Farro Salad is Healthy and Delicious

I’ve heard farro called an “ancient” grain which means it has been cultivated for thousands of years. My first attempt at using farro failed miserably. I bought a type of small-grained farro that had a very earthy taste. I didn’t like it at all. But I decided to try again and I have to say, this Farro Salad is healthy and delicious!

I bought a large-grain farro described on the package as pearled (pictured below). Once cooked, the grains are plump, moist, and chewy. I would compare them to old-fashioned barley. Pearled farro is perfect for this easy summer salad because the farro absorbs the dressing, which makes for a very flavorful dish.

Summer Farro Salad

2 1/4 cups vegetable broth (or water)

1 cup pearled farro, rinsed and drained

1 cup celery, thinly sliced

1 cup fresh tomato, cut in small cubes

1 cup fresh zucchini, cut in small cubes

1/4 cup fresh parsley, finely minced

1 teaspoon Salad Supreme (optional)

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1/2 cup Robusto Italian Salad Dressing

  1. Prepare the farro: in a medium sized pot, heat the water to boiling and add the farro. Turn down the heat to medium low, cover, and simmer for 30 minutes or until farro is cooked through but still toothsome (chewy). Do not overcook. Cool completely.
  2. Add cooled farro, celery, tomato, zucchini, and parsley to a large bowl. Sprinkle the Salad Supreme, salt, and pepper over everything. Pour on the dressing and stir to combine. Chill and serve. (As the salad sits, the farro will absorb the dressing. Add more dressing, as desired.)

Feel free to swap out any of the vegetables for those you prefer. If you don’t like raw zucchini, use cucumber instead. Not a fan of celery, use broccoli or cauliflower or black olives… whatever you like. This farro salad is healthy and delicious. It’s a versatile, nutritious summer side dish that’s out-of-the-ordinary. And who doesn’t like out-of-the-ordinary?

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Farro Salad is Healthy and Delicious

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If You’re Happy and You Know It, Clap Your Hands!

Happy People

If you’re over 50—or if you’re currently enrolled in kindergarten—you’ll  know the title is from a song. Although whether we’re really happy or not may not be a simple thing to know, we all clap our hands anyway.

But how do we know if we’re happy, technically speaking? Well that’s a matter for experts to examine, including Dan Buettner, a National Geographic Fellow and bestselling author on the subject of living long, healthy & happy. I’ve read Buettner’s articles and many others about happiness—took a whole college course in psychology focusing on what makes happiness tick—and I’ve come up with my personal best list.

Top 7 ways you know if you’re happy:

  1. You laugh a lot. Like every day. Multiple times a day. Sounds simple, right? But really think about this one before you answer it for yourself. How often do you laugh? (Also, how often do you cry?)
  2. You like going to work every day. Especially if you’re like me and you don’t have to go anywhere! It’s no surprise that a long commute can be a big negative in people’s lives according to Buettner. It’s also no surprise that liking your job can make you happy.

    But did you know that you don’t even have to like your job to be happy  if you like the people you work with? 

    In fact, according to Buetner and others, liking your fellow employees and having friends at work is more important than making more money. I can personally attest to the truth of this!

  3. You have a great social network and get together with friends/family often. Everyone agrees about how important the people in your life are to your happiness, right? Maybe it’s hard to put this into practice in  every day life, but those who do are happiest.
  4. You are healthy. While it’s not something we think about, according to statistics, it is harder to be happy when you’re unhealthy. So don’t take this one for granted.
  5. You make a decent living. No need for riches. But just in case, I did buy a Powerball ticket when the jackpot went to $625 million yesterday. It would be a kick to play Santa Claus with all that money. Which brings me to the next tell for happiness.
  6. You focus on others with acts of kindness, helpfulness, care, donating and/or volunteering. Or maybe you’re there for someone with a shoulder to cry on in a tragedy. Of course, you probably already know how these things can make you feel all warm and fuzzy.
  7. Life Balance. You have the right amount of work, socializing and sleep—and all those other personal care things to keep you healthy, like staying active. This is no news for anyone who spends too much time at work, or too much time sitting around. Or not enough time sleeping!

Now that you know, what are you going to do about it?

