Here is one of my favorite healthy meals to make. This Salmon and Farro Mediterranean Bowl has it all. Most of it can be made as meal prep, and ready to go the day you need it. I used farro as the base, but certainly trade it out for any other grain you are into. Quinoa, brown rice, and freekeh are good options. I love farro because I think it is a more neutral grain to start with.
I've Never Heard of Farro. What Is It and Where Can I Purchase?
Farro is an ancient grain that comes in several forms. My favorite and the easiest to cook, I think, is the Italian pearled Farro. Most grocery stores with a decent selection of foods will carry this type. If not, Amazon.
This is such a great grain that is high in protein, iron and fiber. I also love it for it's fairly neutral flavor- neutral as far as grains go. I like cooking mine with veggie stock, but it can also be done with water, or another stock of choice.
What if I'm not ready for 100% whole grain?
Serve white rice for about 25-75% of the base. Start small. Make a batch of white rice or noodles and a small batch of farro. Mix them together for the base. Then build from there. I want you to have success in adding whole grains, if you aren't ready to go all the way, 25% is better than 0%. Let's do this!
Vegetarian and Vegan Options
This is a simple, easily adjustable recipe. Omit the salmon. I like to replace with tofu or even sauteed mushrooms. If you are vegan, sub the feta for a vegan cheese, and make adjustments for the tsatsiki recipe below as well.
Caramelizing onions isn't hard, but it does take a little time. I always make a big batch and store them in the fridge. I love the milder, deeper flavor of a good caramelized onion. If you aren't fond of onions, caramelized would be a good place to start.
I like to make mine in my 8 inch egg pan I have. I don't use nonstick often, but this is one of those cases. Slice about 4 cups sliced yellow onions. Heat pan over medium low heat. Once it is heated, add olive oil. Give this about 60 seconds to heat then add onions. Sprinkle the onions with about 1 ½ teaspoons salt. Allow this to cook over low heat, stirring occasionally until the onions have reduced and started to caramelize. I normally go a little darker on my caramelization, but didn't have time this day. They still tasted amazing though.
Serve immediately or allow to cool at room temp. Place in an airtight container in the fridge.
The finished platter is so pretty, isn't it! As you can see, this bowl would be easy to add or subtract any foods you prefer or aren't fond of. This is the way our family likes it, if you prefer something different, do it!
- 3 cups vegetable stock You can also use water if you prefer. I like the flavor stock gives it though. If you would rather use a chicken, fish or beef stock, those are great too.
- 1 cup pearled farro
- 1 teaspoon salt this is a variable. You can add more or less, depending on preference.
- Bring stock to a boil over medium heat. Add salt and farro. Cover and simmer on low for 25-30 minutes. Remove from heat and let it rest for 5-10 minutes, fluff with fork.Serve as desired!Leftovers can be stored in the fridge for a week to a week and half. I like to reheat with a little liquid. So, if you are microwaving, place chilled farro in a microwaveable bowl. Add 2 tablespoons of water, cover and microwave on high for for about a minute. If you don't like using microwaves or prefer the cooktop, you can use the same method there. Place farro in pan, add water, cover and simmer until heated. Now, sit back and enjoy. Look at how healthy you are!!
Simple Vegetable Stock
- 12 cups water
- 2 cups onions, rough chop
- 1 ½ cups celery, rough chop
- 1 ½ cups carrots, rough chop If you are using baby carrots, throw the whole carrot in.
- 2 tablespoons minced garlic
- 2 teaspoons salt This can be adjusted after the stock is finished. I like to make the stock with some salt to get enhance flavors.
- Add all ingredients to stock pot. Bring to a bowl over high heat. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer at least an hour. Depending on how hot your cooktop cooks, you may need to add a little more water. You want the stock to reduce, means plenty of the liquid will evaporate while cooking. This will leave rings around the edges of your pan when the level has gone down. Strain out veggies. I generally throw them away as they have turned to mush at this point. Taste your stock and add salt and pepper as desired.
- Cast Iron or nonstick skillet
- 2 cups cubed salmon Mine were cut into about 1 inch pieces. Simple cut down your filet into this size. You can go smaller or larger, just adjust your cooking time. This amount can also be doubled, just double oil and spices.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 ½ teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- other herbs If you are interested here are other herbs I like to add. Dried rosemary- Add about 1 teaspoons crushed, Italian herbs (about 2 teaspoons combined, a mix of oregano, basil and a touch of thyme), dill again about 1 teaspoon. The possibilities are kind of endless. I leave this one fairly plain, then I can use it is whatever dish I choose. I add the seasoning in my dressings.
- Heat skillet over medium high heat. I prefer my cast iron for this, but use if you prefer a stainless steel or even nonstick, use this. Heat until your pan is pretty hot.Add in your olive oil. It should take about 30 seconds for the oil to heat if your pan was good and hot. Add salmon to pan. Try to get it to a single layer if you can. Sprinkle with seasonings. Now, the goal is to only flip once, that way you will get a good crust on it. In a good cast iron that is holding the heat well, it should only take about 1-2 minutes per side. The pieces are small, if you cook any longer than this, the salmon will dry out a little.Remove from pan. Serve immediately or let it cool slightly. To store, allow to cool at room temp. Place in an airtight container. It will be able to hold in the fridge for 3-6 days. Now, sit back and enjoy. You deserve it!!
- 1 cup nonfat plain Greek Yogurt
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 1 tablespoons olive oil This is optional. I like the flavor of it, but it certainly doesn't have to be added.
- ⅔ cup grated cucumbers, squeezed the remove all liquid If you don't squeeze the liquid out, you will end up with a very runny tsatsiki, which is not very good. You can see how I do this in the video.
- fresh lemon juice I am not putting amounts on here, as I think everyone has their own personal preferences with this.
- salt and pepper to taste. Again, this will be a personal choice.
- Add yogurt, garlic, olive oil and cucumbers to bowl. Next is the variable part of the recipe. A good place to start with the lemon juice, salt and pepper is 2 tablespoons lemon juice, 2 teaspoons salt and ½ teaspoon black pepper. Go from there and adjust as you like it. I have eaten tsatsiki so many different ways, there must be a lot of different preferences out there!This is so good served as an appetizer with warmed pita bread, with a grain bowl as shown in the photo, or even with grilled chicken, beef or shrimp.Now, sit back and enjoy. You deserve it!