These past few weeks have been quiet. I’ve been spending my time writing, reading, rediscovering my love for painting and drawing, going for slow walks, sitting outside in the sunlight, catching up on tv seasons with my boyfriend, ordering in and the occasional cooking of tacos. But this past Sunday we experienced a rare weekend day off for both of us (well most of the day off for me). We decided to venture out into Brooklyn for a day party we used to go to a few years back. While it was nice getting to spend some time outside in the sunshine, around other people and away from screens, we both decided that we no longer enjoy drinking or partying like we used to. I guess we’re growing up. At the party, we grabbed food from a food truck situated nearby. After asking them to edit their ingredients to make something vegan for me, I enjoyed a delicious farro salad that left me excited to go home and create my own oil free and vegan version of it. While I definitely didn’t get the same version as the food truck, I was able to make a delicious, (mostly) whole food, and vegan dish. This farro salad is great hot but is also delicious cold which is perfect for summer months. It can be eaten as a side or a main dish. I found myself adding lots of black pepper to it afterward because I thought it complimented the tartness of the lemon and herbs well.
If you haven’t tried farro before, it is a tasty grain that I found similar to brown rice with a bit more of a chewy texture and nutty flavor. It does contain wheat so if you do want to stay gluten free, I suggest subbing the farro for another grain.
Also, I decided to top my salad with some vegan parmesan that a coworker gave me. I had never tried and vegan cheeses before and was pleasantly surprised to find that it tasted a lot like the real thing. I think it’s important to have a supportive community of other vegans around you. If you don’t have vegan friends, I find that simply showing others how happy you are and how well you feel eating the way you do makes other more receptive to changing their lifestyles. It helps when you focus on the positives of your choices instead of making them feel badly about their own. Facebook groups, instagram, and apps like vegan amino are also great ways to surround yourself in a community of caring and kind vegans.
2 cups pearled farro
1 cup parsley
1 cup arugula
1 can chickpeas
1 carrot thinly sliced
1 turnip thinly sliced
Juice from 1/2 lemon
Freshly ground black pepper
Vegan parmesan for topping (optional)
Set oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit
Cook farro with salt and pepper according to directions
Boil carrots and turnips for a minute or two to soften
Drain and rinse chickpeas, coat with salt, pepper, and paprika and bake on a parchment paper lined baking tray for 15 minutes
Add parsley, arugula, and lemon juice to the farro
Season with additional salt and pepper, top with chickpeas and vegan parmesan if desired
Serve hot or cold