Farro salad with arugula, spinach & dried cherries

Farro salad with arugula, spinach & dried cherries

Summer is a perfect time of year to enjoy grain salads. If you’ve got a picnic, potluck or just want something delicious for dinner, look no further! This salad combines farro, fresh spinach, arugula and dried cherries in a simple orange dressing. It can be made ahead of time or a few hours before your next soiree.

Farro is a a versatile ancient whole grain that’s high in fiber and protein. It’s cooked like rice, but needs 3:1 fluid to grain. It can be cooked in chicken or vegetable broth for a savory taste, or cooked in water and seasoned afterwards. Since it takes a good 30-minutes to cook, I suggest cooking a large batch and using it in multiple dishes. The salad can “stand alone” or grilled chicken, fish or shrimp can be added to make it a complete meal. Bob’s Red Mill provided farro samples for this recipe. I brought it to a recent party and it was a hit! #samples #client


1 cup farro cooked according to directions

2 cups baby spinach

2 cups arugula

1/4 cup chopped red onions

1/4 cup feta cheese crumbles

1/2 cup dried cherries or cranberries

1/4 cup shelled pumpkin seeds (pepitas)

1/4 cup orange juice

1/4 cup olive oil



Cook farro according to directions and set aside to cool in a large mixing bowl.

Once farro has cooled, add spinach, arugula, chopped onions, feta cheese, dried cherries and pepitas.

Whisk together orange juice and olive oil into a dressing.

Pour dressing over the salad and toss it.

Makes 6 servings. Nutrition facts per serving: 217 calories, 12.8 grams fat, 5 grams protein, 23 grams carbohydrate, 3 grams fiber, 5.6 mg cholesterol, 85 mg sodium.


Avocado tuna salad

Avocado tuna salad

You’ll pinch yourself when you realize how easy and delicious this tuna salad is. There’s no doubt- green is the new black! Avocados have become wildly popular for their versatility, availability and nutritional prowess. Loaded with heart-healthy mono-unsaturated fat, avocados are showing up in everything from pudding to toast.

This salad requires minimum prep time, though you’ll have to chop some onions and celery. It does not contain hard boiled eggs, but you could certainly add them if you like. In addition to mono-unsaturated fat, avocados are also a great source of potassium, a nutrient needed to help reduce blood pressure.


1, 5 oz. can of albacore tuna (flaked if possible)

1/2 ripe avocado, roughly chopped

1/2 cup minced celery

1/4 cup minced red onion

1 Tbsp. olive oil

2 tsp. lemon juice

1/2 tsp. kosher salt

freshly ground pepper


Place all ingredients in a medium bowl. Using a fork, mash the avocado and break up the chunks of tuna as you mix the ingredients. Add more olive oil, salt or pepper if needed. Serve on your favorite cracker, toast or over salad.

Makes 4 servings. Nutrition facts per serving: 177 calories, 12 grams fat, 11.5 grams protein, 7 grams carbohydrate, 4 gram fiber, 18 mg cholesterol, 475 mg sodium.

Mediterranean farro salad

Mediterranean farro salad

This springs’ harvest of vegetables belong in this simple, delicious salad.  Farro is an ancient ‘super grain’ that cooks up like steel cut oats, meaning it needs more water than other grains (about 4:1 ratio, liquid to grain).  Season it with garlic or onions or light soy sauce as a side dish.  Higher in fiber and protein than other grains, farro is also a good source of several vitamins and minerals.  Farro is a decent source of iron (10% of the daily value)- a nutrient that’s tricky to obtain in vegetarian diets.  Adding a vitamin C rich food (like spinach, bell peppers or tomatoes) boosts the absorption of iron from plant foods such as beans or grains.  Adding a can of white beans or lentils adds protein, soluble fiber and iron to the dish.  This recipe was featured on Fox 19 on 5-9 and was sponsored by Bob’s Red Mill. #sponsored


1 ½ cups uncooked farro

1/3 cup diced red onion

1 pint grape or tomatoes, cut in half

2 cups fresh spinach leaves

2 cloves garlic, minced

½ cup Kalamata olives, chopped

1 small cucumber, chopped

½ cup feta cheese

1/3 cup olive oil

1/3 cup red wine vinegar

1 (15 oz) can cannellini beans (or other white beans), drained and rinsed- optional

1 Tbsp. dried oregano



  1. Prepare farro according to directions. Set aside to cool.
  2. Whisk together vinegar, olive oil, oregano and garlic and set aside.
  3. Wash spinach leaves and use a salad spinner to dry. Tear the spinach leaves and place in a large bowl.  Add chopped tomatoes, red onions and cucumbers.
  4. Add farro and white beans to the vegetable mixture, then add the dressing and blend well.
  5. Add feta cheese and olives and toss into the salad and serve.

