1/2 cup freekeh and 1 and 1/2 cups water in a pot. Bring to a boil, and simmer 45 minutes. (Alternately, you can buy cracked freekeh, which cooks faster. I had a hard time finding that).  Drain, and add to a serving bowl.

In a separate pot, add couscous and chicken stock. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 10 minutes, until water is absorbed.  Drain, and combine with freekeh in serving bowl.

Saute the kale, garlic, and olive oil in one of the pots until wilted, and add to serving bowl. Add sugarsnap peas as well.

Mix all dressing ingredients together and pour over freekeh/couscous combo. Using a vegetable peeler, shave some Parmesan over the top. Serve and enjoy.

*You can also make this salad with just freekeh or just couscous, to make it easier. Or swap quinoa or farro for one of the ingredients.

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