YOFO (You Only Farro Once)

I consider fall to have arrived when the temperature drops below 85 during the day.  I take what I can get.  I walked out of my door this morning to a hearty breeze with just a wisp of a chill.  It made for a lovely bike ride to the gym for yoga.

I think it’s somewhat dangerous for my gym to be so close to the grocery store, because I seem to go there almost always after I’m done working out.  And, to be fair, I eat much more healthily when I do my own cooking.  But my purchases aren’t always sound… champagne and guacamole rather than fruits and veggies.

Today I decided would be a good day to cook.  I had nothing to do except go to yoga and pick up some Party Holsters for friends.  My friend Kevin started a company that makes Party Holsters- holsters that hold your drink and keep it cold.  They’re beautifully designed and make awesome gifts, especially for punks who have decided to abandon Texas and its legions of conservative anti-intellectuals.  I bought one for Will, whose birthday is today, so he could look as obnoxious as possible at the Sydney bars, and one for Serena, who I’m going to visit in San Fran in a few weeks.  I met Kevin to pick them up amid the madness of the Pecan Street Festival, and felt vaguely as though I was participating in some shady business, especially when he knocked on my window.  But they came out beautifully and are great gifts.  Visit partyholster.com to get some.

Makes for one badass beer drinker

After a few days of drooling over Punchfork and FoodGawker, I decided to steal this pumpkin risotto recipe from Girl Makes Food.  I love recipes that are super easy and super healthy, and this was both.  It utilizes farro, a little-known Italian grain that’s slowly gaining ground in foodie circles.  After cooking with it for the first time today, it definitely will make its way into my normal wheats/grains rotation.  It is sort of like risotto or brown rice, but it maintains a lovely, strong, chewy texture when its cooked.  Farro is rich in fiber, magnesium and vitamins A, B, C and E, and, because it is so low-gluten, it can be consumed by glutenphobes and glutenphiles alike.  It’s also easy to cook.

This risotto is both delicious and healthy- it utilizes only a little bit of olive oil and veggies.  The pumpkin adds a yummy creamy taste and texture, and the dish is extremely rich.  This recipe will yield enough for lunch leftovers for a few days (which I’m looking forward to).

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons EV Olive Oil
3 ribs Celery (diced)
Onion (diced) (I would use a big onion if you can to add more flavor)
1 ½ cups Farro
3 cups Water
1 1/4 cup Pumpkin
1/2 cup Nutritional Yeast
Salt and Pepper (to taste): I am a salt junkie and I didn’t add any to this dish, which is saying something.  It’s fantastic on its own.

Instructions:

  • In a medium/large pot add the oil, onions, and celery

Celery, onion, and EVOO. I used a food proceessor for half the onion and the celery, but it came out too pulpy… next time I’ll use a knife and some elbow grease

  • Cook until the veggies soften, about 3 mins
  • Add the farro and water and crank the heat up to high

I love the farro because you can just stick it in the pan. Over time it will soak up the water and become firm, but chewy (sorry for the bad picture quality… I need to invest in a good camera)

  • Bring to a boil then turn to low and add a lid
  • Cook the farro until tender but chewy, about 40 minutes
  • Stir in the pumpkin, and nutritional yeast

The pumpkin adds nutrients and wonderful taste; the nutritional yeast adds a bit of nutty, cheesy flavor.

I served up a bowl, made myself a drink, and settled down to watch some football.  The risotto, with the banana bread for dessert (see upcoming post) made for a glorious introduction to fall.  I’ll end with what my lovely yoga instructor bid us goodbye with today: “Be strong, be good, and go change the world.”

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