I’m going to work on getting more sleep!

Tell me what you’re going to do to improve your happiness.

 

Empty Nesters for the second, or is it third time? #Familyfirst #Chasingthedream #mgtab

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This post is bittersweet. One week from today, DH and I will say goodbye to our daughter and grandson as she leaves to begin her graduate studies in marine biology– across the country!

But, this isn’t the first time.

When she graduated from high school she said goodbye to our hometown, the town five generations of family on the maternal side called home, and moved eight hours and one province away. There, she worked, made friends, and raised her son for five years before deciding to go after her dream of becoming a marine biologist. She applied to university and was accepted!

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We were so proud of her! But now, she was even further away, twelve hours and a ferry ride. We made the decision to move closer so that we could support her and see our grandson grow up.

Then, two years later the unthinkable happened– he was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes.

Those who know me, know how difficult and life-changing this has been for all of his family. There has to be constant care for T1D kids, and yet my daughter managed to not only learn everything from the dangers of the disease but how to manage it and allow him to enjoy a normal life.

From the JDRF website

Needs Constant Attention

Living with T1D is a constant challenge. People with the disease must carefully balance insulin doses (either by injections multiple times a day or continuous infusion through a pump) with eating and daily activities throughout the day and night. They must also test their blood sugar by pricking their fingers for blood six or more times a day. Despite this constant attention, people with T1D still run the risk of dangerous high or low blood sugar levels, both of which can be life-threatening. People with T1D overcome these challenges on a daily basis.

And through all of that, she worked hard at school and came out with a Bachelor of Science Degree with Honors this summer!

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But, her dream beckoned and she applied to universities to continue her graduate program working toward a PHD.

And once again, she was accepted! This time on the opposite coast in Newfoundland!

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I’m excited and worried. Will the healthcare system be as good there as it is here? Will they find a nice place to live? How cold are the winters? We’re from Alberta, so we’re used to -30, but I’ve heard some crazy stuff about northeasters that makes me pray she has a reliable vehicle. Will he like the school there? Will they know how to help him if he needs it?

They’re driving across Canada to get there, so I’m going to be sick the entire time. Yet, imagine the things they’ll see, the memories they’ll make.

It’s going to be a long two or three years, but God, I love them and wish them the very best.

What’s 420 all about?

Where did the term 420 come from (and what does it mean)?
Anyone who has ever been a teenager and attended public schools probably already knows that 420 refers to marijuana. It’s legal now, either medical or recreational or both, in over half the states in the nation, so I suppose it no longer needs a code name or to be spoken of in hushed whispers. In Oregon, there are green cross dispensaries all over the place, advertising daily specials on placards out front. Or you can grow it at home in limited quantities. I never saw that one coming in the 70s.
Today, April 20, is also a 420 and the unofficial holiday, the date to ‘light up’ for partakers all over the world – legally, or course.
It all started with a date. Not a guy and gal going to the movies sort of date, but a ‘meet me after school’ date. Five guys in high school in 1971 had discovered a map to a supposed abandoned crop of cannabis near where they lived in California. The group, called the Waldos, set up a time to meet after football practice to obtain and take care of the precious weed. ‘420’ actually meant 4:20, the time to meet at their designated hookup spot in the center of campus.
Pretty soon, whenever the term ‘420’ was used, it meant either ‘are you stoned,’ ‘do you want to get stoned,’ or ‘do you have any weed,’ depending on how it was said.
There’s more to the story which involves The Grateful Dead, David Crosby, backstage passes, and housesitting, but bottom line is, the term 420 started as a meet up time for five high school guys.
Oh, and by the way, the abandoned marijuana crop turned out to be a ruse, a ‘fooled ya!’ joke by one of the Waldo five’s brother. Now, the California residents don’t have to go on an adventure for their party products. Of course, since they’re in their 60s, they’re just as likely to be seeking it out for pain relief as stress relief.


No matter where you live, a great way to distract yourself and ‘get high’ is by sharing the life and adventure of someone else by reading a great book. Or Eight. Check out Unforgettable Suspense, a box set of eight thrillers with a romantic edge, some edgier than others. Only 99 cents, or free to read with your Kindle Unlimited account.