Every week our friends at the Natural Gourmet Institute in New York City will develop healthy recipes exclusively for our readers. This tasty risotto was created for Maggie Cooper from Singapore. “I’ve recently begun a journey to focus my diet on whole-food-plant based ingredients. I’m trying to minimize animal protein intake (max 1x/week), but I find myself gaining weight from eating so many high glycemic ingredients,” she says. “What dinner recommendations do you have for tasty dishes that are plant based, and enable weight loss? I work full time so I’m looking for relatively quick recipes.”

The recipe that follows is a wholesome and nourishing meal, which addresses Maggie’s concerns. Farro is low on the glycemic index due to its high fiber content. Fiber increases satiety of a meal by slowing digestion and absorption, which can help with weight loss. Farro and peas are also great sources of plant-based protein. Make a big batch and share a photo of the result on Twitter or Instagram @LiveSonima with the hashtag #RecipebyRequest. You can submit your own request here for a chance to receive a personalized recipe tailored to your favorite flavors and unique lifestyle and dietary needs.

Photo by: Hailey Wist; Styling by Laurie Knoop



  • 1 cup farro, soaked overnight in 3 cups water
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large Spanish or yellow onion, diced
  • 3 medium cloves garlic, chopped
  • ¾ cup dry white wine
  • 5-6 cups vegetable stock
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 cup frozen peas, thawed
  • ½ pound asparagus, 1-inch bottom stem removed, cut into ¼ diagonals
  • Optional shaved Parmesan cheese


  1. Pour vegetable stock into a medium stock pot and keep warm over low heat.

  2. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in another stock pot. Add the onion and cook for 5 minutes, then add garlic and cook for 2 more minutes. Drain farro and stir into onion mixture.

  3. Deglaze the pot with white wine and let cook until the wine is almost evaporated. Add 5 cups warm stock, salt and pepper to the farro and simmer uncovered for 35 to 40 minutes.

  4. In a small sauté pan, heat the remaining tablespoon of oil and sauté the asparagus and peas for 2 to 3 minutes.

  5. Add vegetables to the farro and stir well. Adjust seasoning and add more stock if needed.

  6. Serve with grated Parmesan if desired.

Nutritional Information

Total Fat
Saturated Fat
Dietary Fiber

4 servings