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Roasted Grape Farro Salad

22 May

This salad is inspired by a recent trip we took out west.

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I know what you’re thinking…”she just got back from visiting wineries in Sonoma and has this new appreciation for grapes and wine and came home ready to get her grape on in the kitchen.”

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As much as I wish that were true, it’s not. This meal is a recreation of an airport meal that I had on our way home. I know, so anticlimactic. I can promise you that this dish won’t be anticlimactic for your taste buds, though.

This would be the perfect side dish to contribute to your next “bring a dish to pass” gathering or can easily act as the main star for a light lunch or dinner. You can make it ahead of time and keep refrigerated for up to 3 days.

Did I mention that it’s also packed with fiber and healthy fats?

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If you’ve never been to the San Francisco airport, you should go. Seriously. Not only do they have awesome food selection (inspiration for this salad), but they have a yoga room! And yes, I practiced in it! And no, I wasn’t the only person in there!

After getting my “om” on and having a delicious lunch, I was ready for the long flight ahead!

Roasted Grape Farro Salad

Serves 4

For the Grapes:

3 cups red seedless grapes, detached from stems

1 tablespoon olive oil

Salt and pepper

For the Pesto:

1 cup arugula

1 clove garlic

3 tablespoons olive oil

1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

Salt to taste

For the rest:

8 oz farro

Juice of half a lemon

1/2-1  tablespoon olive oil

¼ cup pine nuts, toasted (to toast a small amount of pine nuts, place in a non stick skillet over medium heat for 5-8 minutes until lightly browned)

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Toss grapes with 1 tablespoon olive oil, salt, and pepper. Spread on a rimmed baking sheet lined with foil. Roast at  30-40 minutes, stirring occasionally until grapes start to burst and release some of the juice.

2. While the grapes are roasting, make the pesto. In a food processor, pulse together arugula, garlic, parmesan cheese, and salt to taste. Scrape down the sides. With the food processor running, gradually add olive oil until pesto reaches a smooth consistency. (the pesto could be made a day in advance)

3. Cook farro by adding it to a pot of boiling water. Cook for 10 minutes. Drain.

4. In a large bowl, combine farro, roasted grapes along with any juices on the pan, arugula pesto, and pine nuts. Toss with lemon  juice and olive oil.

 

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Greek Farro Salad

14 Mar

Another favorite thing of mine is simple ingredients.

I was craving a hearty, fresh, salad with a grain base.

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I had picked up some farro from Trader Joe’s. I had a ton of fresh veggies that I couldn’t wait to bite into. I had some feta cheese that was begging to be a topping on my salad. I was thinking about what to do for a dressing. I decided to keep it simple. With good ingredients, there’s no need to get too fancy with anything.

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Let the flavors shine through!

I was also dreaming of summer (as another foot of snow was being dumped on us…I’m not complaining though!) and a salad made with refreshing veggies was just the thing.

You can feel great about eating this salad. It makes a great main dish or the perfect side dish to accompany your meal. The farro is a whole grain with a satisfying chew to it. The chickpeas are a great source of fiber and protein. The olive oil gives you a daily dose of omega-3’s. And who can complain about a colorful array of veggies?

Bite into this salad and dream of warm summer nights, pool parties, and flip flops!

Greek Farro Salad

Note: The cucumbers don’t keep their fresh bite after the second day. I would recommend keeping them separate and adding them to your salad if you don’t plan to enjoy it all the first couple days.

Makes 6 cups

3 cups cooked farro (I used Trader Joe’s)

1 cup cucumbers, chopped

1 cup grape tomatoes, cut in half

3 scallions, white and light green parts, sliced thin

2 ounces feta cheese, crumbled

1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed

3 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste

1. Add farro, tomatoes, cucumbers, scallions, feta, and chickpeas in a large bowl. Stir to combine.

2. Add olive oil, lemon juice, and salt. Stir to combine. Add more salt to taste. Keep in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days.

Lentil Quinoa Salad

15 Aug

We’ve all had “those” weekends. Those weekends when you are reunited with your best friends and you pretend like you are in college again – living on five hours of sleep a night, rocking it out on the dance floor (with a little liquid encouragement), chowing down on late night pizza while gathering around the kitchen table and laughing until tears  come out of your eyes. That weekend just happened for me. And I’m still recovering…with the help of this delicious bowl of superfood.

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Packed with TONS of fiber and protein from the lentils and quinoa, this salad will leave you filled up and energized for hours. The avocado loads you up with some omega-3’s and the tomatoes give you a refreshing pop of color and a dose of vitamin C.

I LOVE Trader Joe’s precooked lentils. I stocked up on them last time I was in Chicago. They are so easy to add to soups or salads and make throwing this dish together a breeze. If you are unlucky like me and don’t have a Trader Joe’s nearby this dish requires one additional  step of cooking the lentils.

