Look at any bodybuilder’s meal plan and you’re going to notice the same three or four carb sources popping up over and over again: rice, sweet potatoes, quinoa, and oatmeal. That’s not just limiting from a palate standpoint; this list ignores one of the most protein-rich grains on the planet, an ancient grain called farro. Farro is a form of wheat with a rich, nutty taste and packs 12 grams of protein per cup, not to mention 8 grams of fiber. In this recipe, I pair it with roasted eggplant for a satisfying dish that can stand on its own as a vegetarian option or be paired with a lean meat of your choice for an extra shot of muscle-building protein.

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  • 6 eggplant
  • 2 cups farro
  • 2 ½ tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 4 oz low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 cup red onions, diced
  • 1 cup yellow peppers, diced
  • 1 cup red peppers, diced
  • 1 cup asparagus, blanched
  • 1 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 bunch parsley, chopped
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 6 oz crumbled goat cheese


  1. FOR EGGPLANT: Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Cut eggplant in half lengthwise; trim off the rounded back so the eggplant can sit flat on a plate.
  3. Drizzle lightly with olive oil (about 1⁄2 tbsp) and season with salt and pepper.
  4. Place in a sauté pan over medium heat and grill on each side, 2–3 minutes.
  5. Place on a sheet pan and finish in oven for 15–20 minutes until tender.
  6. FOR FARRO: Place farro in a saucepan, and toast for one minute over medium-high heat.
  7. Add garlic, bay leaf, and vegetable stock and bring to a simmer.
  8. Turn heat down to low-medium; allow to cook for 25–30 minutes until tender. Strain any excess liquid; set aside.
  9. In a separate pan over medium-high heat, add 2 tbsp olive oil, onion, yellow and red peppers.
  10. Sauté until onions are translucent; add asparagus and farro.
  11. Deglaze pan with vegetable stock and continue to cook for two minutes to allow farro to absorb liquid. Finish with chopped parsley and set aside.
  12. FOR BALSAMIC REDUCTION: Pour balsamic vinegar into a small pot. Heat until it is reduced by two thirds.
  13. Take off heat and stir in honey. Let cool to room temperature.
  14. FOR PLATING: Place grilled eggplant on the center of the plate with farro mixture on top.
  15. Garnish with balsamic reduction around plate and top with goat cheese.
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