I do not believe in New Year’s resolutions because I feel that they set you up for failure. Every January, many folks create an unrealistic list of goals that they plan to follow for the rest of the year, and more often than not, they realize they are impossible to reach and end up quitting and feeling discouraged. Although we eat pretty healthy compared to many other folks, I do set out each year to improve our eating habits with a few small changes that I know I can pull off successfully. The past couple of months I’ve had some digestive issues that have plagued me so for 2018 I want to improve my gut health by including more fermented foods, decrease or eliminate all white sugar and flour from my diet, and to maintain a vegetarian lifestyle at least five days a week. I’ve already been working on these three goals the past few months, but I just want to step it up a bit now for 2018 and work even harder to achieve these goals. This recipe will be posted while I am away in Miami at a spa, and I created this salad to ease into the cleanse that we will be taking part in at the spa along with a variety of health based treatments.
One easy way to ensure we are enjoying a healthy lunch is to make a big grain and vegetable salad at the beginning of each week. By adding cooked grains and legumes to your salads, the nutritional value of the salad improves by adding extra fiber and protein and adds a heartiness that ensures you are feeling satisfied for hours afterward. Farro has become my favorite grain as it is very popular in Umbria where we spend six months every year, but you could use any grain that you prefer. I recently wanted to create a filling detoxifying salad, so I added some chopped cucumbers, celery, cherry tomatoes, pomegranate arils, and green onions to my cooked farro. I also folded in a combination of chopped fresh herbs which brought a bright vibrancy to this salad. This salad is so delicious and nourishing, and stores well for a day or two in the refrigerator. For my dressing, I made a vinaigrette that included detoxifying ingredients like apple cider vinegar, tahini, olive oil, and lemon.
Farro has a delicious nutty flavor and is high in fiber, magnesium, and vitamins A,B,C, and E. As a complex carbohydrate, farro is rich in the cyanogenic glucosides that stimulate the immune system, regulate blood sugar levels, and lower cholesterol. Though not a complete source of protein, like quinoa, farro contains more than other grains and also contains lignans that give it antioxidant properties. Whole grains take longer to digest, so they keep you feeling full longer and provide sustained energy. This salad meets all my requirements for a good salad as it is colorful, crunchy, satisfying, and full of flavor. If serving this salad for dinner, you could add a can of drained chickpeas to keep it vegan, or even prepare it topped with a piece of grilled chicken or fish. Lightly toasted chopped walnuts, pistachios, or almonds would also be a great addition to this salad.
Deborah Mele 2018
- 1 Cup Uncooked Farro
- 2 Cups Cherry Tomatoes, Quartered
- 2 Cups Cucumbers, Chopped
- 3 Celery Stalks, Chopped
- 6 Green Onions, Chopped
- 1 1/2 Cups Pomegranate Arils
- 1/2 Cup Chopped Fresh Parsley
- 1/2 Cup Chopped Fresh Basil
- 1/2 Cup Chopped Fresh Mint
- 2 Tablespoon Fresh Lemon Juice
- 2 Tablespoons Apple Cider Vinegar
- 3 Tablespoons Tahini
- 1/3 Cup Extra-virgin Olive Oil
- Sea Salt & Cracked Black Pepper To Taste
- Thoroughly rinse the farro and add to a medium pot along with three cups of water.
- Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes or until tender, then drain and set aside to cool.
- In a large bowl, toss to gether the cooled farro, tomatoes, cucumbers, celery, onions, pomegrante arils, and fresh herbs.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the dressing ingredients then pour over the salad.
- Toss to coat, taste, and adjust seasonings as needed.
- Serve & enjoy!
Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 349 Total Fat: 18g Saturated Fat: 2g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 14g Cholesterol: 0mg Sodium: 130mg Carbohydrates: 44g Fiber: 8g Sugar: 12g Protein: 9g