Happy Monday after the Superbowl, everyone.  I figured that y’all would want something light and heavy after all of the delicious wings, pizza, beer, nachos, and everything else greasy that you ate during the big game. Well, do I have the recipe for you.  This is light, delicious, refreshing, and quite healthy. Let’s take a look at the ingredients:

  • 2 8.8 oz pouch of grains (or 1 Lb. of farro or barley or whatever grain you like)
  • Zest and juice of 3 limes
  • 2 garlic cloves, grated
  • 2 tsp fresh grated ginger
  • 1 tbs soy cause
  • 2 tsp fish sauce
  • 1 tsp rice vinegar
  • 1 ½ tsp sesame oil
  • ½ tsp chili oil
  • ½ cucumber, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, diced
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 1 ½ tsp sesame seeds, toasted
  • 2-3 scallions, chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste

I know; there are no scallions in the picture.  They won’t be in any other pictures, either. When I went to my favorite German-based supermarket, they were out of them. However, they would 100% be included had they been available to purchase, and you should definitely use them.  With that rant out of the way, it’s time to make this. Grab a large bowl. Grate the lime zest, ginger, and garlic with a zester (real name), aka Microplane (brand name), into the bowl. As I have said in previous recipes, it’s a good idea to freeze your ginger and grate it when frozen.  Ginger lasts longer when frozen, and it’s easier to grate.

Cook the grains as they are meant to be cooked.  I clearly cheated with this and used some par-cooked grains, which only took 90 seconds to reheat.  I’ve had this farro for 2 months and never could find a use, until now.  But, and I mean this, sometimes it’s OK to cheat. Anyway, once your grains have cooked according to their proper instructions, set them aside and let them cool a little. In the bowl with the zest, ginger and garlic, add the soy sauce, lime juice, fish sauce, rice vinegar, chili oil, sesame oil, and fresh ground pepper and whisk it all together. Taste it.  Add more soy if you want more soy.  Add more fish sauce if you want more of that special funk. I like mine pretty tart and a bit heavy on ginger, so keep it as is if you do too. 

Now it’s time to chop your veggies.  They key to this is trying to make all the pieces the same size. Also, chop your invisible scallions at this time and set them aside.  It’ll be fairly easy with the cucumber and peppers, but I always find carrots kind of brutal to chop like that because of how they taper. What is nice about this combination of veggies, though, is the colorful palate.  You’ve got the green cucumber, the red and yellow peppers, and the orange carrots.  Just look how beautiful they look!

Heat a small sauté pan on medium-low heat. Do not, I repeat, do not add any oil to the pan.  We use this pan to dry roast the sesame seeds, which will top the salad. Toss the seeds in and toast them.  They are done when you start to smell them cooking.  Make sure to move them around a little while they toast as well so they don’t burn. Once they’re done, take them off the heat and set them aside.  

Now, it’s time to assemble the salad.  Pour the cooked grains into the bowl with the veggies and dressing.  Mix well until all the vegetables and the dressing has been fully incorporated into the grains.  Top with chopped scallions and toasted sesame seeds. And there you have it, a healthy recipe to cleanse yourself from all the cheese grease. 

I will say this, the packages lied.  There was not way each package was one serving.  They were three at least, so you should get six solid servings out of this.  This is also a versatile dish if you think about it. I used it as a side for my meal prep dinners a couple of weeks ago.  Add some chopped grilled chicken and avocado and have delicious grain bowls for lunch. Switch the vegetables up if you like and make it your own.  Just enjoy, that’s all I ask. See you in March!