If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a million times.
I love cooking with the spices. I love the beans and whole grains. Even though I don’t eat meat often, when I do, I love marinating in Mexican seasonings.
I use the term “Mexican” loosely because that’s what we do here in the U.S. We seem to label any food made “South of the border” as Mexican food. I like Mexican-inspired food. I like Central and South American cuisine. I found out a few years ago that I really like Cuban dishes, although I haven’t experimented with them in my home.
So, like most days when I’m playing around in the kitchen, I broke out the cumin and chili powder. I like to rotate my whole grains. That night, I was in the mood for farro. And, I had some fresh basil I needed to use before it started to wilt. Voila! Mexican meets Mediterranean.
You may be saying “What is farro?” It isn’t the most commonly-used grain in the U.S. It isn’t even in my computer’s memory and keeps showing that I spelled it incorrectly. But, it’s a staple in Italy.
One serving of farro yields 7 grams of protein and 7 grams of dietary fiber. It’s a great vegetarian protein source. Farro is wheat, so it’s not recommended for those with gluten intolerance, but it is more easily digested than other forms of wheat.
I get my farro from Vitacost. Use my link (it’s also on my sidebar) and get $10 off your first order. (This is an affiliate link. I will receive a small commission if you redeem your coupon. I will not, however, receive your personal information if you place an order through this link.)
Here’s the recipe for my “Mediterranean Meets Mexican” creation:
Farro & Black Bean Casserole
- 1 c. uncooked black beans
- 1 c. uncooked farro
- 1 can diced tomatoes
- 1 tsp. garlic powder
- 1 tsp. cumin
- 1 tsp. chili powder
- 1 tsp. Celtic sea salt
- 1/4 tsp. ground cayenne pepper
- 1/2 c. fresh, chopped basil
- 2 c. shredded pepper jack cheese + more
Cook black beans and farro according to package instructions. I always use dried beans because they save money. They also save you the sodium and BPA issues related with canned goods. Dried beans can be soaked overnight or you can use the rapid method listed on the bag. Either way, you will need to plan ahead a bit.
While your beans and farro are cooking, shred the cheese. I don’t recommend pre-shredded because of the additives, such as anti-caking agents. Once cooked, combine the black beans, farro, tomatoes (also should be BPA-free), garlic powder, chili powder, sea salt, cayenne, basil, and cheese. Combine and spoon mixture into a medium-sized, oiled casserole dish. I find that coconut oil works best. It does not make food taste like coconut. Bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees. If you desire, add some extra cheese to the top when there is about 5 minutes left.
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