Meatless Monday: Southwestern Farro Salad

June 25, 2012 · 14 comments

in healthy,mexican/tex-mex,quick and easy,salads,vegetarian

Bringing lunches to work can be tough. I enjoy dinner leftovers, so on the days I have those, I’m golden. But, I only cook dinner with leftovers maybe 1-2 times per week. The remaining days, I have to buy lunch (which I usually try to limit to once a week), or figure something else out. And I am so NOT a sandwich girl. I mean, I can be a sandwich girl…if the sandwich has a lot of stuff on it, like cheese, lettuce, tomato, pickles, etc. and the bread is toasted. If I were to make that sandwich in the morning, it would be a soggy mess by lunch time.

In the spring and summer particularly, I enjoy grain salads. I usually take my lunch hour to walk (or go to the gym, when I’m feeling extra motivated) and then sit down to eat and work when I get back. Grain salads are great for that purpose because 9 out of 10 times, the last thing I want after walking around for an hour in 90 degree temps is to heat something up for lunch.

Farro is a fantastic whole grain that doesn’t get enough love. We’re currently in the middle of a quinoa lovefest (which is cool, since quinoa is pretty awesome, too), and farro is the wallflower in the background which surely everyone would love if they just give it a chance. Farro, to me, is reminiscent of barley, both in its nutty taste and chewy texture. It’s a bit more convenient, though, since it takes less time to cook.

It should be no surprise to you that this salad has the southwestern ingredients I clearly love. (For the record, I did make a  Greek brown rice salad the following week, though.) It’s vegetarian, but still has protein from the farro and beans, and both do wonders for keeping you full, too.

I’ve seen a lot of recipes where the farro is soaked, but I’ve never done it myself, and I’ve not experienced any ill effects. Normally I cook farro in the same way I do white rice, but this time I decided to make it the same way I make brown rice, and it worked beautifully.

A random note: I started adding our weekly menu plan to the sidebar of my blog last week. I’ll try my best to keep it updated, and hope it gives you some ideas!

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