Roasted Vegetable Farro Salad with Arugula

Roasted Veggie Farro and Arugula Salad.So there is not really a recipe for this recipe.  This Roasted Vegetable Farro Salad with Arugula is what I eat for lunch. Like, a lot. During the month of June, I ate ridiculously healthily. Egg whites for breakfast. Salads with tons of fresh veggies and no dressing for lunches. Lean proteins or more salad for dinner. I lost my muffin top and also the will to eat that healthy. While I loved how I looked, the minute I went on my Palm Springs retreat, and had delicious food again, I was off the wagon. When I finally wised up and figured out that I need to continue to eat well, but maybe not in such a rigid way, I started eating this salad. This salad is hearty and satisfying and I think, still pretty healthy. Since there is a little bit of prep work involved, I try to do the rest of my diner prep for the week at the same time.

Prepare your meals for the week on one day for quicker prep during the week. I try to cut all the vegetables and bag them up based on what recipe they go with all in one afternoon.  While I may spend more time in the kitchen that day (usually a Sunday) it makes cooking during the week so much faster. I make the farro and roast the veggies for this salad ahead of time so that they are ready to grab. That is one of my biggest problems. If I am hungry, and there isn’t a good, healthy option readily available, I’m going straight for chips and salsa or cookies. I’ve recently become addicted to iced coffees which seem to help me keep going throughout the afternoons. Going back to school made me tired. I need a little pick me up. So I usually grab or make an iced coffee to have with me in the kitchen on prep days (wine makes me too sleepy) And yes, that is a zombie growing in the container of water. Just try to tell me you don’t have one of those on your counter.

Trader Joe's 10 minute farro is a great side dish and is part of my favorite lunch salad! I buy this Trader Joe’s 10 Minute Farro 5 bags at a time. I love it! For this salad I cook it with chicken stock but it takes on a really lovely, rich flavor when cooked in beef stock. Really you could use either but I like the chicken stock for the salad to keep the flavor a little bit lighter.  I find that it takes longer than 10 minutes to get it to the texture that I like, but it still doesn’t take too long.

I love farro for all kinds of different dishes. Follow the directions of your choice on the package. I usually bring one of those big boxes of chicken stock to a boil, then add the farro.  I bring it back to a boil and then let it simmer for about 20 minutes, testing it after about 15 minutes and adding more time as needed. I like it a bit firm still, it can get kind of mushy if you over cook it.

Red bell pepper is a great way to sweeten up a veggie farro salad.I’m grateful that my oldest son is showing interest in cooking and I’ve loved having him in the kitchen with me lately. (thanks Guy and Rachel – your Kid’s Cook Off really helped.) This is a great recipe to have the kids help with because there is a bunch of veggies to prep.  We put on some music and start cutting.

Roasted squash is a great way to add lots of flavor to this salad.This recipe can be adapted based on what is in season. On my last trip to Trader Joe’s they didn’t have zucchini or at least I didn’t see any zucchini. But they did have this squash that I have never tried before. I decided to substitute this instead, I think it is a Delicata? You could also do sweet potatoes or butternut squash. The squash helps make it a little more hearty in the absence of meat.

I'm sort of addicted to roasted garlic cherry tomatoes. I make a big batch and then use them all week for all kinds of things like this veggie farro salad and scrambled egg whites! I have been all about roasted cherry tomatoes lately. Again, these are great to have kids help with. You probably don’t really need to cut them in half but I like to. Add a few cloves of crushed garlic, a little olive oil and sea salt – YUM! Once these are roasted, I keep them separate from the rest of the roasted veggies. That way I can add them to other dishes throughout the week. These are delicious scrambled with egg whites and topped with arugula for breakfast. Or they are fantastic on some crusty toast and avocado for a light lunch or snack. Or over pasta for a really sweet, easy sauce.

Make roasted veggies for this salad and other dishes throughout the week.Cover your pans with foil for easy clean up. I roast all the vegetables at the same time at about 375 for 15 minutes and then watch them to see if they are cooked or burning. Have I mentioned that I have no cooking training? That’s how I do it. I know my pans are overcrowded so the vegetables sort of steam instead of really roasting and getting all browned and caramely. If you want to get a better brown, put less on the pans. Which means you might have to do it in batches. I ain’t got time for that.

My fave Toscano cheese from Trader Joes that is a great addition to this farro arugula salad.This cheese is amazing. And while I know that cheese is not something you should eat en mass, the smallest little bit in this salad really makes a difference.  It’s super creamy. I only use about a tablespoon. In the few months that I have been learning about healthier eating, I’ve realized that you should try to find really flavorful items that don’t add too much in the way of fats, etc. While there are certainly things that are better for you than cheese, this cheese packs so much flavor that you only need a small amount. If you don’t like black pepper, you can also try the red wine soaked version also at Trader Joe’s (which is also AMAZING on top of the farro cooked in beef stock – it becomes super rich, risotto like, and it is total comfort food.)

