Salad is usually thought of as the light and refreshing meal you turn to when you’re trying to keep on track. But why can’t it also be the hearty and satisfying meal you long for at the end of a hard day?
Take the salad prepared in today’s Balanced Bowls episode: it’s hearty, filling, FULL of flavour and loaded with nourishing ingredients.
This Mediterranean Chickpea Salad Bowl combines nutty farro, hearty chickpeas and melt in your mouth balsamic roasted vegetables.
And the best part about this bowl? It’s 100% meal prep friendly.
You can make each component separately and ahead of time and build as you go throughout the week or just make one delicious batch, serve it family style and watch as everyone licks their plates.
Mediterranean Chickpea Salad Bowl with Balsamic Veggies
- 1 cup farro*, rinsed
- 2 cups water
- 1 large bay leaf
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 small onion, sliced
- 2 garlic cloves, smashed
- 1 yellow bell pepper, sliced
- 1 red bell pepper, sliced
- 2 japanese eggplant, sliced
- 1 zucchini, sliced
- 1 small package of crimini mushrooms
- 6 cups baby spinach
- 2 cups cooked chickpeas (or 1x 15 oz can, drained)
- 1/4 cup pinenuts, toasted (as a topper)
- 1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese (as a topper)
- 2 teaspoons fresh oregano
*If you don’t have farro, you can use any other whole grain. Brown rice would also work nicely.
For the dressing
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon dry oregano
For the farro
- In a medium saucepan, add the farro, water, bay leaf and salt.
- Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer, cover and cook 15-20 minutes until all the liquid has been absorbed and the farro is cooked through (should be tender, but chewy). Remove the bay leaf and set aside. Meanwhile, get started on the vegetables.
For the vegetables
- Preheat the oven to 400F. Line a sheet tray with parchment paper.
- In a small jar, combine the ingredients for the dressing and shake until combined.
- Place the sliced onion, garlic, peppers, eggplant, zucchini and mushrooms on the sheet tray and toss in half the dressing, reserving the other half of the dressing for later.
- Sprinkle the vegetables with salt and freshly cracked pepper and spread them evenly on the baking sheet. Place in the oven for 45 minutes until browned and melted down, tossing once halfway through.
To build your bowl
Option 1: In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients, farro, roasted vegetables, baby spinach, remaining dressing, pinenuts and feta cheese, toss and serve.
Option 2: In individual bowls, layer all the ingredients (as pictured above):
- Baby spinach
- Roasted vegetables
- Crumbled feta
- Fresh oregano
- Drizzle with the dressing