Lentil Quinoa Salad

Makes 4 servings

2 teaspoons vegetable oil

1 cup uncooked quinoa

1 1/2 teaspoon cumin, divided

1/2 teaspoon coriander

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon onion powder

1/4 plus 1/8 teaspoon chile powder, divided

2 cups cooked lentils

1/4 cup lemon juice

1 teaspoon garlic, minced

1 teaspoon agave nectar

2 teaspoons vegetable oil

Salt and pepper to taste

1/2 cup grape tomatoes, halved

2 avocados, cubed

1. Heat vegetable oil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Add quinoa, 1/2 teaspoon cumin, coriander, garlic powder, onion powder, and 1/4 teaspoon chili powder. Heat, stirring frequently, until quinoa is lightly toasted, about 3 minutes. Add 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil. Cover pot and reduce to a simmer for 15-20 minutes until all water is absorbed.

2. While the quinoa is cooking, in a small bowl whisk together lime juice, 1 teaspoon cumin, 1/8 teaspoon chili powder, minced garlic and agave nectar until combined. Whisk in vegetable oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

3. Add the cooked lentils to the cooked quinoa. Toss lightly with dressing to taste (I used about 6 tablespoons of dressing). Top with avocado and tomato before serving.

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Just a snapshot of one of the many laughs we had over the weekend.

Peanut Butter Tofu Broccoli Bowl

8 Aug

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I just got back from a weekend long yoga workshop in Chicago. It was awesome. I am on that total “yoga high” right now. Any fellow yogis out there who know what I’m talking about?

 

I’m in that zone where I want to eat nothing but green veggies and tofu, light incense around our apartment, sip on coconut water all day long, and get my “Om” on 24/7.

 

While the intensity of the “yoga high” is bound to dwindle, I do feel rejuvenated in a lot of ways. Yoga is how I finally discovered the idea of moderation and balance in many areas of my life…especially diet. It made me aware of how the things I put in my body make me feel leading to a mostly healthy diet with the occasional treat. I finally realized that all foods are ok…some more often than others.  

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This Peanut Tofu Broccoli Bowl gives you all the yumminess of an indulgent dish while using simple ingredients, and filling you up with protein, fiber, and antioxidants.

Get this…my hubby found himself going back for seconds…and then again back for thirds.

 

Peanut Tofu Broccoli Bowl

Serves 4

Note: I usually drain my tofu for at least 30 minutes between two plates lined with paper towel.

½ package (5 oz) lo mein or udon noodles

2 cups broccoli heads

1-2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 package firm or extra firm tofu, drained, and cubed (see note)

Sauce

¼ cup peanut butter

¼ cup low sodium soy sauce

2-3 cloves garlic, minced

½ cup water

 

  1. Heat oil over medium heat. Add cubed tofu. Cook tofu until well brown on all sides; about 10-15 minutes
  2. Meanwhile, bring water to boil and cook noodles according to package instructions.
  3. Steam broccoli in microwave by placing broccoli in a microwave-safe bowl filled with 1-inch of water. Loosely cover with plastic wrap and microwave on high for 3 minutes.  
  4. Make sauce by combining all ingredients in a small nonstick pan. Whisk constantly until peanut butter is melted and ingredients are well combined.
  5. Add broccoli, drained noodles, and sauce to pan with tofu and bring to a low simmer for about 5 minutes. Enjoy J

 

Quinoa Salad with Marinated Veggies and Pesto

27 Jul

I have never prided myself on being someone who can just “whip something up” in the kitchen with ingredients I have on hand. I usually spend a good chunk of my Sunday planning recipes and carefully crafting my grocery list for the week.  A wave of panic comes over me if I realize I don’t have the right ingredients for what I planned to make for dinner.  Tonight, however, I managed to whip something up for dinner that turned out to be spec-tac-u-lar!

I present to you Quinoa Salad with Marinated Veggies and Pesto:

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I had veggies marinading in the fridge from a cooking class at work. I had leftover pesto from this recipe I made earlier in the week. I decided to cook up some quinoa and toss it altogether. O.M.G…yum.

This is a super healthy lunch or dinner that can be easily modified with ingredients you have on hand.

Quinoa salad with Marinated Veggies and Pesto

Serves 2-3

1 cup cooked quinoa

1 tablespoon prepared basil pesto (I used pesto from this recipe)

Marinade

1/2 cup olive oil

1/4 cup lemon juice

1 tsp dijon mustard

2 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 teaspoon dried basil

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram

1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary

Veggies

3 zucchini, cut into large chunks

1 package baby bella mushrooms, quartered

1 red onion, cut into large chunks

3 bell peppers, cut into large chunks

1 package grape tomatoes

1. In a small bowl, combine marinade ingredients.

2. Divide vegetables between two large ziplock bags. Pour half of the marinade into each bag. Shake the bags so that all of the vegetables are well coated. Marinade in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes; the longer the veggies marinate the more flavor they will have.

3. Cook the vegetables in a medium nonstick skillet over medium-heat stirring occasionally until lightly browned and tender, about 10 minutes. Turn off the heat and add cooked quinoa to the pan and combine. Top with prepared pesto and enjoy 🙂

 

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