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Cheesy Farro-Broccoli Bake

April 14, 2014

Cheesy Farro Broccoli Bake 2 | Espresso and Cream

Let’s be honest, the amount of cooking that’s been going on in our house lately has been minimal. But as life slowly transitions back to “normal” (and no, it still doesn’t feel normal if you really want to know) it feels good to do things that come naturally, to create something out of raw ingredients and nourish the body. Plus, eating take-out and snack-y type foods can only keep you going for a certain amount of time. Sometimes you just have to get in the kitchen and cook.

I didn’t grow up in a house where we ate a lot of casseroles, and consequently I don’t cook a lot of casseroles to this day. However, there is something about being able to toss all your ingredients together and throw it in the oven when hunger strikes that I find so comforting. Dinner is ready when you need it to be, cheesy and comforting and semi-healthy, too, minus the cheese part. The cheese is absolutely not healthy, but makes this dish taste amazing.

My favorite use for a casserole is to make it on Sunday and have lunches for Joe to take to work for the rest of the week. I grilled up a package of chicken breasts and made this casserole, then divided the chicken and casserole among four containers, a complete meal ready to be tossed into a lunch container when we’re busy and running out the door in the morning.

Cheesy Farro Broccoli Bake 1 | Espresso and Cream

Cheesy Farro-Broccoli Bake
Recipe type: Side Dish/Vegetarian Entree
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
Make this dish a meal by topping with grilled or baked chicken breasts.
  • 1 cup farro, cooked according to package directions
  • 2 cups broccoli florets, blanched
  • 2 cups Italian blend cheese, divided
  • ⅓ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • ½ cup 2% or full-fat plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard (optional)
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • Crushed red pepper flakes, if desired
  1. Heat oven to 350F. Spray a 9-inch pie plate or square baking dish with cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the all the ingredients until well-combined. Spoon mixture into baking dish.
  3. Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbly. Serve immediately.
  4. Alternate method: If you're looking for a more traditional casserole-type dish, I would suggest substituting the Greek yogurt for a can of condensed cream of mushroom soup.


Cooking with Farro: Breakfast Edition

February 4, 2013


Good morning, friends, and happy Monday. I’m entering the home stretch of my break between jobs. This week is my final week at home before I start the new gig next week. And while I was pretty nervous about being bored or restless during my time off, I have been loving my down time, staying busy with errands, blogging and things that needed to be done prior to our house closing this Friday.

One of the biggest perks about my mini stay-cation has been the fact that I’ve had more time to play around in the kitchen and make breakfasts that take more than five minutes to prepare. Last week while I was browsing Trader Joe’s I noticed they had three different small bags with quick-cooking grains: farro, barley and bulgur. The packaging was so darn cute I couldn’t resist picking up a couple bags.


I’ve only had farro a couple times and both of the times that I had farro it was prepared in a savory manner From what I remembered about the grain, I thought it would make a fantastic substitute for oatmeal when making a bowl of hot breakfast cereal.

For those who haven’t made or eaten farro before, it’s a fantastically versatile grain with a chewy, hearty texture that falls somewhere between brown rice and pasta. It’s more calorie dense than rolled oats, clocking in at around 290 calories per 1/2 cup dry farro, but I find that it keeps me incredibly full, especially when topped with peanut butter and bananas. As a vegetarian, I was also pleased to see that a serving of farro contains 10 grams of protein. Pretty great, huh?


These days I rarely drink cow’s milk, choosing substitutes like almond milk and soy milk instead. So I decided to make this recipe vegan, simmering the farro in unsweetened almond milk instead of cow’s milk or water. Doing so gives the farro a creamy texture with only 30 extra calories per serving. However, if you are going to use milk or almond milk in place of water, keep an eye on the farro while it is cooking. The almond milk I used had a tendency to bubble over if I didn’t give it a stir every now and again. A small price to pay for an incredibly tasty breakfast.

Vegan Breakfast Farro
Makes 1 Serving
*1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
*1/2 cup Trader Joe’s 10 Minute Farro
*Pinch of salt
*1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
*1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
*2 packets stevia no-calorie sweetener (sch as Truvia) or 1 Tablespoon brown sugar

*In a small saucepan with a lid, bring almond milk to a boil. Add farro to the almond milk and reduce heat to low so mixture is at a simmer. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Be careful to keep an eye on the mixture because the almond milk tends to bubble over.
*Once farro is cooked, remove from heat and stir in the salt, vanilla, ground cinnamon and stevia or brown sugar. Transfer to a bowl and serve with desired toppings, such as chopped nuts, nut butter and/or bananas.

Happy Cooking!