Warm Farro Salad

Farro is an italian grain similar in shape and color to brown rice but richer in taste and texture. In recent years it has become much easier to find in grocery stores and is less expensive than 'fancy' wild rices. So I've been buying it like crazy! In fact, it's hard to go back to regular rice. So here is a warm farro salad that's makes a great accompaniment for roasted beef, chicken, or pork.

Free from dairy, peanuts, tree nuts, soy, egg, and shellfish.

6 cooked servings of farro
1 red bell pepper
1 large zucchini
Several handfuls of fresh basil
1 tsp each of salt and pepper
1/2 cup good olive oil plus 1 tbsp for coating the veggies to roast
the juice of half a lemon
5 sun dried tomatoes
1 tsp Dijon mustard
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar

1. Chop the bell pepper and zucchini into 1cm cubes and toss lightly in olive oil. Roast on a sheet pan covered in parchment paper at 425F for about 15 - 20 minutes or until nicely browned on the edges.
2. Prepare the farro according to package directions. It generally takes under 20 minutes to cook
3. While the farro and veggies are cooking you can prepare the dressing. Add the olive oil, salt and pepper, basil, lemon juice, mustard, balsamic vinegar, and sun dried tomatoes to a blender. Pulse until smooth.
4. While the veggies and farro are still hot, add them both to a large mixing bowl and pour the dressing over top. Toss well.
Serves 6

3-Ingredient Kale Chips

Lately I'm on a kick of cooking foods that require minimal ingredients and just letting the star flavors shine. Kale chips are a perfect example of this. All you need is a head of kale, a couple tbsp of olive or sunflower seed oil, and a good sprinkle of sea salt. They're suitable for vegans, celiacs, and are free from dairy, nuts, peanuts, citrus, soy, shellfish, and egg. I also love how healthy they are!

1 head of kale
2 tbsp olive or sunflower oil
sea salt to taste

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set the oven to 400F. Wash the kale and separate the leafy bits from the hard stems. The stems will stay pretty fibrous and woody after roasting which will compromise the light texture of the crisps. Break the leaves into smaller pieces and lay them out evenly on the tray. It's fine if they overlap but avoid whole chunks being covered as they'll steam under there. Drizzle the oil over the kale and then sprinkle with salt. Place the tray on the middle rack of the oven and set the timer for 15 minutes. The leaves should be crispy and browned. Add more salt to taste and then serve immediately.