Cannellini beans contain twice as much iron as beef, and they’re loaded with lean protein and fiber. For this salad, you don’t have to measure everything precisely—just add as much or as little of the ingredients as you like.

Recipe courtesy of The Freekeh Cookbook by Bonnie Matthews.

Get more protein-packed vegetarian recipes here.


  • 1 8-ounce package cracked freekeh (1 cup dry, or about 2 cups cooked)
  • 2½ cups vegetable broth
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • ½ cup crumbled nonfat feta cheese or nonfat goat cheese
  • 1 15.5-ounce can of cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2–3 cups fresh beets, scrubbed, skins on and diced (about 6–8 beets)
  • 3 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp pistachio nuts or pepita seeds (green pumpkin seeds)
  • to taste sea salt
  • to taste cracked pepper
  • 1 tbsp fresh diced mint or chopped fresh basil (optional)
  • fresh chopped spring onion or Italian parsley (optional)


  1. Preheat the oven to 375°. Place beets on a foil-covered baking sheet. Drizzle a little olive oil on top, and bake on the middle rack in the preheated oven. Cook for about 30 minutes or until tender. Remove from oven, and let cool to room temperature.
  2. Pour 2½ cups of broth and the freekeh in a saucepan, and bring to a boil, cooking for 1 minute. Reduce heat to low. Cover, and simmer for about 25 minutes until the freekeh is tender. Let the freekeh cool before making the salad.
  3. Toss ingredients together. Add the crumbled cheese. Serve chilled.
  4. Optional: serve the salad on top of arugula or other greens drizzled with a little apple cider vinegar and olive oil.
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