Healthier Foods | Healthier Side Dishes | Recipes | Salads | Vegetarian

Farro Salad w/ Citrus Vinaigrette {Heart Healthy Recipes}

Farro salad with citrus-basil vinagrette is one of my favorite heart healthy recipes. Once you try it, will likely become one of your favorites, too. Nutty, whole grain farro, dried cranberries, and fresh apples are tossed with a fresh and tangy vinaigrette. The texture and flavors in this salad will have you in side dish delight!

 

Farro Salad with Citrus Basil Vinaigrette- Crunchy farro, apples, and walnuts paired with a citrus basil dressing is one of my favorite heart healthy recipes. A great side dish or vegan entree.

During rough times in my life, having supportive friends to lean on helps the tough times pass more quickly. Not that the pain goes away altogether, but the people who care about me keep my brain and body occupied. That way, I don’t feel so alone with my troubles. Praying for God’s help is always first on my list, but the friends who offer a shoulder to cry on, or crack jokes to make me laugh are always a blessing to me.  Those friends are my “rough riders”.

Farro Salad with Citrus Basil Vinaigrette- Crunchy farro, apples, and walnuts paired with a citrus basil dressing is one of my favorite heart healthy recipes. A great side dish or vegan entree.

My farro salad recipe is at the end of this post, but first, I need to share a back line story to go with it.

One of those “rough riders” is Kim, from Cravings of a Lunatic.  I’m not sure if she realizes this, but the first time I read Kim’s blog was just two days after my my mom passed away. On August 28, 2011, she went home to Heaven, after a 5 year battle with Parkinson’s Disease.

The next day, I was a hot mess. I was feeling depressed and sorry for myself, too. After all, it didn’t matter that I was 47 years old… I was now an orphan!  My dad had died many years before, at the age of 48, when I was just 15 years old. Among other things, heart disease took his life.

Anyway, the day after my mom died, through a strange twist of fate, I came across Kim’s post for mint chocolate chip ice cream. That is one of my favorite comfort foods to eat when I’m sad. It was at that moment that the stars aligned and a little orphan girl in Wisconsin was linked up with a ‘lunatic’ orphan girl in 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. Every year, on the anniversary of the day her Mom passed, Kim 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. More than a decade later, Jen’s stepfather is alive and well, and for that, Jen is thankful every day.

The ladies reached out to other bloggers (myself included) asking us to share stories about how heart disease has touched our lives. So in memory and honor of “Momzie” (Kim’s mom), we’ll share stories and heart healthy recipes from our hearts to yours.

As I mentioned, the recipe I’m sharing is a delicious, heart healthy recipe for farro salad with citrus basil vinaigrette.

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- Crunchy farro, apples, and walnuts paired with a citrus basil dressing is one of my favorite heart healthy recipes. A great side dish or vegan entree.

Words don’t describe how yummi this farro salad is!

What is Farro? 

  • 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, too.

I could easily have added a protein like cooked chicken or turkey to it, or even some shaved Parmesan cheese.
I feel like it needs 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 this salad is, a 1 cup portion is perfect for lunch -I felt INCREDIBLY full and satisfied!

Farro Salad with Citrus Basil Vinaigrette- Crunchy farro, apples, and walnuts paired with a citrus basil dressing is one of my favorite heart healthy recipes. A great side dish or vegan entree.

I hope you make and enjoy this farro salad, as well as the heart healthy recipes from my blogger friends.

Farro Salad with Citrus Basil Vinaigrette

A heart-healthy recipe with crunchy farro and walnuts, tart apples and cranberries, and a lightly sweetened citrus, basil, and honey vinaigrette dressing.
5 from 4 votes
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Total Time 1 hr
Course Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 4
Calories 295 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 3/4 cup farro uncooked
  • 2 Tablespoons avocado oil or other heart-healthy oil, divided in half
  • 1/4 medium red onion chopped
  • 1 large apple I use Gala or Granny Smith, cored and diced
  • 1 Tablespoon chopped fresh basil or 1/2 tsp dried basil
  • 2 Tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 1/2 large lemon)
  • 1/4 cup chopped toasted walnuts
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries use low sugar variety, if possible
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions
 

  • Soak farro in cold water for 20 minutes; drain well.
  • 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 serving bowl. Cover and refrigerate.
  • Heat 1 Tablespoon of oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onions and cook until softened and translucent, about 4 minutes. Add apples, stir well and cook until slightly softened, 2 to 3 minutes more.
  • Transfer apple mixture to the bowl with farro. Add basil, lemon juice, remaining 1 Tablespoon oil, walnuts, dried cranberries, salt, and pepper. Toss gently to combine. Taste, adding more salt and pepper if needed. Serve immediately.

