Farro Salad & Vanilla Cake

I’ve had big, hearty salads on repeat over here. While we were waiting on our new baby, I kept stocking the fridge with them– farro, orzo, pasta, black bean and corn– the options are endless and they are so great to have on hand for lunch and dinner. This Mediterranean farro salad is one of my favorites.

The recipe is flexible, so add or remove whatever you wish! I boiled the farro per the directions on the package. While it was boiling, I chopped and tossed everything else into an extra large bowl: cherry tomatoes, cucumber, feta cheese, green onion, marinated artichoke hearts, kalamata olives, arugula, and chickpeas. Drain and rinse the farro, then toss that in. I mixed everything up with lemon juice, olive oil and lots of salt and pepper.

One of my favorite (healthy-ish) summertime desserts is the vanilla cake from Sweet Laurel. I’ve made it for my son’s birthday two years in a row now and I think we will keep the tradition! It’s perfectly sweet and moist. **The only change I make is adding a dash of cinnamon to the cake batter, otherwise this is the recipe from Sweet Laurel:

Ingredients
2 1/2 cups almond flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp Himalayan pink salt
2 eggs
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted, plus extra for greasing
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
dash of cinnamon**
seasonal berries

For the coconut whipped cream
1 13.5 oz can full-fat coconut milk (I like Let’s Do Organic brand)
1 Tbsp maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract

Directions
Prepare your 8-inch pan by cutting a circular round of parchment paper to fit the base of your pan. Place the circular parchment round inside the cake pan, then grease the sides of the pan with melted coconut oil.
Place eggs, coconut oil, maple syrup and vanilla extract in a bowl. Whisk until well incorporated. Add almond flour, salt, baking soda and cinnamon. Mix until batter is formed, then pour into prepared pan.
Bake about 25 minutes, until toothpick inserted comes out clean. Allow to cool, then flip cake out of pan onto a cake plate.

For the coconut whipped cream
Place can of coconut milk in refrigerator the night before you make your cake.
Before you plan to serve your cake, open the can of refrigerated coconut milk. The fat will have risen to the top of the can, with the liquid at the bottom; scoop out only the solids to your mixing bowl, then add the maple syrup and vanilla extract. Whisk together, then refrigerate whipped cream to keep it firm until you are ready to top your cake.
To frost your cake, place cooled cake on serving plate and top with prepared coconut whipped cream, followed by organic seasonal berries.

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