Results Typical

(Or at least I hope they are)

"Workout" Inspiration



Progress

Highest weight ever: 345.0 (11/13/2013)
Total lost (to date): 84.9 lbs
Last weigh in: 260.1 9/26/2017

2017: ... (314.2-???)
2016: +19.6 lbs(294.6-314.2)
2015:+9.2 lbs (285.4-294.6)
2014: -25.0 lbs (310.4-285.4)
2013: -4.6 lbs (315.0-310.4)
2012: +33.6 lbs (281.4-315.0)
2011: -5.6 lbs (287-281.4)
2010: -31.0 lbs (318-287)

Farro Salad with almonds and arugula

1 cup farro

2 Tbsp White balsamic vinegar
2 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp ground coriander

4 Tbsp almonds, crushed
1/2 cup golden raisins
4 oz Arugula
1 bunch green onions, sliced
2 oz goat cheese

1. Add farro to 5 qt salted water, bring to a boil, boil 25 minutes. Drain.
2. Toast almonds and add to drained farro.
3. In a jar with a lid combine vinegar, oil, and coriander. Cover, shake well. Add dressing to farro and nuts. Let the Farro cool.
4. Add the rest of the ingredients to the farro. Stir to combine.

Overall: A

I think I’ve finally found the perfect recipe. It was lovely and other agreed that it was very good.

What worked:
I love love love the mixture of farro grains and nuts. It just pleases me. I think I’ll stick with that for a while. This is a fairly hands off preparation and if I reserve the goat cheese and put it on at the last minute I could see this being something that would travel well and be an easy addition to a picnic potluck.

What didn’t work:
I added the Arugula too soon while the grains where still hot. This wilted the grains. I think I’d like it better if I waited untilt he grains were cooled before adding hte Arugula but other than that this was pretty close to perfect.

Farro salad with spinach, golden raisins and goat cheese

20150427_115246 1 cup farro

2 Tbsp White wine vinegar
2 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1 knob diced ginger
1/4 tsp mustard

4 Tbsp pine nuts
1/2 cup golden raisins
1 cup spinach, chopped
2 oz goat cheese

1. Add farro to 5 qt salted water, bring to a boil, boil 25 minutes. Drain.
2. Toast pine nuts and add to drained farro.
3. In a jar with a lid combine mustard, vinegar, oil, coriander and ginger. Cover, shake well. Add dressing to farro and pine nuts.
4. Add the rest of the ingredients to the farro. Stir to combine.

Overall: B

Yesterday I went off the rails and took everything I’ve learned from making whole grain salads and attempted to make up my own recipe. It was good but it has room for improvement.

What worked:
I love love love the mixture of farro grains and pine nuts. It just pleases me. I think I’ll stick with that for a while. This is a fairly hands off preparation and if I’d reserved the goat cheese and put it on at the last minute I could see this being something that would travel well and be an easy addition to a picnic potluck.

What didn’t work:
The mix could have used a stronger vinegar. I used white wine vinegar because it seemed reasonable but it’s just not bite-y enough. I think I’ll change this up and try white balsamic vinegar or apple cider vinegar.
The ginger and mustard were unnecessary and should be eliminated. I added mustard because I usually add that to help emulsify a vinaigrette.. but since this is added directly to the Farro I don’t think full emulsification is necessary. The ginger just didn’t add to the salad and was out of place.
Because I added the goat cheese to the still-warm Farro the cheese melted in and coated all the grains. This was good but I think I would prefer to serve it less warm with the goat cheese crumbled over the top.
I used spinach because it’s what I had on hand.. but it didn’t really bring much to the party. I think I would prefer this with flat leafed parsley or arugula.

Farro salad with capers and beans

20150421_190916“Medieval Farro Salad” from A Culinary Traveler in Tuscany by Beth Elon
http://www.bluebirdgrainfarms.com/medieval-farro-salad/

Overall: B

This week I got curious and asked Google about “medieval Farro”. It suggested two recipes, this one (which calls itself “medieval” but offers no supporting evidence) and “Farro with 15th Century for Spelt Rice Porridge” (which looked promising until I realized that there was no source for the recipe.. and the recipe listed didn’t use farro, wheat, spelt or really anything that would qualify it as a “farro” recipe). Despite the lack of evidence I was intrigued by the use of capers**.

The salad is very simple and tasty. Unfortunately I didn’t have access to the cranberry beans that the recipe called for and had to substitute Cannellini beans instead. This lead to a very beige salad. The capers weere a nice addition. I ended up adding most of the caper juice as well to flavor the salad. It’s good but not OMG SO GOOD I MUST HAVE MORE.

It needed another texture or a bit of crunch. I think this would be great with the addition of pine nuts and/or parsley.

