Farro Salad with Fennel and Arugula

July 18, 2015
Farro Salad with Fennel and Arugula - The farro makes it heartier than a typical green salad .. Perfect either for a light meal .. or as a side

What are you up to this weekend?

@happynadyaz and I talking to @wellandgoodnyc on how to eat in the heat. Link in bio. #memorialday #eatlikeawoman #foodcoachla #foodcoachnyc #summerdays

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We're hosting July's Spaghetti Saturday

It's been so much fun getting ready this week.

Our latest project?  Homemade ice cream in 5 different flavorsEvery day I've made a different custard when my husband gets home from work, we put it in the ice cream maker, and a half an hour later he renders his assessment while scraping the bowl and licking the turner

So far my favorites are Stracciatella and Malted Milk Ball.  His?  For sure I thought it would be Coffee, Chocolate, Hazelnut, but he's staying mum

We're also being extra careful not to leave any stone unturned.  Our checklist is taped to the kitchen cabinet, with entries like don't forget to put out the potato salad  (duh!)

I'm excited too, on Saturday we'll get to watch a sweet friend's dog compete in a Dock Diving Competition.  I've never been to anything like this, so it'll be fun to see what it's all about

(As rumor has it, we'll be watching a champion!)

                                           His name is Reuben, and he's pretty darn cool!

In the meantime, a conclusion to this week's series on food sensitivities.  A brief recap

Part I .. What is a food sensitivity? As well as some first-hand experiences of how they can affect our health, often in the strangest sorts of ways

Part II – What’s causing all of these food sensitivities?  What are some of the ways we can identify them?  What are some of the most common food offenders?  Elimination diets vs. having a food sensitivity test, some things to consider

Part III – My personal experience

A perfect summer night in June of 1987, I was sixteen and driving way too fast on a gravel road in a VW Bug, trying to make it home by curfew.

I didn't make it.

When the dust finally settled, I collected myself, un-peeled my fingers from the steering wheel, checked for blood, and thought, “Huh, it's only about half a mile, walking would be good.”

It wasn't meant to be

My father came and knelt beside his broken child lying in a cornfield.  “I can't walk right now, but I'm sure it will be ok.  Don't you think we could just go home?”

All in good time

Farro Salad with Fennel and Arugula - The farro makes it heartier than a typical green salad .. Perfect either for a light meal .. or as a side

We all have our things, and that fateful night, was the beginning of mine.

A broken back was able to be repaired, but during the months-long recovery, blood clots developed in the deepest veins of my left leg.  The scar tissue left behind prevents the lymph from flowing as freely as it should, and thus


Over the years, it's become such a part of who I am, in the oddest of ways; it feels like an old friend.  A leg that swells, among with it varying degrees of a dull ache.  For those who know me, it's simply become part of the vocabulary

“You've been standing far too long My Dear, let's find you a chair.”

“Alas, it's too big for jeans today.  Yoga pants, now where were they?”

Life lesson #9561 – Be careful what you wish for

Farro Salad with Fennel and Arugula - The farro makes it heartier than a typical green salad .. Perfect either for a light meal .. or as a side

It wasn't until my 40s that I met a new doctor with a recommendation to buy a leg pump to have at home.  One that promised to help massage the extra fluid out.

Thus began a new routine.  In the evenings while I worked, I'd pump my leg hour or two, and be good to go.  As far my leg went, all was better than well, although the large influx of extra fluid it sent into my body turned out to, not always be

a happy thing

Inflammation brought on by eating foods we're sensitive to will be noticeable, and exacerbate whatever our particular health conditions are.

(For example, if you're prone to migraines, they'll either be more frequent or more intense.  If you're in the throes of menopause, you'll want to pay attention to your hot flashes.  In my case, it appears like clockwork in the amount of swelling and aches in my leg)

While I certainly bought into the idea, how much of a difference would taking these foods out of my diet really make?

(** Remember, what’s worked for me, may not work for you.  Also, I want to stress how very important it is to have a health care professional analyze the results with you)

Food Sensitivity Test 1-1024x

How my food coach helped me interpret the results of my food sensitivity test

Red and orange columns

Once it's determined there is a food sensitivity, those foods should be nixed for at least six months.  After that time, you can try to challenge with them again (add them back in) and see how you feel

If you're sensitive to something, it'll take the immune system a long time to forget that it's sensitive to that food.  (Some people will find that they'll continue to have a sensitivity, and it will just have to stay out of their diet)

Yellow column

These foods can be iffy, although there's a high probability you're sensitive.  If it causes you stress to have to take out all of those foods from your diet, then eat them in moderation, and be sure they're rotated at least every three or four days

In my case?  Because of the number of things that are on the list, it also pointed to leaky gut (which I've added extra supplements to help repair)

Blue Boxes

Anything in these boxes is definitely something to pay attention to, in my case, Candita.  Alas, the previous lives of being a sugar junkie have certainly caught up to me.

Food Sensitivity Test 2-1024x

For the past month, I've eaten only from the green boxes

After about five days, I realized I only needed to pump my leg for an hour every other day.  Instead of an hour or two every day.

After twelve days, I'd gone an entire week without needing to .. at all(!)

After twenty-one days, the pump found a brand new home.  In the closet.  Now I use it for an hour, every couple of weeks

Admittedly I'm far from symptom-free.  There is still swelling, because I have the condition. Though after taking all of the inflammatory foods out of my diet, it never swells enough to drive me to yoga pants.  In the mornings when I get out of bed, it's as close to normal as I've ever known it to be and hasn't hurt

Not even once

Hippocrates 1-680x

Photo Credit: Mineral-Makeup-Cosmetica.com

I'm always appreciative when someone passes along a great recipe, and this one came from a neighbor“This one you've got to try.  It's sooooo good.”

My goodness, she was right

The farro makes it heartier than a typical green salad.  It's perfect either for a light meal or as we did this week, as a side with Veggie pizza

I imagine it would be great with wheat berries, spelt or barley

Wishing for you the happiest of weekends



ps:  You can read more about food sensitivities in  Part I  |  Part II of the series

— — —

~ Adapted from Food & Wine

Farro Salad with Fennel and Arugula


  • 1 ½ cups farro (~ 10 ounces)
  • 3 Tbsp flaxseed oil (or sunflower seed oil)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • finely grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 fennel bulb, halved, cored and cut into ¼" dice
  • ½ cup chopped parsley
  • salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 4 packed cups arugula leaves


  • In a medium saucepan, cover the farro with 2 inches of water. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer over moderately low heat until tender, about 25 minutes. Drain and let cool for about 10 minutes.
  • In a large bowl, whisk the oil with the garlic and lemon zest and juice.

  • Add the cooled farro and toss well.
  • Add the fennel and parsley and season with salt and pepper. Just before serving, fold in the arugula
Serves: 6
Nutrition + Show
Calories 247
Total Fat 7.8g
Saturated Fat 0.9g
Carbohydrates 40.6g
Fiber 8g
Sugars 2.2g
Protein 7.6g
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