Nutrition

Serving: 1gCalories: 295kcalCarbohydrates: 44gProtein: 5gFat: 12gSaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 4mgPotassium: 196mgFiber: 8gSugar: 11gVitamin A: 55IUVitamin C: 5.4mgCalcium: 21mgIron: 1.2mg
Tried this recipe? Mention @itsyummi or tag #itsyummirecipe!

I hope you’ll share the heart healthy farro salad recipe with someone you love!

Now, here are some more heart healthy recipes of mine, as well as from my friends.

Tuna Spring Rolls Recipe

Sundried Tomato Tuna Spring Rolls Recipe - Albacore tuna, crunchy veggies, spinach, and avocado are rolled up for a healthy, portable Summer meal. Recipe from @itsyummi (www.itsyummi.com)
click on this photo for the tuna rolls recipe

Spicy Oven Fries, from Cravings of a Lunatic.

Healthy Snacking with Radish Dip, from Juanita’s Cocina.

Arugula, Walnut Pesto by Dinners, Dishes and Desserts.

Chicken-Quinoa Burgers with an Avocado Yogurt Sauce, from The Spiffy Cookie.

Pasta House Wilted Salad, from Frugal Antics of a Harried Homemaker.

Gooey Peanut Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chunk Bars, from The Cooking Actress.

Dark Chocolate Covered Walnuts, from All Day I Dream About Food.

Mini Pear Walnut Crisps with Blood Orange Caramel Sauce, from Chocolate Moosey.

Kung Pao Chicken Tacos, from The Dutch Baker’s Daughter.

Honey Soy Glazed Salmon, from Curry and Comfort.

Apple Walnut Spinach Salad, from Magnolia Days.

Maple Mustard Glazed Salmon, from That Skinny Chick Can Bake.

Make-Ahead Chocolate Oatmeal, from Crumb.

 

Farro Salad with Citrus Basil Vinaigrette, from me!

 

Roasted Red Pepper Hummus, from The Girl in the Little Red Kitchen.

Veggie Nachos, from Dine & Dish.

Cheesy Quinoa Asparagus Bake, from Hungry Couple.

Ahi Tuna Salad, from Noshing with the Nolands.

Apricot Goat Cheese Canapes, from Cook the Story.

Thai Chicken Soup, from Cupcakes to Caviar.

Italian Turkey Quinoa Meatloaf, from Rachel Cooks.

Black Bean Quesadillas, from Pastry Chef Online.

Sautéed Rataouille with Quinoa, from Whipped.

Polenta Rounds with Apples and Cheddar, from Diethood.

Habanero Chicken Black Bean Soup

Habanero Chicken Black Bean Soup from @itsyummi This soup is full of flavor, but it's not super spicy!
click on this photo to get the recipe for my Habanero Chicken Black Bean Soup

 

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

 

Farro Salad with Citrus Basil Vinaigrette from ItsYummi.com - This is one of my favorite heart healthy recipes. The crunch of farro and apples paired with a citrus basil dressing makes the perfect side dish!

 

Will you please do me a favor and hug a loved one tightly today?  We just never know how long we’ll have them, so it’s important to make the most of every moment.

Farro Salad with Citrus Basil Vinaigrette from ItsYummi.com - This is one of my favorite heart healthy recipes. The crunch of farro and apples paired with a citrus basil dressing makes the perfect side dish!

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32 Comments

  1. Farro is most certainly.not a gliten free food. It is a member of the wheat family and could kill a person with celiac disease or a gluten allergy. Please DO NOT feed this to a person with a wheat allergy.

    1. Marian, you are correct that farro is NOT a gluten free food. Where in my post do you see that I mentioned it being gluten free? I’ve read through my post 3 times looking for where I mentioned that, and I don’t see it.

  2. I lost my dad when I was 14 and he was 51, to heart disease. I am lucky to still have my 78-year old mom with me and try to talk to her every day.

    I am looking forward to trying to recipe tomorrow night and seeing how my four kids like it. It sounds delish!

    1. Wow, Jen… I didn’t realize how similar our stories are. Losing dads early in life is definitely challenging.
      I’m excited to hear the reaction from your kids! I hope you all love it 🙂

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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!!

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