A meal isn’t a meal without rice—that’s the concept I’ve grown up with living in an Asian household. So I challenged that notion today by using a different grain: farro. Similar to quinoa, this gluten-free, high-fiber, high-protein grain is a great rice replacement. It contains four times as much fiber as white rice, and is made up of complex carbohydrates, which takes longer to digest and keeps us fuller for longer. It’s often referred to as a “chill pill” due to its magnesium content aiding in relieving the effects of muscle tension and menstruation cramps. It’s great for your immune system too!
I tend not to enjoy farro as much when eaten alone, so I mixed it up with some veggies, sausage, lemon, and lots of herbs to come up with this Lemon-Herb Farro Blend.
Serving Size: 3-4
- 1 cup farro
- Extra virgin olive oil
- ⅙ cup onion, chopped
- 1 clove garlic, chopped
- ⅙ cup carrots, chopped into minuscule pieces
- 1 red bell pepper, sliced into thin strips
- Sea salt
- Basil, fresh (chopped) or ground
- Thyme, ground
- Black pepper, ground
- 1 lemon, small
- 1 cup mushroom, chopped
- ½ cup green beans, chopped
- 2 chicken or turkey sausages (Be sure to read the label and choose ones with no casing and no funky ingredients!)
- Rinse and cook farro. [Note: There are various types of farro, so be sure to research how your version is best cooked. Depending on the type, it can take anywhere from 5 minutes up to 40 minutes to cook.]
- In the meantime, drizzle olive oil into a large frying pan and cook onions, garlic, carrots and red bell pepper on medium heat for 5 minutes. Sprinkle a good amount of basil, thyme, sea salt, juice of half a lemon and 2 cups of water. Stir, throw a lid on and reduce to low heat. Cook for 25 minutes.
- Add green beans and mushrooms. (These veggies cook much faster than carrots and peppers so we’re adding them in later.) Squeeze in some more lemon.
- Chop the sausages into bite-size pieces. (Depending on the type of sausage, you may or may not have to cook them before chopping. If it’s firm, go ahead and chop; if it feels gushy, cook first.)
- Once the farro is ready, drain it and throw it into the frying pan with everything else. Drizzle olive oil into the pan. Add some more ground pepper and thyme to taste. Squeeze in the remaining lemon. Mix thoroughly.
- That’s it! Go ahead and serve warm. I served mine with a sweet corn on the cob and a glass of my fave—Sancerre white wine.