Freekeh and Shredded Kale Salad with Beets & Feta

by Kelli on March 10, 2014

This super healthy salad combines freekeh, shredded kale, beets and feta cheese with a light lemon vinaigrette. It's perfect for a lunchtime! | TheCornerKitchenBlog.com #freekeh #kale

Last year my relationship with running was very much a love-hate relationship.  There were certainly days that I loved it, and there were days that I had amazing runs.  But, there were many more days that my body just wasn’t feeling it, or that I was on the brink of/in the midst/recovering from injury.  I spent the majority of last spring and summer desperately trying to love running the way I once had.  But, it just never happened.  So, I stepped away away for a while.

I find that when I’m feeling uninspired with anything in life – be it, writing, cooking, running, anything - the best thing to do is to remove myself from the situation.  Maybe for an hour, a day, a week or a few months, whatever kind of time I need.  Usually when I come back to whatever it is, I’m in a better mindset and a fresh perspective.

This super healthy salad combines freekeh, shredded kale, beets and feta cheese with a light lemon vinaigrette. It's perfect for a lunchtime! | TheCornerKitchenBlog.com #freekeh #kale

Coming back to running this year has been very much the same.  I’ve been back at it for a couple months now, and I love running in a way I haven’t experienced in a long time.  It was kind of tough going at first, but I expected that.  Rebuilding fitness it never exactly easy.  Every run I’ve felt a little bit stronger, and every once in a while I have a “breakthrough run”.  I had one such run last weekend, I felt strong, lite on my feet and was able to push a pace I haven’t seen in a looong time.

I was beyond thankful to come home and refuel with a big bowl of Freekeh and Shredded Kale Salad with Baby Beets and Feta.  I love a hearty salad that I can eat as a meal, without feeling hungry 20 minutes after cleaning my plate, and this one definitely fits the bill.

This super healthy salad combines freekeh, shredded kale, beets and feta cheese with a light lemon vinaigrette. It's perfect for a lunchtime! | TheCornerKitchenBlog.com #freekeh #kale

I’ve been cooking with freekeh a lot lately – using it in burrito bowl, eating it for breakfast, using it in stir frys & curries, and adding it to salads.  To make weekday meals a little easier I like to cook a big pot of freekeh (usually cracked freekeh), and store in the refrigerator to use when I need it during the week.

Also, ever since trying Love Beets recently, I’ve been hooked on steamed and peeled baby beets (there are a variety of brands offered at most grocery stores; I usually get mine at Trader Joe’s).  They.are.so.convenient!  Of course you can also steam your own beets.

One last time saving tip….since kale is so meaty, this salad can be made the day before you plan to serve.

Freekeh and Shredded Kale Salad with Beets & Feta

Yield: Serves 2-4 as a meal; 4-8 as a side

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup cracked freekeh
  • 1 1/4 cup vegetable stock (or water)
  • 4 cup kale, stem removed and finely shredded
  • 1 1/2 cups steamed beets, diced
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/2 cup toasted pumpkin seeds (optional)
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • salt fresh ground pepper

Instructions

Combine the cracked freekeh and stock (or water) and a pinch of salt in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until all the liquid has been absorbed. Transfer to a bowl and refrigerate until chilled, and you prepare the salad.

In a large bowl, mix together the shredded kale, a few tablespoons of the vinaigrette (recipe below) and a pinch of salt. Let this sit for a few minutes.

Add the chilled freekeh, beets, feta and pumpkin seeds to the bowl, and mix the ingredients together until fully combined. Top with fresh ground pepper and additional vinaigrette, as desired.

For the vinaigrette:

In a small bowl, mix together the lemon juice, balsamic vinegar, 1/4 teaspoon salt and fresh ground pepper. Slowly whisk in the olive oil. If the dressing separates, just mix together again before serving.

Serve immediately.

Store in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

http://thecornerkitchenblog.com/freekeh-shredded-kale-salad-beets-feta/

This super healthy salad combines freekeh, shredded kale, beets and feta cheese with a light lemon vinaigrette. It's perfect for a lunchtime! | TheCornerKitchenBlog.com #freekeh #kale

Enjoy!

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{ 36 comments… read them below or add one }

Taylor @ Food Faith Fitness March 10, 2014 at 7:45 AM

I can’t lie. I hate running. I love weights, but I just can’t run ever. I wish I liked it!
This salad looks delish Kelli! I have never had freekeh, but I love new interesting thing!
Pinned

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Kelli March 10, 2014 at 10:55 AM

I love this grain…definitely one of my go-to’s!! Thanks, Taylor!

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Julia March 10, 2014 at 8:23 AM

So glad to hear you’ve hit the ground running…with running !! ;) I love running, too but it’s definitely one of those physical activities you can get super burned out on when you push it. Listening to your body is so valuable and it’s amazing to come back after a much needed break.

THIS SALAD LOOKS AMAZING! I can definitely see this being a revitalizing dish after a nice long jog! So healthy and tasty!

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Kelli March 10, 2014 at 10:57 AM

Hehehe! I think the burnout was a long time coming, but glad to me back….and glad to be eating freekeh salad :) Thanks, lady!

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Anna @ Garnish with Lemon March 10, 2014 at 10:18 AM

I’m not a runner, but I’m a total beet lover, and this looks like the perfect lunch for me!

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Kelli March 10, 2014 at 10:58 AM

This salad would be right up your alley, Anna!

