Got Farro??! Move over, quinoa….Farro-bean salad with garlic and cumin, vegan.


© Copyright, 2015-2017, Sangeeta Pradhan, RD, LDN, CDE.

Getting a little tired of quinoa, but want a reasonable, whole grain substitute? Look no further than farro, an ancient variety of wheat called emmer, that has a delightful crunch! Whether it takes center stage in a soup, or tossed into a salad, stir fried with crunchy veggies, or consumed as  hot cereal with your favorite dried fruit and nuts, you will love how versatile this grain is. What’s more-packed with approximately 7 whopping grams of fiber per serving*, rich in iron, magnesium and phenolic antioxidants, farro holds the promise of upstaging other popular whole grains. Is this whole grain poised to become the next quinoa?** Time will tell, so stay tuned for updates on this rising star!!!

Copyright Sangeeta Pradhan, RD, LDN, CDE, 2015-2017.

The use of finely chopped garlic, cumin and freshly squeezed lime juice adds a flavorful punch to this wholesome salad. In fact, I may refer to it as a salad, but this is actually a complete meal with protein from the beans, whole grains from farro, unsaturated fats from the olive oil and veggies from the red onions and peppers to boot!

© Copyright, 2015-2017, Sangeeta Pradhan, RD, LDN, CDE.

* Fiber and nutrient content might vary from brand to brand. 1/4 cup uncooked, dry farro has roughly 7 grams of fiber and 37 grams of carbohydrate.  It should be noted that since farro is a form of wheat, it is not gluten-free.

**Although quinoa is used as a whole grain in many recipes, it is actually a seed.

Number of servings: 11, 1/2 cup servings


  1. 1/2 cup raw farro
  2. 3/4 cup canned, red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  3. 3/4 cup canned, black beans, rinsed and drained
  4. 2 tbsp. fresh, finely chopped garlic
  5. 3/4 cup red onion, diced
  6. 1/2 cup each, diced yellow and red peppers
  7. 1 tsp cumin powder
  8. 2 tbsp olive oil
  9. 1/2 tsp salt, or to taste
  10. 2 tbsp freshly chopped cilantro, + 1 tbsp for garnish
  11. 3/4 -1 tbsp. of freshly squeezed lime juice


  1. Cook the farro per cooking directions, adding a pinch of salt to the cooking water and set aside.
  2. Add 2 tbsp olive oil in a thick bottomed saucepan.
  3. Add the freshly chopped garlic, and saute until fragrant and a very light golden brown.
  4. Add cumin to the garlic and toss in the rinsed beans, stirring until coated with the finely chopped garlic and cumin powder.
  5. Stir in the cooked farro and 2 tbsp of cilantro  into the bean-garlic mixture in the pan. Transfer the entire mixture to a large serving bowl,
  6. Mix the lime juice and salt.
  7. Add the chopped red onion and peppers to the farro in the bowl.
  8. Drizzle the salted lime juice, tossing gently to coat.
  9. Garnish with the tbsp of reserved cilantro. May be served warm or cold.

© Copyright, 2015-2017, Sangeeta Pradhan, RD, LDN, CDE.


A Registered Dietitian’s tip:


Farro or emmer (Triticum dicoccum), is a form of wheat that is packed in fiber, iron, and magnesium. © Copyright, 2015-2017, Sangeeta Pradhan, RD, LDN, CDE.

So what’s so promising about farro??

  1. Positive effect on gut bacteria: In a 6 week randomized trial where whole grains were substituted for refined grains, a  favorable positive effect was seen on gut bacteria, short chain fatty acids and the acute inflammatory response. In case that sounds like scientific mumbo-jumbo, there is  scientific evidence demonstrating the role of  our gut bacteria in shaping the course of chronic diseases such as diabetes, obesity and digestive disorders. Certain forms of fiber called prebiotics serve as fuel for the growth of friendly bacteria in our gut. These bacteria, subsequently ferment the fiber to produce short chain fatty acids, which are organic acids that can keep out the bad bugs by inhibiting their growth. Thus, high fiber diets have been linked with the proliferation of protective bugs, while the consumption of a typical Western diet high in refined grains, low in fiber, and high in animal proteins and saturated fats can cause an unfavorable alteration in the ratio of good to bad bugs, and subsequent inflammation. The study noted above, showed a modest, positive effect on gut bacteria as well as the acute inflammatory response.
  2. Proof in the whole grain: Epidemiological and clinical studies demonstrate that intake of dietary fiber and whole grain is inversely related to obesity, type 2  diabetes, possibly cancer and cardiovascular disease.  
  3. Filling the fiber gap: Did you know that the average American consumes only 11-19 grams of fiber per day, a number that is woefully short of the recommended 25-38 grams per day?  However, at 7 grams of fiber per serving, farro packs a considerable fiber punch. Thus, a mere couple of servings would go a long way in filling the fiber gap that America faces. So go ahead, dig in and enjoy!

Disclaimer: This blog is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice. Please consult your doctor or Registered Dietitian for recommendations tailored for your unique needs. This site may display advertisements from a third party advertising network. The display of such advertisements is not intended to be an endorsement of the advertisements or any products or services associated with the advertisements. I am not being compensated for any products or services which might be mentioned on this website.

About Sangeeta Pradhan, M.Ed, RD, LDN, CDCES

Hi there! Welcome to my blog! If you are confused with all the conflicting messages you get bombarded with every day on carbs, fats, proteins, gluten and anything you can think of related to nutrition, look no further! The purpose of my blog is to cut through all this clutter, utilizing scientific, evidence based guidelines to help you, the consumer, navigate the complex, dietary landscape, and thus empower you to make informed decisions.
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16 Responses to Got Farro??! Move over, quinoa….Farro-bean salad with garlic and cumin, vegan.

  1. leggypeggy says:

    That looks delicious and oh-so colourful


  2. Thanks Peggy! Hope you get to try it 😊


  3. smilecalm says:

    looks yummy!
    putting my order
    in 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. At the outset warm welcome back. Long time. Hope everything is fine at your end. Always great to see good friends back where they belong to.

    We were missing your wonderful dishes and the measured calories that is so important to balance the weight of health that goes haywire with such tasty cuisines hovering around us…especially the end of the festival season. This dish is no exception and with so many healthy tips, we need to just blindly follow the spread suggest by you.

    Looking forward to more such wonderful plates full of healthy thoughts.
    Have a great Sunday!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Thank you; You got it! I have reserved a place at the table for you:))


  6. Thank you! All’s well at our end and I hope so also with you and your family. Underwent a major kitchen renovation so there was no functioning kitchen for 6+ months, but now my renovated kitchen is up and running, so hope to be posting more often. Always happy to read your kind and thoughtful comments. Great to be back;) Take care.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. O! I see, then lot of new cuisines will come out of the new look kitchen. Looking forward to your new set of delightful posts.
    Yes, everything is fine here and thanks so much, and you too have a great Sunday.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Thanks much, looking forward to your posts as well:)

    Liked by 1 person

  9. RMW says:

    Certainly looks appetizing.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Thank you, hope you get to try it:))


  11. This looks delicious and will see if my daughter has this grain in her health food store..:-)

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Hi Sue,
    I get a lot of + feedback about farro from my patients and readers, owing in part to how crunchy it is with a mild, and nutty flavor. Very versatile too. Lovely to connect with you again!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Robin says:

    This looks and sounds so wonderful. I happen to have some farro in my pantry. I think I’ll give this a try this weekend. Thanks! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Thank you, Robin for stopping by! Hope you get to try the recipe. You might enjoy the chewy texture of farro. Happy holidays!


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