Got a case of the winter-is-coming blues? Then whip up a batch of this
Roasted Squash and Freekah Pilaf. It’s exactly what the doctor ordered!
I know I’ve mentioned it here before, but I used to teach Latin. Yup, Latin. That dead language that only allows me to communicate with other Latin teachers and the Pope. But here’s the thing. Latin might not be spoken much anymore, but I love the language. The verb conjugations and noun declensions make sense (well, mostly). Latin really is much easier than English. Take this sentence, for instance: At the present moment, the children present a present to the mayor. Seriously? The same word is used in 3 different ways…in one sentence! You won’t find any of that craziness in Latin.
So how exactly does one become a Latin teacher? Well, good question. I took Latin starting in 7th grade, and I enjoyed it. Truth be told, my favorite part was the history/culture/mythology. But I still enjoyed the language. So I kept on taking it all through high school. And then college came along, and I kept on taking it…albeit I focused more on the historical courses rather than on the language courses. The next thing I knew, I had enough credits to get a second major in Classical Studies. Then I ended up in Baton Rouge, LA, and a friend in my apartment complex told me her school was in desperate need of a Latin teacher. I didn’t love my job working at a bank, so I took a leap of faith. While I don’t teach Latin anymore, I do have good memories of teaching.
So what in the world does Latin have to do with this delicious Roasted Squash and Freekah Pilaf? Pomegranate seeds. Yes, you read that right. Pomegranate seeds. In Roman mythology, Persephone was the daughter of Demeter, the goddess of harvest and grain. Hades, the god of the Underworld, kidnapped Persephone and took her to be his queen. To make a long story short, Demeter got her daughter back…but only after Persephone had eaten 6 pomegranate seeds. Pomegranate was the fruit of the Underworld, and so Persephone now must live in the Underworld for 6 months each year. Ceres mourns for her daughter during these 6 months each year, and during this time, grain will not grow and there is no harvest. And that’s how the Romans explained the Winter.
But wait, what about this Roasted Squash and Freekah Pilaf? Well, it has pomegranate seeds in it. In fact, I can’t get enough of this pilaf! I started with a base of brown rice and freekah (more on that later), and then I added in all sorts of awesome Fall seasonal ingredients. Think roasted butternut squash, toasted walnuts, dried cranberries and pomegranate seeds. Yup, there’s all kinds of deliciousness in this one! (This pilaf would make a great side dish for Thanksgiving.)
So freekah. What’s the deal with freekah? Well, much like Latin, it’s ancient. Freekah is wheat that is harvested early and then roasted. It’s slightly chewy in texture, and cracked freekah is cooked in a similar fashion as rice. See…you already know how to cook freekah, and you didn’t even know it! Oh, and freekah is a beast when it comes to nutrition. It’s loaded with fiber and has 7g of protein per serving. Last Fall, Huffington Post tabbed freekah to replace quinoa as the next great supergrain. Embrace this stuff, folks. It’s delicious, easy to make and really flippin’ good for you.
Bob’s Red Mill recently added this ancient grain to their Grain of Discovery lineup. That means you can now grab a bag of cracked freekah on your next shopping trip. (Check out Bob’s Red Mill store finder to find a location in your area.) If you’re looking for a tasty, seasonal side dish…then this Roasted Squash and Freekah Pilaf is calling your name! Heck, we turned the leftovers into dinner all by itself one night. The slightly sweet pomegranate seeds and dried cranberries partner quite well with the roasted squash, rice and freekah. Finish it off with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice, and you’ve got a dish suitable for the gods and goddesses themselves. But don’t worry, you won’t be relegated to the Underworld for eating this awesome side dish. Enjoy!
For more delicious recipes, I highly recommend checking out the recipe section on the Bob’s Red Mill website. There’s enough tasty recipes there to keep you going all winter long!
This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Bob’s Red Mill.
The opinions and recipe are all my own.