Farro – The New Love of my Life
Just got back from two weeks of vacation bliss with family and friends in my hometown of Boston and Cape Cod. It couldn't have been a lovelier vacation.
There were times it was very difficult being on a plant-based diet but overall I think I am getting used to this vegan lifestyle. I also think that becoming a vegan has helped me enjoy and appreciate more things in my life including my family and childhood friends and in the end I felt sad leaving Boston.
One thing I did miss on vacation was my blog and experimenting with new vegan recipes. Went food shopping today and I plan to be a mad scientist in the kitchen every night this week.
Got some great tips from a ten-year-old vegan whose parents own a restaurant in Allston, MA called Grasshopper. He recommended making a battered gluten (like seitan) – deep frying it and serve it with a sweet and sour sauce. He says its a big hit with the kids and better than McDonalds . Very cute!
My sister and I talked a lot about my plant based diet and she brought up the argument that is is just too expensive to become a vegan. That is not the first time I have heard that excuse and rightly so but the more educated you become, the easier it is to understand how affordable a vegan diet is.
First off, many of the staples of a vegan diet can be bought in bulk like quinoa, chickpeas, barley, brown rice, lentils, black beans, farro, etc. and buying in bulk is much cheaper then processed foods.
As far as fruits and veggies go – always buy in season produce because it is usually less expensive.
Also, if you have time, visit the the local farmer markets for deals (especially at the end of the day).
Most importantly, don't forget to check that sticker that your grocer scans on your produce and never buy any produce that starts with the #4 (could have growth hormones) even if it is less expensive. Stick with produce that begins with the #9 (totally organic and with no pesticides) My goal in the coming months is to prove that being vegan is not only healthier but actually can be affordable as well.
On to my new love – Farro!
Farro is a low-gluten whole grain with a delicious chewy texture and packed with protein and fiber and you can buy it at organic grocers like Whole Foods, specialty markets and health food stores.
My first farro experience was at Pizzeria Mozza in LA. Chef Nancy Silverton uses it cold in a salad with tomatoes, cucumbers, feta cheese and oregano dressing. So yummy! I make it minus the feta and add chickpeas for extra protein.
Inspired by my Cousin Tony's delicious tabouleh last week on Cape Cod – I am having my farro tonight with tomatoes, cucumbers, lemon, parsley, mint, green onions and chickpeas with some toasted pita bread.
Farro is also delicious hot (very sweet and savory) and I love it for breakfast. Since it is so full of fiber – a little goes a long way and you will get full fast and stay full longer. Great way to start your day! Vegan day 107 – wish me luck!
- ½ cup farro
- 1 cup water
- 1 seasonal fruit cut up (I like a plum or peach in the summer)
- 1 tsp ground flax seed
- drizzle of maple syrup
- Add farro and water together - bring to boil - simmer covered for 12 minutes or until all the water is absorbed (don't let it get to dry and stick to pan)
- Put in bowl with tsp of flax seed - top with cut fruit and drizzle with maple syrup