Healthy Skin Recipe Spotlight: Creamy Southwestern Grain Bowl


Creamy Southwestern Grain Bowl

Here in Utah, it’s late summer, which means community and home gardens are bursting to the brim with sweet corn, juicy tomatoes, and crisp radishes. When I hear those ingredients, my brain goes straight to Southwestern flavors with lime, chilies, and creamy avocado.

Luckily, I already had pretty much everything on hand to create this recipe. I decided to bring it all together by adding some farro and turning it into a grain bowl: at the base we have hearty farro, an ancient Italian wheat berry that is deliciously toothsome and chewy. For toppings: sautéed onions, Pasilla peppers, and corn, along with fresh tomatoes, radishes, and basil. I kind of had pizza on the brain, so I decided to go with fresh mozzarella as a protein choice. Depending on your mood and skin, you might choose steamed shrimp, a scoop of canned beans, or even some roasted chicken. To dress: a luscious, creamy Southwestern avocado sauce.


The beauty of grain bowls is that if you have a few different options at the ready to change up your bowl, you can avoid the burnout or boredom that comes with eating the same thing several days in a row. For example, this week I’ll alternate between protein sources and use fresh mozzarella on some days and Cannellini beans on others. Since I only have a few rows of radishes left in my garden, I’ll probably use toasted pumpkin seeds for crunch when I run out. Some days I’ll add and a handful of greens to the bowl and on the last day, when the dressing is inevitably gone, I’ll probably use a store-bought dressing instead.


Recipe (Makes 4 servings)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 yellow onion, cut in half and thinly sliced
Salt and pepper
1 green pepper (I used Pasilla but any variety will do), thinly sliced
2 ears Utah corn, cut from the cob
2.5 cups cooked farro
2.5 cups garden tomato, chopped
2.5 cups garden radish, thinly sliced
1 pound protein of choice (beans, fish, or shrimp for struggling skin, poultry or mozzarella for adaptive skin)
Handful herbs (I think cilantro would be great, I used basil because it’s what I had)

Southwestern Avocado Dressing

Heat the oil in a large pan over medium high heat. Add onions, season with salt and pepper, and cook until softened, about 3 minutes. Add peppers and cook an additional 1 minute. Add corn and cook until softened but still crisp, about 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.


For each serving, top ½ cup cooked farro with ½ cup of the onion, pepper, and corn mixture. Add ½ cup each chopped tomato and sliced radish. Finish with 3-4 oz. of protein, dressing and chopped herbs to garnish. Enjoy!



1 avocado, chopped
3 tablespoons low-fat plain yogurt (or use 1.5 avocadoes for dairy-free)
Juice of 1 lime (or more to taste)
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil
½ teaspoon chili powder
½ teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon salt
Tiny drizzle maple syrup (optional)
¼ cup water (or more to get your desired consistency)

Place all ingredients into a blender and process until smooth.

By: Ashley Quadros, The Mindful Dietitian