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Farro Lunch Salad – Three Ways

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This farro lunch salad is a fun, convenient way to eat well at lunch by using leftovers or prepping ahead of time. Packed with whole grains, veggies, protein, and healthy fat, it will leave you satisfied. 

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Lunch Salad or Grain Bowl

In my last blog post I talked about why it’s so hard to figure out lunch and how to make it easier. Here is another salad or grain bowl (call it what you like!) to add to the list. 

I love to cook up a batch of grains such as farro, brown rice, quinoa, or bulgur at the beginning of the week and then use it to make salads or grain bowls like these. They look adorable packed in Mason jars, which are perfect for transporting to work. Of course, since many of us are working from home these days, you can also just portion it all into an oversized bowl when ready to eat. Or, perhaps you could put it in a nonbreakable container and bring it to the beach or park for a quick lunch or relaxed dinner picnic?

Nutrient-Packed Farro

Farro is one of my favorite grains. It’s nutty and tender and versatile. It’s also packed with heart and gut-healthy fiber. According to Bob’s Red Mill, a 1/2 cup of their cooked farro provides about 5 grams of fiber and 6 grams of protein, 2 nutrients that are important for helping you stay full after eating. 

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Below are three different versions of a farro lunch salad or grain bowl — call it what you will. Use these ideas to get inspired and make your own version using what you have on hand or what’s in season. 

Dress it Up

Oh, and don’t forget a good dressing. Whether you go for a simple drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar or a homemade cashew dressing, this will put the finishing touch on the salad and bring out all the flavors, not to mention the fat-soluble vitamins. I have included one of my simple, go-to lemon vinaigrettes, but the options are endless! Enjoy!

Hälsa Kids

Make this farro lunch salad more appealing to kids by letting them design it themselves. Pair something liked with something new. So, for example, if they have never had farro before try it with something they love, like bolognese sauce or Swedish meatballs. Add a favorite vegetable and there you are.

Alternatively, skip the farro for a well-loved grain like rice or pasta. Then add something new like roasted chickpeas and eggs served on grains instead of toast. Ideally, let them create their own bowl. And if they are not interested, don’t push it.

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Farro Lunch Salad Three Ways

Maria Adams
This Farro Lunch Salad shows the versatility of the grain bowl. Simply pick a grain, such as farro, quinoa, or brown rice, add a variety of veggies, protein, and fat, and you will have instant satisfaction and long-lasting fuel! Use this recipe as a guide to come up with your own ideas based on what you like and have on hand. It's a lunch saver!
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Course dinner, lunch, Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 2

Ingredients
  

Base

  • 1 cup farro cooked in stock for extra flavor per package directions
  • 4 cups baby spinach, arugula, or other salad greens

Version 1: Sweet Potato & Eggs

  • 1 medium sweet potato, roasted and diced in a time crunch? cook diced sweet potatoes in the microwave
  • 4 large eggs, boiled*, peeled and halved *I like 7-minute eggs, cook for 7 minutes in simmering water then remove from heat, cool, and peel
  • 1/2 avocado, sliced
  • 1/2 cup sliced cucumber
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1 tablespoon Everything but the Bagel Seasoning

Version 2: Roasted Chicken & Cauliflower

  • 1/3 cup thinly sliced and chopped red cabbage
  • 1 cup roasted cauliflower (leftovers are ideal; otherwise sub a no-cook veggie that you have on hand such as bell peppers or cucumbers)
  • 1/4 cup roasted chickpeas for extra flavor, fiber, crunch, and plant-based protein
  • 3/4 cup leftover chicken, chopped rotisserie, roasted, and grilled chicken all work great

Version 3: Grilled Salmon & Asparagus

  • 10-12 spears asparagus, chopped or left whole leftover asparagus is great, otherwise quickly steam or broil it
  • 1/2 cup grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 cup frozen corn or petite peas, thawed and heated if desired
  • 6 ounces leftover grilled salmon, chopped (about 3/4 cup)

Lemon Vinaigrette

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 medium lemon, juiced
  • 2 teaspoons maple syrup
  • salt to taste
  • Fresh ground pepper to taste

Instructions
 

  • Portion farro onto two plates or bowls. Top with the greens and then veggie and protein combination of choice. Drizzle with dressing and enjoy.

To Make Farro Lunch Salads in Mason Jars

  • Whisk together dressing and pour it into the bottom of each container. Top with the cooked farro, then proceed with the veggies and protein from heaviest to lightest (e.g., sweet potato, then eggs, then avocado, etc., ending with greens).
Keyword cardamom, grain bowl, picnic, portable, salad, whole-grain

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