Brussel Sprout, Cranberry & Farro Salad

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One of my best, best, best tips for busy weeknight meals is keeping ready to go foods in the freezer.  In fact, our little freezer is so full, that Dario and I have been hit as things are falling out each time we open it.  (I’m working on cleaning it out).  But knowing that all I have to do to get a meal on the table is to microwave something?  Yea…that makes me pretty happy.

farro salad, brussel sprouts, grain salads, healthy salads, vegetarian

farro salad, brussel sprouts, grain salads, healthy salads, vegetarian Some typical freezer staples that I have include: cooked beans of all varieties, cooked quinoa, brown rice, farro or kamut, frozen vegetables, frozen loaves of bread, frozen fruit, frozen shredded cheese (get them on sale and freeze them!) and of course a good stock of frozen No Bull Burgers.  In fact, I could probably make an entire meal out of my freezer staples!

farro salad, brussel sprouts, grain salads, healthy salads, vegetarian

farro salad, brussel sprouts, grain salads, healthy salads, vegetarian This past week was pretty busy and I very much relied on my well stocked freezer.  I’ve just been a lot more tired and not too in the mood to whip up a meal from scratch.  So out came a bag of frozen cooked farro along with a small bag of white beans.  Defrosted and tossed with some dried cranberries, crumbled feta and a tray of roasted brussel sprouts, dinner was done in just about 30 minutes.  The cooking?  Completely done by the oven.  All I did was toss everything together!

farro salad, brussel sprouts, grain salads, healthy salads, vegetarian

When you set yourself up for easy cooking, dinners can be stress free, quick and on the table in just a short amount of time.  So take some extra time this weekend and stock up your pantry, fridge and freezer with staples to help you get meals out quickly!

Brussel Sprout, Cranberry & Farro Salad:
Ingredients:

  • 1 lb brussel sprouts, trimmed and sliced in half
  • 2 cups cooked farro (or other hearty grain)
  • 3/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 15.5 oz can white beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme, minced
  • 1 tbsp juice and zest from a lemon
  • 1 tsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 2 tbsp capers, divided
  • 3 tbsp pumpkin seed oil (use olive oil if you can’t find this)
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425F.  Toss brussel sprouts with 1 tbsp of the olive oil and roast for about 30 minutes or until tender and golden on the outside.  Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly.
  2. While sprouts roast, make the dressing.  Mix together the thyme, lemon juice and zest, vinegar, mustard, 1 tbsp of capers minced, pumpkin seed oil, remaining olive oil and salt and pepper.  Whisk together until combined.  Taste and adjust for seasonings.
  3. In a large salad bowl toss together the remaining salad ingredients:  cooked faro, dried cranberries, white beans and feta cheese.  Once brussel sprouts have cooled slightly, toss them in along with the faro mixture.
  4. Drizzle on the dressing – add slowly, stirring and tasting along the way.  You may not use all of the dressing – although I did!  Toss to combine throughly and serve!  This makes great leftovers for lunch the next day!  farro salad, brussel sprouts, grain salads, healthy salads, vegetarian

 

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