Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Black Berry Farro Salad & Roasted Jalapeno Dressing

You may be thinking, “Oh no, another farro dish!”  But farro is versatile and goes with so many flavors, and it’s healthy, and mostly its' because I bought a big bag of farro at Costco! 

As I was thinking about the characteristics of this salad, I realized that it has the same characteristics that I look for in a friend.  It’s a little spicy, but not obscene.  It’s sweet, but not cloyingly sweet.  It’s a bit tart, to keep things in balance.  It’s cheesy, and cheesy is just good clean fun.  Lastly it’s healthy, but in a tasty way, not in a way that’s preachy. 

Now I wonder; if I start to compare everyone to food, what weird and possibly disturbing things will I think of? 

I don’t think I’m gonna do that!
Any hoo…Black Berry Farro Salad & Roasted Jalapeno Dressing makes for a perfect summer supper.  While I used black berries, pretty much any summer fruit (with the exception of melon) would be gosh durned tasty!
Black Berry Farro Salad with Roasted Jalapeno Dressing 

Serves 2 as an entrée, 4 as a side


5             oz.          Goat cheese
¼             cup         Toasted sliced Almonds, finely chopped
2             cups       Cooked farro
1             cup         Chick peas, drained and rinsed
1             cup         Cucumber, medium dice
1                             Avocado, medium dice
1/3         cup         Scallions, green part only, sliced
¼             cup         Cilantro, roughly chopped
Roasted Jalapeno Dressing, recipe follows
Salt and pepper to taste
6             oz.          Black berries

1.  Scoop 1 teaspoon of goat cheese and roll it into a ball, repeat with the remaining goat cheese.  Pour the almonds on to a plate and roll the balls of goat cheese, pressing lightly, in the almonds to coat.  Put to the side. 
2.  In a large bowl combine the cooked farro, chickpeas, cucumbers, avocado, scallions, cilantro, and 1/3 cup of the dressing; season with salt and pepper to taste.
3.  Pour the farro mixture onto a serving dish, arrange the black berries, avocado, and goat cheese balls in an attractive manner on the top of the salad.  Serve the remaining dressing on the side.

Notes:  * While the balls of goat cheese make for a pretty presentation, you may choose just to crumble the goat cheese and sprinkle it and the sliced almonds (in which case don’t chop the almonds) on the salad at the end.
**Swap out the black berries for any other kind of berry you like, or grapes, or peaches.
***To have this serve 4 as an entrée, serve the salad over a bed of head of butter lettuce, or a 5 oz. bag of baby spinach or baby kale; and the addition of seared shrimp or scallops would be lovely.


Makes 1 cup

2                             Jalapenos, halved, with the seeds removed
2             tsp.         Canola or grape seed oil
2             cloves    Garlic, whole and unpeeled
3                             Scallions, white part only, minced
1 ½                         Limes, juice only
2             Tbsp.      Rice vinegar
1             tsp.         Dijon mustard
2             tsp.         Honey
½             cup         Avocado oil, canola oil, or grape seed oil (you may add up to 2/3 cup oil depending on how acidic you like your dressing)
                                Salt and pepper to taste

1.  Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.  On a small, shallow baking dish (or sheet pan) toss the jalapenos and garlic cloves in the 2 tsp. of canola oil.  Roast for 20 to 25 minutes, until the skin of the jalapenos has blistered and the garlic is soft.  Remove the skin from the jalapenos and squeeze the garlic out of it's skin.
2.  In a food processor or a blender add all of the ingredients except for the avocado oil (or canola or grape seed oil).  Turn the food processor on and slowly stream the oil in through the top until completely blended; season with salt and pepper to taste. 
*Note, the spicy heat in this dressing is just enough that it tickles the back of your throat, for spicier dressing, leave the jalapenos whole when you roast them, and then remove the seeds after they’re cooked.         

You may also like:

Aprircot Quinoa Salad with Citrus Vinairgrette
Nectarine (peach) & Feta Salad

Tomato & Cheddar Pie
Farro Lentil & Vegetable Salad

Tuesday, July 22, 2014


Lawdy, Lawdy, it’s been awhile!  I have been a busy little bee and just haven’t been able to get to this little blog.
We’ve got an older home, which needs plenty of work done to it so I’ve been working on a few, not so small projects.  Billy is off for the summer, andI like to spend time with my man.  And because it’s summer, there are lots of fun things to be done, and I’m doing ‘em!

But I’m here now and have one of my favorite desserts to share with y’all.  Blue Berry Peach Crisp.
I love a crisp because I can use any fruit that I have around, and even though I may be fussy at times, a fruit crisp isn’t.
This recipe uses less refined sugar than a typical crisp might.  I’ve also sneaked in a little nutrition in the topping by way of nuts and flax seed meal; you don’t even know they’re in there.

I like to top a big ol’ bowl of Blue Berry Peach Crisp with a dollop of plain Greek yogurt and just a touch of maple syrup over that.   A scoop of vanilla ice cream is always good as well, and because Blue Berry Peach Crisp is loaded with fruit and oats and is pretty much a healthy snack, you might even get crazy and have two scoops of ice cream!

Makes 4 generous servings

For the filling
2              cups       Fresh peaches, peeled and sliced
2              cups       Fresh blue berries
1                              Lemon, zest only
1              Tbsp.     All-purpose flour
3              Tbsp.     Maple syrup, you may need up 6 tablespoons depending on the sweetness of the fruit
                Pinch     Salt

For the topping
1/3         cup         Old fashioned oats (oat meal)
¼             cup         All-purpose flour
¼             cup         Chopped pecan or almonds
¼             cup         Brown sugar, lightly packed
1 ½         Tbsp.     Flax seed meal
¼             tsp          Ground cinnamon
1/8         tsp.        Ground ginger
                Pinch     Salt
3              Tbsp.     Cold butter, cut into small cubes
1              Tbsp.     Maple syrup

1.  Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees.
2.  To make the filling; combine all of the ingredients for the filling in a medium bowl, and stir well, but stir gently as not to break up the fruit.  Pour the filling into an 8 x 8 x 2 inch baking dish, or your favorite dish for making crisps.
3.  To make the topping; in a medium bowl combine all of the topping ingredients except for the butter and the maple syrup, stir well.  Add the cold butter and cut it into the dry ingredients using a pastry blender or two knives, until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.  Stir in the maple syrup.  Distribute the topping over the fruit filling in an even layer (hands work best).  Bake 25 to 30 minutes, until the fruit filling is bubbling and the topping is deep golden brown.
4.  Serve hot with whipped cream, ice cream, or plain Greek yogurt drizzled with a touch more maple syrup.

*Note, you may omit the nuts or the flax seed meal, just replace it with the same amount of oats.

You may also like:

Fresh Blue Raspberry Croustade
Peaches & Cream Oatmeal

Banana Cream Pie, Reduced Fat
Plum Streusel Coffee Cake