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Roasted Red Cabbage, Kale, and Freekeh Salad

This Roasted Red Cabbage, Kale, and Freekeh Salad is a vibrant and nutritious blend of textures and flavours. Red cabbage and kale are two superfoods renowned for their high nutrient content that both satisfies the palate but also provides an abundance of health benefits. Red cabbage, with its deep colour, is packed with vitamins C and K and is known for its antioxidant properties, which help fight inflammation and boost heart health. Kale, another nutritional powerhouse, adds fibre, iron, and even more vitamins, supporting everything from bone health to digestion.

Freekah is an ancient grain rich in protein and fibre. It has a low glycemic index, aiding in blood sugar control. The dish is further enhanced with various textures and flavours from ingredients like almond flakes for crunch, golden raisins for a touch of sweetness, and a sprinkle of fresh mint for a refreshing zest.

Dressed in a simple yet flavourful mixture of olive oil, lemon juice, and Dijon mustard and complemented by a creamy beetroot yoghurt sauce, the salad is both bright and tangy. This dressing adds not only robust flavours but also incorporates healthy fats and probiotics, promoting a balanced diet. Whether you’re looking for a hearty main or a fulfilling side dish, the Roasted Cabbage, Kale, and Freekeh Salad promises a delicious way to enjoy eating healthily, making every bite a testament to the joys of nourishing your body with wholesome foods.

DIABETIC-FRIENDLY ASPECTS

Low Glycemic Index: Freekeh, the star of this salad, a complex carb food low in Glycemic index, supporting stable blood sugar levels, essential for individuals managing diabetes.

High Fibre Content: With ample fibre from kale, red cabbage, and freekeh, this salad aids in digestion and slows down the absorption of glucose, promoting better blood sugar control.

Healthy Fats: Incorporating heart-healthy olive oil and almonds, this dish support cardiac health and provides sustained energy without causing spikes

THYROID-FRIENDLY ASPECTS

Anti-inflammatory Benefits: The combination of antioxidants from red cabbage, kale, and olive oil helps combat inflammation, supporting overall thyroid function.

Nutrition information per Portion

Calories: Approximately 250 kcal

Carbohydrates: 30g

Protein: 8g

Fat: 12g

Basic Ingredients For Roasted Red Cabbage, Kale, and Freekeh Salad

Salad:

Red Cabbage: Rich in vitamins C and K, red cabbage adds a crunchy texture and vibrant colour to the salad. Its antioxidants help fight inflammation and promote heart health.

Kale: Kale is a nutrient-dense leafy green high in fibre, iron, and vitamins A, C, and K. Its slightly bitter flavour and chewy texture complement the softer ingredients.

Freekeh: This ancient grain is chosen for its nutty flavour and high fibre content, which aids in digestion and provides sustained energy. Freekeh is also high in protein, making it an excellent base for the salad.

Olive Oil: Used for roasting and dressing, olive oil adds healthy fats to the dish and enhances the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins from other ingredients.

Almond Flakes: Almonds add a delightful crunch and are a source of healthy fats, protein, and vitamin E, which is good for skin health.

Golden Raisins: These add natural sweetness to balance the savoury and bitter flavours of the other ingredients while providing iron and potassium.

Fresh Mint: Mint adds a burst of freshness and aids in digestion, brightening the dish with its vibrant flavour.

Dressing:

Lemon Juice and Dijon Mustard: Lemon juice provides vitamin C and brightness, while Dijon mustard adds a tangy depth to the dressing, tying all flavours together.

Yoghurt Sauce:

Beetroot in Yogurt Sauce: Beetroot is rich in fibre, folate, and manganese. It gives the yoghurt sauce a sweet, earthy flavour and a beautiful colour while providing additional antioxidants.

Tahini: Tahini, made from sesame seeds, contributes a creamy texture and rich, nutty flavour to the sauce, along with a dose of healthy fats and calcium.

Alternative Ingredients

Grains: Quinoa or bulgur can replace freekeh for a gluten-free or different texture option.

Nuts: Pecans or walnuts can be used instead of almond flakes for variety or due to allergies.

Dried Fruit: Dried cranberries or chopped apricots can substitute golden raisins for a different sweetness.

Preparation Tips for Roasted Red Cabbage, Kale, and Freekeh Salad

  • Massage the kale with olive oil before adding it to the salad to soften its texture and enhance its taste.
  • Roast the cabbage at a high temperature to achieve a mix of tender and crispy textures.
  • Soak the raisins in warm water before adding them to the salad to plump them up and make them juicier and sweeter.

Serving Tips for Roasted Red Cabbage, Kale, and Freekeh Salad

  • Serve this salad on a flat platter rather than a deep bowl to showcase its colourful ingredients.
  • Pair with grilled chicken or fish for a protein-rich meal, or serve as a standalone vegetarian dish.

Storage Tips

  • Store the salad and dressing separately. Mix them only before serving to keep the ingredients fresh and crunchy.
  • Keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. The kale and cabbage will soften over time, which some may find more palatable.
  • The beetroot yoghurt sauce can be refrigerated in a separate airtight container for up to 5 days.

Roasted Red Cabbage, Kale, and Freekeh Salad

Servings: 6 servings
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients 

Salad

  • ½ head red cabbage, shredded
  • 200 g kale, finely chopped
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 ½ cups vegetable broth or water
  • 1 cup freekeh
  • ½ tsp coriander seeds
  • cup dried golden raisins
  • cup almond flakes
  • pomegranate seeds
  • handful fresh mint, finely chopped

Dressing

  • ¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon
  • 2 tbsp rice vinegar
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp date molasses or honey
  • 1 tbsp finely grated lemon zest, optional
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Yoghurt Sauce

  • 1 cup yoghurt
  • ½ cup labneh
  • 1 small roasted beetroot, peeled
  • dried mint, to taste
  • 2 tbsp tahini sauce
  • 1 tsp pomegranate molasses
  • 1 tsp honey

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 425ºF (220ºC).
  • On a rimmed baking sheet, toss the shredded red cabbage with a couple of tablespoons of olive oil. Season generously with salt and pepper. Roast for 20 minutes or until browned and crispy. Set aside to cool.
  • In a medium saucepan, combine the vegetable broth (or water) and freekeh. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce the heat to maintain a simmer. Cover and cook for 20 minutes, until the freekeh is tender and has absorbed most of the broth. Fluff with a fork and let it cool slightly.
  • In a small bowl or measuring cup, combine the olive oil, lemon juice, rice vinegar, Dijon mustard, honey, lemon zest (if using), and salt and pepper to taste. Whisk until well blended.
  • In a food processor, blend the yoghurt, labneh, roasted beetroot, mint, salt, pepper, lemon juice, and tahini sauce until smooth.
  • In a large bowl, combine the roasted red cabbage, kale, cooked freekeh, raisins, almond flakes, toasted coriander, and fresh mint. Drizzle with most of the dressing and toss to coat evenly. Taste and adjust the seasoning or add more dressing as needed.
  • Spread the beetroot yoghurt sauce on the base of your serving plate. Gently place the salad on top. Garnish with additional mint and almond flakes if desired.

Notes

This salad combines roasted textures with fresh greens and a rich, creamy beetroot yoghurt sauce, making it a nutritious and flavourful meal or side dish.

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