RECIPE: Risotto with freekeh and vegan cheese

The really interesting food company sells this funny wheat called freekeh (pronounced free-kah).  It sounds freaky, but it’s not that foreign when you understand how it’s made. Freekeh is young green wheat that has been toasted and cracked.  It is harvested while it is still young and green and roasted over an open fire.  This gives the freekeh its slightly smoky flavour.

I Love Foodies editor Benike Palfi and I decided to try it out by putting our own spin on this risotto with lemon broccoli and goats cheese recipe we found on their website.   The only reason why I didn’t make the exact recipe is because I didn’t have the right ingredients in my cupboard, but at least it gave me a chance to experiment with vegan cheese!  I changed the vegan cheese recipe a bit because it tasted really


This is freekeh.

bland.  Also not like goat’s cheese at all.

You need to prepare your freekeh by soaking it in water the night before.

Serves 4.


For the risotto:

For the vegan cheese:


  1. Prepare your vegetable stock according to the method specified on the packet.
  2. Dump your cauliflower florets in there and cook it for a minute or two.
  3. Take out your cauliflower florets and bring the stock back to a boil.
  4. In a separate pot heat some coconut oil and add your chopped onion and garlic cloves.
  5. Add your soaked freekeh and stir for one minute.
  6. Now start adding your stock spoonful at a time to your freekeh.
  7. Cook your freekeh mix until the stock is soaked up and then add the next big spoonful.
  8. This should take around 20 minutes, so get someone else to continue doing this and make your vegan cheese.
  9. In a blender add all of the ingredients for your vegan cheese and blend until if forms a smooth paste.
  10. Add more nutritional yeast flakes and other seasoning ingredients to taste and set aside.
  11. Add the cauliflower florets to your risotto again and heat it up.
  12. Dish out your risotto when ready and serve it with yoghurt, your vegan cheese and some chopped basil.



This recipe costs quite a lot, especially if you don’t have brewer’s yeast and nutritional yeast already.  Fortunately I had them already and I buy my nuts in bulk which is a lot cheaper!

Assuming you already have pantry staples like spices and flavourants and oils in your cupboard, the recipe will costs you about R317, depending on where you buy your ingredients!  This is what I paid for my ingredients:

Freekeh R69.99
Cauliflower R22.99
Basil R9.99
Vegetable stock R36.00
Yoghurt R36.00
Raw cashews R44.99
Brewer’s yeast R69.99
Nutritional yeast flakes R27.00
Total R316.95

Want something a little less freaky?  Try this recipe for yellow pepper red lentil pasta.

Yellow Pepper Pasta



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