**In the SCA my name is “Sylvie la chardonniere” Chardonniere means “The Thistle seller”. Capers are one form of thistles and I really do love the taste of them. I’m toying with the idea of making a whole grain salad with a thistle theme. Farro + capers + artichokes + cardoons

Farro Salad with roasted carrots and onions

20150414_181723Farro Salad with roasted carrots and onions
http://madbaker.livejournal.com/800777.html?hc_location=ufi

Overall: B

Last week when I posted about the Farro salad with raisins and Pistacios (https://www.facebook.com/nibuca/posts/10203933873646637) Jeremy Fletcher mentioned that he had a “Farro Tabbouleh” recipe he liked and suggested I might like to try it.

I will be completely honest and say that the dish I made last night was only passingly similar to the recipe Jeremy posted. Weekly we order our groceries delivered from Safeway and when they arrived yesterday I found out that Safeway was out of green beans. So instead of green beans I substituted roasted heirloom carrots. Also I kind of skimmed the recipe initially and it wasn’t until I was about to put the onions/carrots into the oven that I realized that I was actually supposed to grill them. I figured that the carrots weren’t going to work on the grill.. and at the point where I was last night, firing up the grill for the onions smacked of effort so I decided to roast both the carrots and the onions in the oven. That said…

What worked:
– I absolutely loved the taste of the roasted onions and carrots. The oil and balsamic vinegar were just prefect. I think I need to figure out a way to use roasted onions like that independent of this salad. They were SUPER super tasty. I could have eaten the whole tray of the roasted onions. The onions added a bit of sweet to the salad.
– I ended up only using 5oz of arugula which is a good thing. I think if I’d used the whole 8oz the Farro would have been lost in the salad.
– I loved the pine nuts mixed in with the farro. Because both are about the same size it was almost a surprise when I found a pine nut in the mouthful. The pine nuts brought a nice bit of subtle crunch to the dish.

What didn’t work:
The recipe calls for the zest of one lemon but then doesn’t use the meat of the lemon or the juice. This offends my sensibilities. It’s just rude to use the zest of the lemon but not use the lemon itself. I ended up using the lemon juice as the acid in place of more vinegar on the farro.
In general I liked it. I might play around with the idea a bit and use it as inspiration for the final “perfect whole grain salad” which I’m working towards.

Farro Salad with raisins and pistachios

20150407_203823Farro Salad with raisins and pistachios
http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/wheat-berry-salad-with-raisins-pistachios

Overall: A-

I substituted Farro for the Wheat Berries (Safeway sells Farro but not Wheat Berries so I could get them without making a special trip to the hippy store) and Parsley for Cilantro (I have _that_ gene that makes cilantro taste like soap so although I realize parsley isn’t a good substitute, it’s good enough for me).

The salad was very easy to make and had good taste though I think it could use a touch more acid. The Farro was the star of the dish and I loved the fact that the chewy nature of the whole grain really shined. The golden raisins added just the right touch of sweetness. The pistachios added a bit of crunch and I suppose a bit of protein. I think this could easily have almond (which are easier to find) substituted for the pistachios.
Erik didn’t like it. I think it was because the parsley was hard to chew and stuck to the roof of his mouth. I do think Fearghus would eat this.. so that’s a plus.

I’d definitely make it again and I’ll happily eat the leftovers for lunch for the next week.

Farro Salad with Roasted Beets, beet greens, and Poppy Seed Dressing**

10478559_10203892589934570_4776544867367107151_nFarro Salad with Roasted Beets, beet greens, and Poppy Seed Dressing**
http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/farro-salad-with-roasted-beets-watercress-poppy-seed-dressing

Overall: C-

The taste is good but the poppy seeds make this something I’d hesitant to take as work lunch food (poppy seeds stuck in teeth) and the sour cream makes me hesitate to have the salad sit out for long for fear of spoiling.
With a whole grain salad I want the grain to shine as the star. In this case the farro feels like filler and its character is lost in the salad.

Add to that, Fearghus wouldn’t eat it because of the beets.

Lastly, because of the roasted beets this is a very pink salad. Scary pink in fact. It’d be a great addition to a valentine’s day dinner. Unfortunately I am really not a big fan of food that dyes other food. The beets + farro + goat cheese led to a giant pink mess.

I’d eat the individual components by themselves or in a different combination but this is not a winner with them all together.

**When I ordered groceries this week I ordered watercress but when the groceries arrived today they said they were out of watercress so instead I cut up the beet greens and boiled then for 1 min. I know it’s not really a great equivalent but it seemed like a reasonable thing to do with this salad.

Wheat berry salad with feta

10985227_10203851828195552_3580903521844204403_nWheat berry salad with feta
http://www.myrecipes.com/m/recipe/wheat-berry-salad-with-goat-cheese

Overall: B

It’s yummy and I’d make it again but Fearghus wouldn’t like it (because it has big chunky tomatoes in it).
Wheat berry salad with feta (because I had no goat cheese). Also because of the tomato and cucumber this ends up being a very wet salad. The leftovers did not keep well.