Sunday, August 11, 2013

Farro and Tuna Salad with Fresh Herbs + Okra!

August is HOT in south Texas!  Day after day of 100+ weather can wear on anyone, but the good news is that we still get to enjoy ripe, red tomatoes and fresh green herbs from the garden-- well, those that haven't burned up in the heat yet :)
Anyway, so have you tried farro yet?  It is a very ancient grain originally from Italy.  It's a "whole grain" with all the nutritional good stuff associated with that; plus, it tastes terrific!  I buy the quick-cooking type and it's ready in 10 minutes.  Farro is good served hot as a side dish or cold as a salad so when I cook it, I make a lot and freeze it in baggies.  It thaws in no time and still tastes freshly made.
This salad uses cold farro and canned tuna, so it comes together easily and quickly.  The fresh herbs and avocado give it a wonderful summer taste that goes great served on a sliced red tomato!  The dressing is super easy and light.
Some people say they lose their appetite in hot weather, but that's never been my problem:)  However, I think this salad will perk up any appetite-- even in the "dog days" of summer (why do they call it that?) !

Farro and Tuna Salad with Fresh Herbs (serves 2)
1 cup of cooked farro
1- 5 oz. can good quality tuna, drained
2 Tbl. sliced red onion
1 Tbl. chopped fresh chives
1 Tbl. chopped fresh oregano
1 Tbl. chopped fresh mint
1/2 avocado, cubed
1/3  cup chopped cauliflower
2 Tbl. capers
1 large tomato, cut into thin wedges
Salt and pepper

Dressing:  2 Tbl. fresh lemon juice mixed with 3 Tbl. olive oil and 1/2 tsp. salt

Mix all the salad ingredients together except the tomato.  Taste for seasoning.  If you have time, cover and allow to sit in the fridge for 30 minutes, but if not, it will still taste yummy!
Put the tomato wedges on two plates.  Season with salt and pepper.  Pour the dressing over the salad and mix well.  Divide onto the tomato wedges and serve!

Baked "Fried" Okra

So here's a little extra recipe you might enjoy!  I LOVE fried okra, but now that I need some alternatives to fried foods, I developed this recipe and it tastes great!  The coating is fat-free and high in fiber, so it doesn't take anything away from the veggie nutrition.

Unfried Okra (serves 2, but I could eat the whole recipe myself)
2 Tbl. ground flax seed (not as hard to find as you would think-- I found it in the baking aisle)
2 Tbl. whole wheat bread crumbs
1/2 tsp. granulated garlic
1/4 tsp. salt
few grinds of pepper
1 egg white, beaten to a froth with a fork
16 or so, small, fresh okra, washed and dried
Preheat the oven to 425F.  Put a wire rack on a baking sheet and spray it with PAM.
Combine the ground flax seed, bread crumbs, garlic, pepper,and salt.
Roll the okra in the egg white, then in the seasoned crumbs.  Put on the wire rack.
Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until the okra is tender and the crumbs are dry and crisp.

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