I've encountered several people who are very interested in healthy, plant-based eating but who aren't sure if their taste buds are on board with their minds and hearts. I've definitely been there with certain foods (like green vegetables during my teen years!). I *wanted* to like them, but I wasn't able to really "bond" with the food I knew to be most healthy. That is until it was prepared a certain way. I've found this to be true with a lot of plant-based and whole foods. They have to be prepared just right to truly appeal to the uninitiated. My husband, for example, is intellectually on board with whatever I whip up in the kitchen, but it's not always what he would crave organically. The one exception is when I make something with a creamy sauce. Fortunately, when you're cooking vegan, a creamy sauce doesn't have to be sinful! In fact, it's a great way to sneak in a slew of superfoods--miso, raw garlic, nutritional yeast, etc. I'm inwardly thrilled when he asks, "Is there any of that sauce left?" The following recipe for farro with spinach and green beans may sound like bland vegetarian fare to the non-veg, but the addition of this tangy, creamy sauce turns it into a cravings-worthy comfort meal to share with everyone at the table. Hope you enjoy!
Creamy Farro Bowl With Spinach, Green Beans & Garlic Tahini Sauce
Recipe Type: Hearty Entrees
YIELDS 2 servings
- 1 cup farro (dry)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups water
- 1/2 cup coconut milk
- 1/3 cup sunflower seeds
- 1/3 cup raw cashews
- 1 garlic clove
- 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 1 tablespoon miso paste
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon olive oil (or cooking oil of choice)
- 2 generous handfuls green beans, trimmed and washed
- 2 generous handfuls baby spinach
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/2 red onion, diced
1. Prepare farro: In a pot, boil two cups of water and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Add farro and reduce to a simmer. Cover for 40-60 minutes or until cooked to your liking. (Some advice recommends cooking farro for 20-40 minutes, but I usually find that it takes longer, so give it a little check here and there.) 2. While the farro is cooking, prepare your sauce. Blend coconut milk, sunflower seeds, raw cashews, garlic, nutritional yeast, miso paste, and apple cider vinegar in a high-speed blender. Add more liquid as needed for consistency. Taste for salt and pepper. 3. Warm olive oil in a large sauté pan. Sauté red onion for 5-10 minutes or until it begins to become translucent. Add green beans and a few cranks of salt, stirring occasionally, allowing the beans to lightly brown (about 10 minutes). Add spinach, stirring frequently for about 5 minutes or until the leaves begin to wilt. 4. Remove farro from heat once completely cooked and combine with sautéed veggies and sauce. Fill bowls with the mixture and dust with smoked paprika.
Related: Hearty Carrot & Farro Salad
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Photos: Mary Hood Luttrell