Makes 10 (1 cup) servings.  Nutrition facts per serving:  340 calories, 11 grams fat, 47 grams carbohydrate, 14.8 grams protein, 8 grams fiber, 7 mg cholesterol, 157 mg sodium, 23 % DV iron

Arugula salad with raspberries in citrus dressing

Arugula salad with raspberries in citrus dressing

Arugula Salad with Raspberries in Citrus Dressing

Now that spring is here, it’s time to get your salad spinner out and get your greens on! Raspberries pair nicely with local greens and arugula and fresh lime vinaigrette.  Add feta cheese or blue cheese or any variation of nuts or seed you have on hand. You can add quinoa, barley or other whole grain, and grilled chicken or fish to make the salad a meal.


3 cups baby spinach leaves or local microgreens

3 cups arugula

2 pints fresh raspberries

¼ cup chopped pecans

¼ cup blue cheese crumbles (optional)



1/3 cup fresh lime juice (~2 limes)

1/3 cup canola oil

1 tsp. honey


  1. Wash and spin the greens in a salad spinner and place in a large salad bowl.
  2. Clean and dry the raspberries and add to the greens.
  3. Add pecans and blue cheese
  4. Whisk together lime juice, canola oil and honey
  5. Dress salad prior to serving

Makes 4 (2 cup) servings.  Nutrition facts per serving:  164 calories, 12.5 grams fat (1.8 grams saturated fat), 5 mg cholesterol, 11.3 grams carbohydrate, 2.4 grams fiber, 3.7 grams protein, 103 mg sodium.





Vegan black bean chili

Vegan black bean chili

This simple recipe is not only quick, but very healthy.  Beans provide a hefty dose of belly-filling fiber as well as protein, potassium, folate and magnesium.  In addition, adding tomatoes or bell peppers (high in vitamin C) increases the bioavailability (absorption) of iron in the body, which is important for women, vegetarians and vegans.

Black beans are used in the recipe, but kidney beans or pinto beans would make an easy substitute.  Drain and rinse the beans prior to using to reduce sodium content by 30%.  Leftover chili can be used over rice or in a tortilla for burritos.



2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed

1 can diced tomatoes w/green chiles

1 tsp, minced garlic or 1 clove garlic, minced

½ onion chopped (or ½ cup frozen onions)

2 tsp. ground cumin

1 tsp. oregano

1 tsp. chili powder

½-1 tsp. salt to taste

2% milk shredded cheese



Place tomatoes in a medium sauce pan and add garlic, onion and spices.  Simmer until vegetables are soft.  Add 2 cans of beans and cook for another 10-15 minutes until beans are soft.  Add salt to taste.  Serve with 2% milk shredded cheese.

Makes 6 servings.  Per serving:  160 calories, 30 grams carbohydrate, 8 grams protein, .5 grams fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 11 grams fiber, 73 mg calcium, 3 mg iron, 500 mg sodium.

Kale apple salad with feta cheese and pistachios in orange dressing

Kale apple salad with feta cheese and pistachios in orange dressing

This seasonal salad will become a favorite among your guests.  Kale is one of my favorite greens to toy with.  Did you know that eating just 1-2 servings of leafy greens may improve your memory?

To improve the texture of kale, place it in a Ziplock bag after cleaning and massage it until it’s shiny.  This helps wilt and sweeten this rough green.  Honey crisp apples or pears “pair” nicely with any winter greens, pistachios and orange vinaigrette.  The salad can be made ahead of time and may actually taste better on day 2 or 3.  Add feta cheese or blue cheese or any variation of nuts or seeds.


6 cups kale, chopped, rinsed and massaged

2 Honey Crisp or Granny Smith apples

½ cup chopped pistachios

¼ cup feta cheese


1/3 cup orange juice

1/3 cup canola oil



  1. Wash and rip the kale. Place in a zip lock bag and massage kale until it’s shiny.  Add kale to a large salad bowl.
  2. Slice the apples into chunks and add to the kale.
  3. Add pistachios and feta cheese.
  4. Whisk together orange juice and oil.
  5. Dress salad ahead of time (if desired).


Makes 6 servings.  Nutrition facts per serving:  245 calories, 18.6 grams fat (2.5 grams saturated fat), 5.6 mg cholesterol, 17.7 grams carbohydrate, 3.6 grams fiber, 5.5 grams protein, 141 mg sodium.

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