In warmer months, light meals pay dividends in terms of your energy level and overall satisfaction. Processed carbohydrates and animal proteins may offer immediate gratification, but they end up making the body feel yucky. They bloat your tissues and cause energy crashes. Meanwhile, lighter meals that are full of veggies, which of course are full of water, don’t weight you down.
This tasty treat, a Turkish inspired salad with headliners of farro, chick peas, and garden veggies, will help you to fill up without weighing you down! Try it this week for Meatless Monday and enjoy!
- 1 1/2 cups cooked chick peas, fresh preferred or well-rinsed from a can
- 1/2 tsp olive oil
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1/4 tsp tumeric
- 1/4 tsp paprika
- 1/4 tsp sumac
- 1/4 tsp cayenne
- 1 cup farro, uncooked
- 2 cups fresh parsley leaves
- 1/2 cups fresh mint leaves, chopped
- 2-4 cucumbers, depending on size, chopped
- 1 red pepper, chopped
- 1/2 red onion, chopped
- 1 tbsp chives, chopped
- 1/2 cup Fage greek yogurt (2% or total)
- 1/2 lemon, juiced and rind ground off
Like many delicious and nutritious dishes, vegetable prep anchors the cooking process. Before you dive into cooking anything, save the chick peas themselves (from dry to tender – the night before), take 20 minutes to wash, dry and chop your super stars. We recently met Eataly’s Vegetable Butcher and Chef, Alicia Walter, who you should get to know if you care about the importance of the veggie role.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Dry off the chick peas thoroughly (on a baking sheet or use paper towels). In a mixing bowl, add peas and olive oil. Coat peas, then add the rest of the spices. We separated out a portion without the peppery spices for the 4-year old taster in Kim’s house. Place chick peas on parchment paper on a baking sheet and roast for 20 minutes.
As soon as you get the peas in the oven, start cooking your farro on the stove. Whole grains rock and offer so much more satisfaction that refined food products like rice. And they are pretty easy to cook. Just make sure that there’s plenty of water to start (ratio a little more than 2 to 1). Cover it to bring it to a boil quickly then reduce to a simmer. When it seems a tad too runny to serve, turn off the heat, take the top off and let it cool. It easily turns into a creamy risotto like dish, that we pressed into a small round cake.
To prepare the yogurt dressing, simply whisk together the yogurt, lemon juice and rind. To prepare the salad, toss veggies with chick peas into salad bowl. Mix yogurt dressing in well. Plate it all together and enjoy!