I’ve been reading the 101 Cookbooks Blog for longer than I’ve called myself a cook. I’ve always admired her one-bowl meals which have shown up in many formats over the years. She shared two in February, a salad and a kale rice bowl.
They both sound good, but what is thrown together from on-hand ingredients in her kitchen would take preparation in mine. Za’atar? Pepitas? Those are not on my staples list. I also need a lunch I can make fast. Really fast. No poaching of eggs or sautéing of vegetables. As quick as that might be for her it is out of reach for me at the noon hour with a tired and hungry toddler at my elbow.
Then I came across this recipe for Warm Farro Salad with Chickpeas, Feta and Spicy Dressing and suddenly it all clicked. I have found my perfect, fast, healthy, one-bowl lunch.
I have eaten it 10 days of the last 14.
What’s great about this recipe is that you can easily adjust it in several directions and to the taste of the individual eaters. I’ve been using Trader Joe’s 10-minute farro and one bag makes enough for several days worth of lunches. I changed up the greens and adjusted the dressing recipe to my taste and what I had on hand. The components are all easy to store in the fridge and if the dressing is made ahead (store it in the fridge for up to a week) the bowl can be assembled and on the table in under five minutes.
And best of all? My toddler even likes this meal. She doesn’t like avocados or feta, but she loves carrots and garbanzos so I adjust the components, go light on the dressing and she eats that stuff right up. It is also good without the dressing, as I discovered today when I forgot to add it.
One-Bowl Farro Salad with Kale and Chickpeas
For the dressing
2 1/2 Tblsp fish sauce
juice of two limes
2 to 3 Tblsp brown sugar, to taste
2 medium garlic cloves, minced
6 to 8 Tblsp water (to taste – more if the fish sauce tastes too strong)
a glug (to taste) of your favorite hot or chili sauce. I like Sriracha for this recipe.
For the salad, per bowl (halve proportions for a toddler or kid meal)
1/2 C cooked farro, warmed
1/3 C garbanzo beans, rinsed
1 kale leaf, sliced into fine strips
1 small to medium carrot, sliced into rounds
1/4 avocado, cubed
1/4 C feta, crumbled
To make the dressing, combine all the ingredients in a bowl and whisk well. Taste and adjust water and sugar as needed.
To assemble the salad, mix the chopped kale into the warm farro so that it wilts just slightly. Add carrots, garbanzo beans, avocado and feta to the bowl. Add a tablespoon or two of the dressing and mix gently to combine.
What are your favorite fast lunches that your kids like, too?