Pesto Veggie Farro


I am a big fan of salty items. I’ve  never met an olive I didn’t like. I was aimlessly roaming the aisles of Trader Joe’s today trying to figure out what to make for dinner, and came up with this meal. I have been cooking with the 10 minute farro from Trader Joe’s for a while now and I really love it. Its a nice alternative to brown rice and has 10 grams of protein per serving. It makes a great base for any meal. If you want to make this meal vegan simply don’t add the feta and romano and if you wanted to add fish or meat to this meal I would recommend salmon, shrimp or steak and chicken. It stands all on it’s own as a vegetarian meal and is extremely hearty, between the farro and the butternut squash you will be stuffed!

Ingredients:

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  • 1 1/2 cup of farro (or one bag of Trader Joe’s farro– if you can get it)
  • 1 large red onion chopped
  • 2.5 cups of butternut squash cubed. (I buy these pre-cut 12 oz bags)
  • 2 cups of quartered Brussel sprouts
  • 2 cups diced orange peppers
  • 1 box  of mushrooms (around 1 cup)
  • Chives (to taste)
  • 1 cup of pitted marinated Kalmata olives
  • 1/2 cup of marinated artichoke hearts -chopped
  • Feta (to taste)
  • Grapeseed oil (drizzle)
  • Pepper (to taste)
  • 5-6 cloves fresh garlic pressed (if you don’t have fresh garlic about 1 tablespoon minced garlic)

For the Pesto: ( I used about 3 heaping tablespoons – you will have extra)

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  • 3 tablespoons pine nuts
  • 3 cups packed basil
  • 1/2 cup grape seed oil
  • 1/2 of lemon squeezed
  • 2 tablespoons of pecorino romano cheese
  • 1 avocado
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 cup of filtered water

Steps:

  1. Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees. Take a large baking sheet and line with foil. Add the brussel sprouts, peppers, onion, olives, artichokes, mushrooms, garlic, squash, peppers and drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with pepper. Place in oven for about 20 minutes. (I have to cook my mushrooms separate because my hubby doesn’t care for them)While the veggies cook cook the farro according to package directions. I like to cook mine in veggie broth for added flavor, but water is just fine too. Drain and set asideIMG_1673IMG_1680
  2. If you decide to make the pesto (store bought pesto works just as well if your’e not feeling up for it!) start by adding the basil in a food processor or blender, then add the grape seed oil (olive oil is fine too), lemon, pine nuts and avocado. Blend and add the water in slowly until you reach a nice creamy consistency. Pour into a bowl and sprinkle with pepper and lemon zest.
  3. Take 3 heaping tablespoons of the pesto and mix with the cooked farro. Add chives and feta (the amount is up to you!)
  4. When the squash and veggies are fork tender I like to put the oven on a high broil for a few minutes to give everything a nice golden crisp.
  5. Mix the veggie squash mixture with the farro and ENJOY!
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*This dish is also really great to bring to a party and can be served cold.

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