Farro Salad with Citrus Basil Vinaigrette #recipesfromtheheart


Recipes from the Heart

I’ve noticed that during the really rough times in my life, having a supportive group of friends to lean on always helped to make the tough times pass a little more quickly.  Not that the pain went away altogether, but the people who cared about me did a great job of keeping my brain and body occupied so that I didn’t feel so alone with my troubles.  Praying for God’s help was always first on my list, but the friends who stood by with a shoulder to cry on or jokes to make me laugh to the point of hurling were often times God’s greatest blessing to me.  Those friends are my “rough riders”

One of my very favorite “rough riders” is Kim, from Cravings of a Lunatic.  I’m not sure if she realizes this, but the very first time I read Kim’s blog was just two days after my my mom passed away of complications of Parkinsons Disease.  On August 28, 2011, my sweet momma went home to Heaven, after a 5 year battle with a horrible disease.  The next day, I was a hot mess.  I was feeling MIGHTY depressed and sorry for myself, too…after all, I was now an ORPHAN!  My dad had died many years before from heart disease, when he was just 48, and I was only 15.  The next day, August 30th, through a strange twist of fate, I decided to browse the Internet for some good recipes to cheer me up.  That’s when I came across Kim’s post for mint chocolate chip ice cream.  It was at that moment that the stars aligned and a little orphan girl in Wisconsin was linked up with a little lunatic orphan girl from Canada.  Kim’s post made me smile for many reasons, and it didn’t take me long to learn just how much we have in common.  Well, besides our obsessions with bacon and caramel.

You see, Kim lost her Mom to heart disease when her mother was 47, and Kim was 15. Each year on the anniversary of the day her Mom passed, she shares stories and photos of her Mom. This year she joined forces with Jen of Juanita’s Cocina, whose life was also touched by heart disease when her stepfather had a heart attack. Jen’s stepfather is alive and well more than a decade later, and for that, Jen is thankful every day.

The ladies reached out to other bloggers (myself included) and we’re all sharing stories about how heart disease has touched our lives. So today, in memory and honor of “Momzie” (Kim’s mom), we share stories and recipes from our hearts to yours. We all hope that you’ll share your stories with us today as well.

Since heart disease is hereditary, and it’s also a rising epidemic and one of the leading causes of death, I think it’s become more important than ever for me to find ways to incorporate heart healthy foods into my diet.  This farro salad is one of them.

Farro Salad with Citrus Basil Vinaigrette from ItsYummi.com #RecipesFromTheHeart


Often used as a substitute for pasta or rice, farro is a gluten-free grain with a nutty flavor similar to brown rice. It’s rich in fiber, magnesium and vitamins A, B, C, and E.  In this particular salad, I paired it up with some dried cranberries and some crunchy Granny Smith apple pieces, added a few walnuts for some healthy fat, and tossed it with a citrus & honey basil vinaigrette dressing.  I can’t even begin to tell you how yummilicious this salad is!  I could have easily added a protein like cooked chicken or turkey to it, or even some shaved Parmesan cheese would have been a perfect topping.
I felt like it needed a little more pop of color, so next time, I may serve it over some baby spinach or with some Spring greens.
As simple as it was, I ate a 1 cup portion for lunch and felt INCREDIBLY full and satisfied!


Farro Salad with Citrus Basil Vinaigrette from ItsYummi.com #RecipesFromTheHeart

I hope you make and enjoy this heart healthy recipe.  Oh, and will you please do me a favor and hug a loved one tightly for me?  We just never know how long we’ll have them, so it’s important to make the most of every moment…

I love and miss you, Momma and Daddy!

After you’ve had a chance to look over my recipe, you might want to hop around and check out some of the posts from these other amazing bloggers!

Spicy Oven Fries by Cravings of a Lunatic

Healthy Snacking with Radish Dip by Juanita’s Cocina

Arugula, Walnut Pesto by Dinners, Dishes and Desserts

Farro Salad with Citrus Basil Vinaigrette by It’s Yummilicious

Chicken-Quinoa Burgers with an Avocado Yogurt Sauce by The Spiffy Cookie

Pasta House Wilted Salad by Frugal Antics of a Harried Homemaker

Gooey Peanut Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chunk Bars by The Cooking Actress

