Image & recipe: eatingwell.com
No matter what diet you prescribe to, getting a healthy does of veggies and greens every day is vital to maintain optimal performance and health.
Contrary to many fitness enthusiasts’ thinking, you don’t need to adhere to a very high protein and extremely low carbohydrate diet to get fit and stay healthy.
The Mediterranean Diet, one of the most heavily researched diets, has been one of the main go-to diets recommended by doctors to patients diagnosed with metabolic conditions and heart disease. However, it’s also been shown to reduce inflammation and aid in weight loss, making it a beneficial dietary approach for almost anyone.
This Farro, Kale & Squash Salad is a great side or main dish for a quick, healthy and delicious meal. Filled with dark leafy greens, whole grains and healthy fats, this salad fits perfectly into the Mediterranean dietary guidelines. For an added protein boost, add some chicken, fish or beans.
FARRO KALE & SQUASH SALADIngredients:
¾ cup farro
1½ cups water
Pinch of salt
4 cups cubed butternut squash ( ½-inch)
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground pepper
7 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
5 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
3 large cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons minced shallot
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
¼ teaspoon salt plus ⅛ teaspoon, divided
¼ teaspoon ground pepper plus ⅛ teaspoon, divided
1 bunch kale (about 8 ounces)
1¼ cups water, plus more as needed
½ cup crumbled feta cheese
¼ cup toasted pepitasInstructions:
Preheat oven to 425°F. Coat a large rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray.
To prepare farro: Toast farro in a medium saucepan over medium heat until lightly fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add 1½ cups water and a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a gentle simmer, cover and cook until the farro is tender, 25 to 35 minutes. Drain, if necessary; fluff with a fork.
To prepare squash: Meanwhile, toss squash with 1 tablespoon oil and ¼ teaspoon each salt and pepper. Spread on the prepared baking sheet and roast, stirring once or twice, until tender, 20 to 25 minutes.
To prepare kale: Combine 6 tablespoons oil, vinegar, garlic, shallot, mustard and ¼ teaspoon each salt and pepper in a large bowl. Separate kale leaves from stems. Slice the leaves crosswise into strips and add to the bowl. Massage the dressing into the leaves until the volume is reduced by half.
Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the kale stems and the remaining ⅛ teaspoon each salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly charred, 1 to 2 minutes.
Add ¼ cup water, cover and cook for 2 minutes. Repeat four or five more times, each time adding ¼ cup water and steaming for 2 minutes, until the kale stems are tender. Transfer to a cutting board and slice on the diagonal into 2-inch pieces.
To assemble: Stir the farro and squash into the kale salad; arrange on a platter. Serve topped with the kale stems, feta and pepitas.