This hearty farro bowl with mushrooms recipe is one I created for my Family Farm Box. Although these days I focus on preparing CSA-based family meals, as the author of The Seduction Cookbook, I’m no stranger to the world of aphrodisiacs. So I know my way around ingredients with the potential to titillate more than the senses. And believe it or not, this easy, weeknight recipe of ancient grains with mushrooms may actually be your new recipe for romance. Here’s why you’re going to want to start making more farro – and how to turn a grain bowl recipe into a romantic meal for two.
What is farro?
Farro is an ancient grain. In fact, some historians believe that it is the oldest of all grains. It offers a nutty flavor and a more dense, chewy texture than most grains. And it offers an array of nutrients important to your sexual health including magnesium, zinc, iron, protein and fiber.
A healthy dish of grains and veggies may not look like food for a night of romance but this dish is one that should go into your arsenal of foods to keep your lover in prime, sexual form.
Those with celiac disease should note that it is a type of wheat and not suitable for gluten-free diets. But for the rest of us, plenty of farro should always be on the menu.
You’re going to want to eat more mushrooms after you read this
Suppose you were at a cocktail party, and you had to answer an ice-breaker question about what vegetable would be your boyfriend? Mine would be a mushroom. So down to earth, exotic, sensual…but back to topic:
Have you noticed a lot of chatter about vitamin D deficiency? It seems as though everyone is being prescribed a supplement to combat deficiency in vitamin D. But when I had a conversation with my physician about it, I told her I get plenty of sunshine, no supplement, thank you. However, she explained to me an interesting fact about this nutrient I’d never heard. You have to have vitamin D in your body to for the sunshine to wake it up, your body doesn’t just naturally produce it.
Why am I bringing this up? It’s because mushrooms are one of the only items on the produce aisle rich in vitamin D. Great news for me and long walks on the sunny fall beach with my vegetable boyfriend.
Of course, this vegan farro with spinach and mushrooms recipe isn’t just about the mushrooms. This mushroom and farro dish offers a one-two punch, matching the seductive powers of mushrooms with the libido-boosting powers of farro.
Additional aphrodisiac ingredients in this farro recipe
- Bay leaf
Bay leaf, the herb that seasons the cooking farro, is historically a food of love. Although it doesn’t look like something that will put a fire in your loins, this herb is actually a narcotic. Here’s more information on bay leaf as an aphrodisiac, in case I’ve piqued your interest.
Garlic is also famously an aphrodisiac. One of the most popular flavorings in Mediterranean cooking, garlic has many proven health benefits, including several that can boost sexual health. For example, did you know that garlic can improve blood flow? Garlic is so beneficial to men that it even makes the list of the 10 best foods for men’s sexual health.
Like all dark, leafy greens, spinach is beneficial to your overall health. Specific to your sexual health, it offers important vitamins and minerals like vitamin E and magnesium. Just be sure not to overcook the spinach when you’re cooking the vegetables for your farro bowl. Although cooking can actually increase the nutrition you will absorb from the spinach, overcooking will give it an unpleasant texture.
Keep in mind that before making any drastic changes to your diet to improve sexual health, you should speak to a medical professional.
A time-saving tip for cooking farro
For this farro mushroom recipe, I use quick-cooking farro as a time-saving technique. (Whole farro takes a long time to cook and should generally be soaked overnight before cooking.) If you’re at the store and aren’t sure what to get, look for pearled farro, which takes much less time to cook than whole. (I do not cook my farro in an instant pot but you could cook the grains for this recipe in one if that’s your preferred cooking method. Just don’t forget to season the water.)
What to serve with this warm farro bowl
This hearty farro grain bowl recipe is great on its own as a main course or nutritious lunch. (Note that this farro grain bowl recipe is completely vegan.) But if you want to satisfy a meat lover, you can serve the farro warm or as a salad to accompany healthy meat, like this marinated bison. To make your meal feel more special, serve this mushroom farro recipe with a good glass of wine. Although many people think you have to serve white wine with vegetarian meals, mushrooms and red wine make wonderful partners. Try something like this affordable Argentine Malbec. Or consider splurging on a great Pinot Noir.
More farro recipes and other healthy grain bowls
Hearty Farro with Mushrooms and Spinach
- 8 oz quick cooking farro
- 2 leaves dried bay
- olive oil salt & pepper
- 8 oz brown cremini mushrooms cleaned, stems removed, sliced
- 1 shallot sliced
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 oz of baby spinach
- 2 Tbsp chopped Italian parsley
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Pour the farro and bay leaves into the boiling water, and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. When farro is cooked to al dente, drain in a colander. Place farro in a large mixing bowl, remove bay leaf, and put aside to cool.
- Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and drizzle enough olive oil to lightly coat the bottom of the pan. Add the mushrooms and cook, undisturbed, for about 3 minutes, until golden, then stir to turn and continue to cook for another 3 to 5 minutes, until juices release and mushrooms are completely brown. Season with salt and pepper and add to the farro. Drizzle a bit more olive oil in the pan and add the shallots and garlic. Cook for another few minutes, then add in the spinach and parsley, cooking just to wilt. Season the vegetables with salt and pepper, then add the vegetables to the farro mixture. Stir everything together and taste for seasoning, adding additional olive oil, salt and pepper if needed.
- Serve farro warm, at room temperature or cold.
A note on the provided nutrition informationThe nutrition information provided has been estimated by an online nutrition calculator and is not a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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