Farro, Kale, and Mushroom Bowl

Farro, Kale, and Mushroom Bowl

I recently had someone hire me to prepare her lunches for the week. She requested a bunch of different grain bowls that could she could assemble herself each day. I put all of the ingredients in different containers so she could mix and match if she wanted to. 

In preparation for this job, I tested out quite a few recipes to make sure they worked. One of which was this delicious farro, kale, and mushroom grain bowl. I was particularly nervous about this one because kale is one of those hit or miss ingredients. 

Some people love it. And some people don’t. 

When did it become so popular anyway? I remember restaurants used to use it as a garnish because it was so stiff that it would hold up for hours underneath the heat lamps. In fact, I specifically remember as a kid trying said garnish, thinking it was part of the meal and then immediately spitting it out because it was so gross and bitter. My parents reprimanding me—“You’re not supposed to eat that! It’s just for show.” And now it’s this superfood. This beacon of health. 

I honestly don’t like raw kale. Why am I writing a blog about this gross, bitter, green vegetable then? Because raw kale and cooked kale are two very different things. Cooked kale, as long as its seasoned well, Is de-lish! And if you remember my blog about the new love in my life: shiitakes you’ll know why this grain bowl is oh so tasty.

Yields: 3 cups

Prep Time:  5 minutes |Cook Time: 30 minutes |Total Time: 35 minutes 


½ cup farro

¼ cup canned chickpeas

½ tsp paprika

2 tbsp olive oil, divided

1 garlic clove, minced

½ onion, diced

3 shiitake mushrooms, diced

1 tsp rosemary

1/2 bunch kale, stems removed and chiffonade (see below)

1 tbsp chopped walnuts

salt to taste

1 tbsp lemon juice

½ tsp lemon zest

1 tsp soy sauce

1 oz crumbled goat cheese

  1. Heat 1 cup water and farro over medium/high heat. Bring to a boil, reduce to simmer and partially cover. Simmer ~20 minutes until tender. Drain any remaining water. 
  2. Preheat oven to 400°.
  3. While farro is cooking, heat 1 tbsp olive oil and garlic until fragrant. Add onions, mushrooms, rosemary, and a pinch of salt. Cook 3-4 minutes until tender.
  4. Toss chickpeas in 1 tbsp olive oil and paprika. Bake in oven ~25-30 minutes or until crispy. 
  5. Place walnuts on a separate baking sheet until lightly browned ~5 minutes. 
  6. Add kale to mushroom/onion mixture and cook until slightly wilted ~3 minutes. 
  7. Toss farro, chickpeas, toasted walnuts, and kale mixture together with lemon juice, zest, and soy sauce.
  8. Top with goat cheese.

The Cook’s 2 Cents:

  • Mushrooms are surprisingly about 90% water. They’ll end up burning and sticking to the bottom of the pan if you don’t salt them. Adding salt helps to release some of their water content, preventing this from happening.
  • There’s a culinary term called, “chiffonade.” It’s basically an easier way to cut leafy greens and herbs. To chiffonade the kale, stack the leaves on top of one another and then roll in half lengthwise. Cut perpendicular to the roll. It makes your knife work much quicker!
  • To zest a lemon, simply grate the peel. But be sure not to include the white pith, or it will be bitter. 

Nutrition Facts:

Serving Size: 1 ½ cups

Servings Per Recipe: 2

Calories: 412               Fat: 21g                       Sodium: 223mg          Carbs: 44g       Fiber: 10g                    Sugars: 5g                   Protein: 15g