A Farro and Mushroom Side That Packs a Healthy Punch


Farro is one of the most delicious chewy grains out there, yet few individuals know just how very amazing this tiny grain really is or how big of a nutrition punch it packs! One serving has a hefty amount of protein, fiber and micronutrients compared to other grains.

And since it has a protective husk on the outside, harmful pesticides may not be needed to protect against pollutants and insects. Another star in this recipe is the mushrooms. These fabulous fungi are about 80 to 90% water and are very low in calories, sodium and fat. They are also an excellent source of potassium, riboflavin, niacin and selenium. Full of veggies, including grilled peppers, this dish can serve as a healthy option at your next barbecue.

Makes 4 Servings (Serving Size: 1/2 cup)

1 medium sweet onion, divided (See procedure below)
1/2 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 grilled red pepper*
1 small grilled zucchini, cut into 1/4-inch-thick long slices
1 cup grilled cremini mushrooms, washed
1 balsamic dressing recipe
1 cup cooked farro
1 each fresh lemon zest
1 tbsp fresh basil, chopped
1 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped

Cut onion in half, separate outer most layers of each half onion, cut into thirds and set aside. Cut the remaining inner section of each half onion into a small dice and set aside. Toss the mushrooms then zucchini in balsamic dressing, remove and set aside.

In a large sauté pan, over medium heat add oil and sauté onion until transparent turn heat off and set pan aside. Grill onion layers, zucchini and mushrooms until just tender, being careful not to burn.

Cut the onion and zucchini into a small dice and cut the mushrooms into slices. Add all the grilled vegetables to the large skillet along with the farro, mix thoroughly and warm. Turn off heat; add lemon zest, fresh herbs, toss and serve.

Ingredients for Balsamic Dressing
3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp whole-grain mustard
2 tsp parsley, chopped
1 tsp minced garlic

Place all the ingredients in a small bowl, slowly add the oil while whisking.

*To make grilled peppers: Cut peppers in quarters and remove seeds, white membrane and stem. Place skin side down on grill until the skin blisters and slightly blackens. Wrap peppers in plastic wrap and allow cooling, about a few minutes. Remove plastic wrap, scrape off skin and dice.

Nutritional Information per Serving
Calories: 220
Saturated Fat: 1.5 g
Sodium: 30 mg
Fiber: 4 g
Sugars: 10 g
Proteins: 5 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Carbohydrate: 26 g

Julie Kane contributed to this blog.