Dietitian confession - this past month, I've likely eaten more junk food than in the previous 6 months combined. Our calendar has been packed with social events which, of course, often center around food. With all the travel we've been doing, it's been a lot of takeout and convenience meals when we've been at home.
And that's okay. Bodies are resilient. I'm not worried.
But I am craving vegetables. Lots an lots of vegetables.
Now that we're back home after a month of splurges, this weeks menu is filled with veggie packed meals - vegetarian tortilla soup with avocado, braised endive, sauteed pea greens with almonds and garlic brown rice, ratatouille stuffed potatoes, whole grain spaghetti with spicy chili pesto, and this black pepper and lemon sauteed vegetables with farro.
This was a perfect, easy to prepare dinner after spending 3 hours on the road driving home from a trip to Georgia. Gotta love anything this simple that's still packed with flavor! You could serve it over any whole grain you like - quinoa, wheat berries, or whole grain couscous would soak up the sauce equally well.
If you're reading the recipe, please know 2 teaspoons of pepper isn't a typo. I was worried too about the amount of black pepper, but it's delicious! Start with 1 teaspoon if you're concerned it will be too peppery.
If you'd like to bulk up this meal a bit, feel free to add shredded rotisserie chicken or chickpeas. The sauteed vegetables are also delicious tossed with pasta.
Black Pepper and Lemon Sauteed Vegetables with Farro
Adapted from Mario Batali Simple Family Meals.
- 1 cup farro
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil plus 1 teaspoon
- 1 lb cremini mushrooms, quartered
- Grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
- 1 medium red onion, peeled and thinly sliced
- 2 yellow bell peppers, stemmed, seeded and thinly sliced
- 8 cups spinach
- Salt to taste
- 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
- Parmesan cheese, for serving
- Bring 2 cups of water and farro to a boil over medium-high heat. Cover and simmer for 30-40 minutes until the water is absorbed. Let sit 5 minute, covered. Fluff with a fork and toss with 1 teaspoon olive oil.
- While farro is cooking, in a large skillet, heat the remaining oil on medium heat. Add the mushrooms, cut side down and sprinkle the lemon zest. Let the mushrooms sit in the pan for about 8 minutes without stirring. This will give it a nice golden brown sear.
- Add the onions, peppers, and a large pinch of salt, and stir. Saute until vegetables are tender and onions are lightly golden, about 8-10 minutes.
- Add spinach and stir to wilt, about 2 minutes. Add lemon juice, scraping up and browned bits at the bottom. Stir in the pepper, and season with additional salt to taste.
- Spoon the vegetables over farro and drizzle with any leftover sauce. Garnish with parmesan cheese.