I received this recipe when I attended the Healthy Kitchens, Healthy Lives annual conference. HKHL is a joint program of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and the Culinary Institute of America. The annual conference brings together chefs and cooks with medical and public health experts. One of its stated goals is to “transform attendees into advocates and role models for healthy food and lifestyle choices” and I am a convert! My family really enjoys this colorful, one-dish meal – I hope yours does, too! ~Dr. Dion

Makes 6 to 8 portions.


1 cup dry freekeh (I use farro)

2 cups water

1/2 tsp. salt, plus more to taste

1/2 cup cilantro (I use parsley), minced

1/2 cup mint

1 cup scallions (the white part), thinly sliced

1/4 cup scallions (the green part), chopped

1 can black beans, drained and rinsed (this is about 1 3/4 cup if you’re making these from scratch)

1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed (same)

1 ea red and yellow bell pepper, chopped into 1/2″ squares

3 cups cherry tomatoes

1 Persian cucumber, chopped into 1/2″ squares

1/2 cup almonds or walnuts, toasted and roughly chopped

1/4 cup lemon juice, plus additional, as needed

1/2 tsp cumin seeds, lightly toasted and ground, plus additional as needed (you can substitute pre-ground cumin if that’s what you have on hand)

1/4 tsp garam masala (this is an Indian spice blend that you can buy, but you can also make your own)

6 Tbsp olive oil


  1. Heat a medium-size heavy saucepan over medium-high heat and add freekeh. Toast in the dry pan, shaking or stirring, until freekeh becomes fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes.
  2. Add 2 cups of water and salt and bring to a boil.
  3. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer 20-25 minutes or until water has been absorbed. (If you’re using farro instead, just follow the package instructions for cooking and start this recipe at step 5.)
  4. Turn off heat and uncover. Place a clean dish towel or paper towel over the pot and return lid. Let sit at least 10 minutes. Uncover and allow freekeh to cool another 10 minutes.
  5. In a large bowl, combine freekeh with all the other prepared ingredients. Taste and add more lemon juice, if desired.
  6. Serve right away or let sit for up to 1 hour before serving.

Nutritional information (per serving)

Calories: 320 / Protein: 14 g / Carbohydrate: 46 g / Fiber: 11 g / Saturated fat: 2 g / Polyunsaturated fat: 3 g / Monounsaturated fat: 13 g / Trans fat: 0 g / Sodium: 395 mg / Potassium: 480 mg / Added sugar: 0 g

© Healthy Kitchens, Healthy Lives® and The Culinary Institute of America®