Dark Chocolate Covered Walnuts by All Day I Dream About Food

Mini Pear Walnut Crisps with Blood Orange Caramel Sauce by Chocolate Moosey

Kung Pao Chicken Tacos by The Dutch Baker’s Daughter

Honey Soy Glazed Salmon by Curry and Comfort

Apple Walnut Spinach Salad by Magnolia Days

Broiled Salmon Gyros with Cucumber Feta Yogurt Dip by Damn Delicious

Maple Mustard Glazed Salmon by That Skinny Chick Can Bake

Make-Ahead Chocolate Oatmeal by Crumb

Hoisin Flounder by Taking on Magazines

Roasted Red Pepper Hummus by The Girl in the Little Red Kitchen

Veggie Nachos by Dine & Dish

Cheesy Quinoa and Asparagus Bake by Hungry Couple

Ahi Tuna Salad by Noshing with the Nolands

Canapes of Apricot, Goat Cheese, Almonds and Rosemary by Cook the Story

Thai Chicken Soup by From Cupcakes to Caviar

Italian Turkey Quinoa Meatloaf by Rachel Cooks

Black Bean Quesadillas by Pastry Chef Online

Sautéed Rataouille with Quinoa by Whipped

Polenta Rounds with Apples and Cheddar by Diethood


Farro Salad with Citrus Basil Vinaigrette from ItsYummi.com #RecipesFromTheHeart

5.0 from 3 reviews
Farro Salad with Citrus Basil Vinaigrette
Created By: 
Recipe Category: Soup/Salad
Cuisine: Vegetarian / Vegan
A heart healthy salad with crunchy farro and walnuts, tart apples & cranberries, and a lightly sweetened citrus, basil & honey vinaigrette dressing.
  • 3/4 cup farro, uncooked
  • 2 Tablespoons grape seed oil, divided
  • 1/4 medium red onion, chopped
  • 1 large gala or granny smith apple, cored and diced
  • 1 Tablespoon chopped basil (I used 1/2 tsp Pampered Chef Sweet Basil Spice)
  • 2 Tablespoons freshly squeeze lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup chopped toasted walnuts
  • 1/4 cup Craisins
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  1. Soak farro in cold water for 20 minutes; drain well.
  2. Bring 2 quarts salted water to a boil in a medium pot. Add farro and simmer, uncovered, until tender, 30 to 35 minutes. Drain well then rinse under cold water for 30 seconds. Drain again, then transfer to a large bowl, cover and refrigerate.
  3. Heat 1 Tablespoon of the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onions and cook until softened and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add apples, stir well and cook until slightly softened, 2 to 3 minutes more.
  4. Transfer apple mixture to bowl with farro. Add basil, lemon juice, remaining 1 Tablespoon oil, walnuts, Craisins, and salt and pepper to taste. Toss gently to combine. Serve immediately.

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  1. says

    I’m so sorry for your loss, Becca. I’ve lost both my parents too as well as a sister so I can understand how you feel and how you miss them.

    I love salads like this even more than I do the typical lettuce ones. Definitely giving this a try.
    JanetFCTC recently posted…Thai Chicken Coconut SoupMy Profile

  2. says

    Heart disease affected your life in a big way. Losing a parent is difficult enough and when they are taken so young it is so hard to deal with. Thank you for sharing your story and how you connected with Kim. It’s amazing how the internet leads us to find valued friends.
    I could eat farro plain I love it so much. It is filling and keeps you going for a long time. I like your salad and the vinaigrette. I’m a major fan of homemade dressings.
    Renee recently posted…Apple Walnut Spinach SaladMy Profile

  3. says

    So sorry that you have lost both of your parents. I am in the same situation and have been since 2006. My daughter never did know her grandparents. It is hard that is for sure!!

    I have never had farro before but I know I would love this recipe!! Thanks so much for sharing!!

  4. says

    I’m ever so glad that you two orphan girls found each other. Life can suck sometimes, and it’s good to know you’ve got friends to lean on when the going gets tough.
    On a happier note, I am madly in love with this salad. I’ve got a soft spot for grain-based salads, especially when they’ve got something sweet and crunchy mixed in, so this recipe is right up my alley.
    In fact, I just happen to have a package of farro sitting in my cupboard from a shopping expedition I went on with the lovely Kim Bee herself… if that’s not a sign that this salad and I are destined to be together, then I don’t know what is! :)

    Isabelle recently posted…Have a Heart: Make-Ahead Chocolate OatmealMy Profile

  5. says

    Thank you for sharing your story. My grandfather suffered from parkinsons disease, so I know how difficult it is. Also, thanks for the great recipe, this looks amazing.

  6. The Mom Chef ~ Taking on Magazines One Recipe at a Time says

    Oh my. Every story I read puts a bigger and bigger lump in my throat. Hugs to you. Thank you for sharing your story though. It is incentive for me to take as good care of my body as I can so I can be around for a long, long time for my daughter. This salad looks like a good place to start. It’s delicious.
    The Mom Chef ~ Taking on Magazines One Recipe at a Time recently posted…Hoisin Flounder from Cooking Light Magazine, March 2013My Profile

    • says

      He surely does, sweet Jenni! Thank you so much for being a part of my life <3
      P.S. I actually had DREAMS about this farro salad last night! Whoa… is Beccalicious going HEALTHY?! Eeek!

  7. says

    Awe Becca, I’m so touched by what you said. You are such a sweetheart and a wonderful friend. I am so thankful you found me and we’ve gotten to know each other. You are a pleasure to have as a friend. I’m honoured to have come into your life, but sorry for the circumstances that lead you there. My heart goes out to anyone who loses a parent. I can honestly say having lost one when I was young and one when I was older, that it really does not matter your age when they go. It hurts like hell when it happens.

    Your dish is beautiful and your sentiments as well. I thank you from the bottom of my heart for joining us today. It’s an absolute privilege to know you. xx
    Kim Bee recently posted…Spicy Oven Fries in Memory of Momzie #recipesfromtheheartMy Profile

  8. says

    My eyes just welled up reading your description of meeting Kim through her blog at a time when you needed solace. I know that feeling well of having a friend, a “rough rider” when we need them most and it is such a blessing.

    The recipe today is a bonus! Great post.


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