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Jocelyn (Grandbaby Cakes) March 10, 2014 at 10:58 AM

So I’m not a big fan of beets but the way they look in your salad, I just might be. I think you did a genius thing here pairing them with feta and kale!

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Kelli March 10, 2014 at 11:03 AM

Thanks, Jocelyn! Bummer about the beets! The first thing that comes to mind is swapping them out for a diced apples or roasted sweet potato chunks….or, any of your favorite veggies.

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Natalie @ Tastes Lovely March 10, 2014 at 11:04 AM

I’ve never cooked with freekeh! I’m going to have to give it a try because this salad sounds amazing.

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Kelli March 10, 2014 at 11:07 AM

Thanks, Natalie! Yes, I hope you try it!!

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Dragana @abouthealthyfood March 10, 2014 at 11:42 AM

This is so inspiring, I’m not really a good cook, but I try because of my hubby :-) This recipe is bookmarked. Thanks

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Kelli March 10, 2014 at 11:57 AM

Thanks so much….enjoy!

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Kelly Senyei | Just a Taste March 10, 2014 at 11:44 AM

So many of my favorite flavors all in one dish! Love this!

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Kelli March 10, 2014 at 11:58 AM

Thank you, Kelly!

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Lauren @ Climbing Grier Mountain March 10, 2014 at 1:25 PM

So glad you have found your happy place again with running. I need to find that again! Love, love, love this salad, girl!

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Kelli March 11, 2014 at 10:35 AM

Thanks, Lauren!

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Melanie @ Carmel Moments March 10, 2014 at 4:16 PM

I’ve never used freekeh before. I’m also sad to say that I never even heard of it til now. Thanks for opening my eyes to something new. Looks like a delish salad!
That’s a great feeling…when running feels good again. Sounds like a perfect day. Way to go! I enjoy running too but sometimes get in ruts. Had my first run today in awhile. Felt good. :)

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Kelli March 11, 2014 at 10:38 AM

Yay, running! I think a lot of people are just starting to learn about freekeh, so you’re definitely not alone. Enjoy!

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Pat March 10, 2014 at 10:19 PM

This looks really good, I admit though, that I have never tried freekeh and have only recently heard of this grain. Where I shop they have all sorts of interesting grains, I will have to ask them to bring in some freekeh. Is it like bulgar or wheat berries? And, I love beets in anything.

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Kelli March 11, 2014 at 10:40 AM

Thank you, Pat! Little by little it seems like more stores are starting to carry freekeh. I’d definitely ask your local market about it, and you can always buy it online (I buy mine on Amazon). Cracked freekeh, which is what I use in this recipe, is most similar to bulgar.

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Tieghan March 10, 2014 at 11:51 PM

Ya for running! I am not much of a runner, but happy running feels good again for you!!

LOVE this salad. So bright and spring + some of my favorite flavors!

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Kelli March 11, 2014 at 10:40 AM

Thanks, Tieghan!

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Lauren March 10, 2014 at 11:54 PM

What a healthy and fresh looking salad! I must try this! Saving for later–thanks and happy running!

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Kelli March 11, 2014 at 10:40 AM

Thanks so much, Lauren! Enjoy!

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Laura (Blogging Over Thyme) March 11, 2014 at 8:00 AM

I totally agree. Whenever I am not feeling anything, I just have to step away. Otherwise, I am just not happy with whatever it is. Period.

This salad looks delicious! I love shredded (in this case) or massaged kale in salads, it makes it so much tastier.

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Kelli March 11, 2014 at 10:42 AM

Actually realizing when it’s time to step away and doing it is usually the hardest part. Thanks, Laura!

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Joanne March 12, 2014 at 7:32 AM

Running really is a funny thing that way. I’ve definitely gone through phases where I just wasn’t into it, but it’s crazy how much I start to crave it after a few weeks of not doing it!

I have similar feelings towards kale. I haven’t had it in a few weeks now and it’s all GET IN MY BELLY. Gorgeous salad!!

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Kelli March 12, 2014 at 11:51 AM

Thanks, girl….and glad you’re back on the kale bandwagon!

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Kare @ Kitchen Treaty March 13, 2014 at 11:01 AM

This looks so wholesome and hearty. I have yet to try freekah but I’m inspired now! Congrats on getting back into running. Sometimes taking a break really does make all the difference!

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Kelli March 15, 2014 at 9:08 AM

Thanks, Kare! You should definitely give freekeh a try!

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Jersey Girl Cooks April 2, 2014 at 7:59 PM

Pretty looking salad. I love the beets from Trader Joe’s. Now I know what to make with my freekah :)

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Kelli April 4, 2014 at 1:11 PM

Thanks so much! Enjoy!

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Sally June 30, 2014 at 2:17 PM

I can only find Freekah at Trader Joes in small packs ….where do you buy it in bulk if it’s the go to grain because small packs aren’t economical?…..

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Kelli July 2, 2014 at 2:27 PM

I go through the small packages pretty quickly, as well. I’ve been buying mine on Amazon in 2 or 4lb. pound bags.

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Erin January 23, 2015 at 9:04 AM

I just made this, and this is a REALLY wonderful flavor combo! The only thing that was off for me is that I didn’t need as much veggie broth to cook the freekeh, but I also cooked it covered. Don’t know if that made a difference. Also, I added 1/2 T sugar to the vinaigrette. I didn’t have enough lemon, so I added some lime juice, too. I really enjoyed this! Thank you!

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Kelli February 6, 2015 at 7:47 AM

Great! I’m so happy you enjoyed the salad, Erin! It’s one of my favorites.

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