A good olive oil is all you need to dress this flavorful salad.Once everything is cooked, I put them in their storage containers so they are ready to go for the week. And the only thing that you  need to dress the salad is a delicious olive oil.

Arugula and farro go really well together and make a hearty, satisfying salad.Like I mentioned above, I started looking for foods that have tons of flavor. Arugula is one of the items that I use in a lot of dishes. I’m kind of obsessed with it. I love the peppery flavor and how it can pair with cold or warm dishes. The arugula adds a nice fresh flavor to this salad and is a great way to add in some greens to your meal. I simply add the cold farro to it and then add my other ingredients. Since everything is already prepared and ready to go, this salad is super quick to put together and perfect for busy weekdays.

This delicious olive oil and Maldon sea salt is the only thing you need to dress this salad. I use a little bit less than a tablespoon of the olive oil and a pinch of Maldon sea salt to the top of the salad at the very end. This brand, California Olive Ranch, is my favorite. Their oils are so flavorful.  Look for their EVOO that says “mild and buttery.” Delicious!

I make all the components on one day and then have this roasted veggie and farro salad all week long.On this day I was starving and so I was fairly heavy-handed with the ingredients. I didn’t plan on sharing this recipe on the blog until I was just starting to prepare everything so it took longer to make than usual (stopping to take photos of each step can be super time-consuming!). But how good does that look!  Look at all those colors!

Roasted veggie and farro arugula salad.This can easily be modified to suit your taste preferences. A nice quality parmesan cheese would also add a little creamy, nuttiness in place of the Toscano. Any kind of squash could be used, And you could substitute the arugula for another kind of flavorful green. I love this salad because it keeps me full but is packed with yummy veggies and mostly healthy ingredients. But really, what is life without a little bit of cheese, right?

Roasted Vegetable Farro Arugula Salad

Ingredients

  • Roasted Veggies
  • 2 zucchini (or other squash), chopped
  • 1 yellow onion chopped (red onion will work too)
  • 2 red bell pepper, chopped
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Roasted Cherry Tomatoes
  • 2 containers of cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  • 2-3 cloves crushed garlic
  • olive oil
  • sea salt
  • Farro
  • 1 package of Trader Joe's 10 Minute Farro
  • 1 box of Chicken Stock (I don't know how much is in the box - about 4 cups I would guess)
  • To make salad
  • Arugula
  • Toscano Cheese (shredded)
  • Prepared Farro
  • Roasted veggies
  • Roasted cherry tomatoes
  • olive oil
  • sea salt

Instructions

  1. Roasted Veggies
  2. Clean and chop all veggie and toss with a little bit of olive oil and salt and pepper.
  3. To keep on the healthier side, consider using a spray oil to ensure you aren't using too much oil.
  4. Roast on cookie sheets for about 15-20 minutes at 375 degrees.
  5. Roasted Cherry Tomatoes
  6. Clean and cut cherry tomatoes in half.
  7. Spread out on cookie sheet or roasting pan.
  8. Add crushed garlic
  9. Toss with oil and sea salt
  10. Roast at the same time as the veggies above
  11. NOTE: these burn easier than the rest of the veggies because of the natural sugars, keep an eye on them.
  12. Farro
  13. Follow recipe on bag (but basically you will boil the chicken stock, add the farro and simmer for about 10-20 minutes)
  14. For Salad
  15. Shred Toscano cheese
  16. To a bowl add a handful or two of arugula.
  17. Top with 1/2 - 3/4 cup of farro
  18. Add as many roasted veggies and tomatoes as you want
  19. Add about 1 tablespoon of cheese
  20. Drizzle with about 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  21. Sprinkle with Maldon sea salt
  22. Eat up.
http://www.cupcakesandcutlery.com/roasted-vegetable-farro-salad-with-arugula/

 

Fun School Lunch Ideas

Fun lunch idea for your kids. // cupcakesandcutlery.com*This post is sponsored by King’s Hawaiian. All opinions are my own. And I heart King’s Hawaiian.

You guys, I literally made the coolest sandwiches. They even said so themselves…My kids have been back in school for two weeks now. Which means two weeks of packing lunches. And while most days it is just plain old sandwiches, baby carrots, etc. I plan on throwing in some surprises this year.

Fun word sandwiches for back to school. // cupcakesandcutlery.comMy oldest is allergic to peanut butter so we don’t keep it in the house. We use Sunbutter as our nut-free alternative (I think I actually like this better than peanut butter…). This sandwich recipe is not earth shattering. Anyone can make a Sunbutter sandwich but I guarantee your kids will like these so much better than their usual. 

