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Hearty meals are what Winter is made for! With that said, last week I ventured, again, into the world of new and mysterious grains! Maybe not so mysterious now a days, but at least new (to us)! I introduce to you, Farro & Winter Vegetables. Farro is a whole grain…that is relatively hard to find and quite expensive. Except for when it’s in bulk. Which, Wegman’s website told me it was at my local store, and it wasn’t. Lame.

This dish is CHOCK and I mean CHOCK full of healthy. Whole grain? Check. Leafy Green? Check. Protein? Check. Rainbow? Check. It is also very, very tasty. The day I planned to make this, I rushed rushed rushed home to try to catch enough sunlight to get good pictures. I failed. I don’t even know why I bothered. Stupid winter.

Farro and Winter Vegetables

Serves 6-8

  • 1 Cup Farro, Pearled
  • 1 Cup Christmas Rice (or other whole grain rice)
  • 1 Small – Medium Butternut Squash
  • 1 Beet
  • 1 8 oz Package of Sliced Mushrooms
  • 1 Bunch Kale
  • 2 Garlic Cloves
  • 1 15 oz Can Chick Peas, drained
  • 4 Tbsps Olive Oil, divided
  • 1 Jalapeno
  • 1/4 Cup Red Onion, thinly sliced
  • 3/4 Cup Red Onion, diced
  • 1.5+ Tbsps Lemon Juice

Yogurt Topping

  • 1/2 Cup Plain Greek Yogurt
  • 1/2 Cup Plain Yogurt
  • 1 Tbsp Cumin Seeds
  • 1 Tbsp Lemon Juice
  • 1 Garlic Clove, minced


Pre-heat the oven to 400.

Toast the cumin seeds in a small skillet over medium heat until you can smell them and they barely start to smoke. This usually takes 4-5 minutes. Pour them into a mortar and grind them until fine.

Mix together both yogurts in a bowl, add in 1.5 tsps of the cumin, the minced garlic clove and 1 Tbsp of lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper and mix thoroughly. Cover the bowl so it doesn’t soak up yucky fridge flavors and chill it.

While it’s chilling, get to work on the main event!

1/2 Pictures with Natural Light

Peel and chop up the butternut squash (don’t forget to remove the guts!)

2/2 Pictures with Natural Light

and beet.

Darn you, Winter.

This will make about four cups of goodness. Throw that colorful goodness in a bowl and toss with 2 Tbsps olive oil, some salt and some pepper. Lay all that out on a greased baking sheet. Put it in the oven and let it roast to soft deliciousness for 25 minutes.

Now, for the Farro and Rice. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Pour in the rice and farro and cook until tender, about 18-20 minutes. I think I over-did it at 25. When tender, drain and set aside.

At the same time as the grain, bring another large pot of salted water to a boil. Chop up the kale and let it boil until the grain is done. Drain and set aside.

Once the grains are done cooking, heat 2 Tbsps of olive oil in a large skillet. Slice up a garlic clove, dice up and seed the jalapeno (reserve half of this UNCOOKED for later) and saute together for a minute.

Stir in the diced onion and the garbanzo beans and cook for another minute. Now it’s time to add the roasted squash and beet, the kale and the grain and toss it all together. Sprinkle with the rest of the ground cumin and the lemon juice and toss around some more. Season with salt and pepper and don’t forget to top it off with the yogurt and the fresh onion & jalapeno!

This is a great dish to eat hot on a cold winter day.

What are some of your favorite winter dishes?