Sunbutter, banana and chocolate chip sandwiches. // cupcakesandcutlery.comSpread on your “butter” of choice. Top with sliced bananas and sprinkle on a few mini chocolate chips. (These allergen friendly ones are a really great size and I always have these on hand at home).  Easy as that. And you know how delicious King’s Hawaiian is plain. Just imagine its sweet goodness creamy Sunbutter and chocolate chips! And the banana totally counts as a fruit serving, right? 

Use a cookie cutter to make sandwiches more fun. // cupcakesandcutlery.comBut then, using just a simple cookie cutter, you can make that sandwich different and surprise your kids at lunch time. No need to oil the cutter, it will cut right through the soft King’s Hawaiian bread and Sunbutter perfectly. 

Shaped sandwiches are so much cuter. And trust me, kids like their food cute. // cupcakesandcutlery.comYou can stop there and just serve a round sandwich. Even this simple change will have the kids at the lunch tables talking. Or you can really blow minds with a super fun shaped cookie cutter

Peace and sandwiches. // cupcakesandcutlery.comOr you can make a few more letters and tell your kid what you think of them.  I think mine are pretty cool.  You only need to make sure that the cookie cutter you choose is completely open and doesn’t have any connectors on the top of it. The sandwich needs to be able to come out the top. 

Fun lunch box idea for kid's school lunches. // cupcakesandcutlery.comBased on the size of my cutters, it took about 3 sandwiches to make these 4 letters. And there is some waste (which you can totally keep in a plastic bag and serve as an after school snack). This is a once in a while type lunch. But your kids will LOVE it! You can let your kids figure out what the word is or you can pack them in numbered plastic bags to help them. These sandwiches could have also been “loco” funny, right?!

Sunbutter, banana and chocolate chip sandwiches. // cupcakesandcutlery.comI do not often send my kid’s sandwiches with chocolate chips in them.  I sent one with my older son the first week of school and that was the first thing I heard about when he got home. So that was really fun. I loved knowing that he probably had a big smile when he took his first bite of sandwich.

There are tons of ways you can make your child’s lunchbox more fun. You can check out King’s Hawaiian Lunchbox Fun Pinterest board for more fun food ideas, printables and more!

*Thank you for supporting my sponsors, like King’s Hawaiian, who let me do what I love.

Martha Stewart on a Martha Stewart Pedestal

Peach shortcake with succulents for a super easy party dessert and decorations. // cupcakesandcutlery.comThere is a time in every blogger’s life when they are reminded of their mediocracy. Sure, you get mentioned on big sites and hit a big traffic day with a viral post once in a while. You love what you do, you think you are putting out good content and you start to think of yourself as being pretty skilled, domestically speaking. And then you work with Martha Stewart. And you realize that while you know your way around a kitchen, you will never be Martha caliber. Case in point. I got an email from her company asking me to participate in a fun end of summer program.  I think, “duh – of course I’ll participate.” They asked me to make one of her delicious summer recipes that would feature their new cake stands (available at Macy’s) perfectly. I think, “Yes! No biggie.  I can do this.” So I click-through the recipe slide show to choose my recipe…each one a little more difficult or with more steps than the one before…I feel my confidence waiver. Man that Strawberry Cream Cake recipe looks good. But wait, is she making a legit cake for it? No store-bought? So I move on. And I land on the Plum Blackberry Galette

Putting together a kind of homemade ginger peach shortcake. // cupcakesandcutlery.comI’ve always wanted to make a galette, primarily because I feel like if I am going to attempt to make crust, this one is super rustic and would hide my errors. So I think, “Yes! The galette!” but as the days go on and I get closer to actually having to make it, I start to tremble slightly. Yeah, that crust still sounds pretty advanced for me. My neighbor, a baker who I had asked to spot me in my crust making, ended up with sick children and I knew that I would be completely on my own. So I decided that I would combine two of Martha’s desserts to fit my strengths. And I ended up making a Ginger Peach Shortcake, because the plums at my store looked grody and my kids won’t touch blackberries with a ten foot pole. But even that didn’t go exactly as planned. While all I did to the peaches to prepare them for the cake was add some sugar and fresh grated ginger, a tiny piece of ginger ended up landing in my eye. Martha doesn’t get ginger in her eye. Through this process I was constantly reminded of Martha’s supreme greatness. She really can do it all, and make it look easy as pie, or galette as it were. 

Super easy and delicious dessert idea. Ginger Peach Shortcake. // cupcakesandcutlery.comI stand behind my Ginger Peach Shortcake. I’m proud of it. It tasted amazing, looked pretty and is true to who I am as a blogger and person. So while I wanted to put her Plum Blackberry Galette on a pedestal, I think I’ll keep Martha up there too. It is good to aspire to be like someone else, but I think it is also important to know your own strengths and weaknesses. But it doesn’t hurt to have that little question in the back of your mind as you move through life, “What would Martha do?”

Succulents pair really nicely with bright, poppy colors. // cupcakesandcutlery.comI know many of you out there are on the same level I am in terms of cooking/baking skills. Let’s keep it simple and delicious. And then let’s make it pretty to look at.

Pale pink and gold planter with succulents. // cupcakesandcutlery.comI was very lucky that I was able to shoot this at Lauren’s house where she had plenty of cute potted succulents all ready to go. 

Gold flatware and air plants. // cupcakesandcutlery.comAnd gold flat ware for me to use. But I’m totally going add that to my wish list because, SO pretty! 

Domed Cake stands are the best! // cupcakesandcutlery.comMartha really does make the best cake stands and this domed one is lovely. I love that the white really stood out against the colorful scarves and fabric that I used. I fell in love with that peach/pink/red scarf the minute I saw it and, even better, it was on clearance! 

Easy party dessert idea. // cupcakesandcutlery.comThis easy Ginger Peach Shortcake would be the perfect last-minute dessert for a get together. I didn’t make a recipe for it, literally just sliced the peaches, tossed in about 2 TBSP of sugar and grated about a 1/2 inch piece of fresh ginger in to the container. Then I put the lid on and gave it a good shake. I let it sit overnight to develop the juices and it was ready to go.

preparing-peach-shortcake-recipeI did make my own whipped cream though. I mean, I’m not a Neanderthal. I took a store-bought angel food cake and sliced in half. Then I layered on the whipped cream, and some peaches laid out in a super cute pattern. I added the second layer and then added more whipped cream and peaches. Done. Super easy.

Bright pinks, blues and gold make a gorgeous party table. // cupcakesandcutlery.comI’m still going to give that galette a shot one day. A girl has to have goals. So thank you, Martha, for challenging and inspiring us. And for the prettiest cake stands in all the land.

*I was sent a Martha Stewart cake stand. All opinions, stinging eye and sore arm from using a whisk to make the whipped cream, are my own.

Pretty Drink Recipe Printables

Cocktails in the pool in Palm Springs. Photo by @alexandrahedin. Image credit: Alexandra Hedin

Thanks for following along all week on my #campmixalot creative retreat to Palm Springs. Today I’m excited to share with you a printable of the amazing hand-lettered drink recipe cards Lauren created to put in the girl’s goodie bags. You should totally print these out and keep them in your kitchen. I can’t stress enough how awful Tortuga Nights sounds but how good it really is. You HAVE to try it! We will be hosting a goodie bag giveaway soon so check back! You want to win it, I assure you.

Hand painted printable cocktail recipes from #campmixalot done by @laurenv

These cards also include really pretty instructions on how to DIY your own infused vodka and also a quick how-to on the frozen melon ball sparkling wine cocktails we served. Do it.

Lauren put marks on the card to tell you where to cut but really you are just cutting the page in half one direction and then again the other. Super easy. But SO pretty! Print them out, use them and share with your friends. Tag us on social media if you post them! @cupcakescutlery @afabulousfete

Download here: camp-mixalot-printable-coctktails

See all the #campmixalot posts here:

Day 1 Recap

Day 2 Recap

Catered dinner in Palm Springs

A Fabulous Fete’s Recap

Melon Ball Mimosas

Infused Vodka Favors

And in case you are headed to Palm Springs – here are some of my favorite places to eat!

Do you want to come to our next creative retreat? Just fill out this form here!

Host a Fall Fiesta

Fun fall party beverage idea. Just open a can, add a little garnish and you are ready to party! #ad // cupcakesandcutlery.comDisclosure:  Compensation was provided by Anheuser Busch via Mode Media.  The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and not indicative of the opinions or positions of Anheuser Busch.

We’ve been in school for a week now.  And while the temperatures are still pretty warm here in California, you can tell that fall is just around the corner.  Holiday decor is starting to show up in every store. (tear) Life is just flying by. Early fall is the perfect time to try to slow it all down a bit and spend some quality time with friends. Entertaining closer to the holidays can get really out of hand. So why not throw a fall fiesta?! Throwing a party early on in the season is a great idea. And there is no need to get crazy in terms of party set up.  Keep it simple then sit back and enjoy your Bud Light Lime Apple-Ahhh-Rita.

Easy fall party decor. LOVE these colors! #ad // cupcakesandcutlery.comGuests always want to help out at parties so don’t try to do everything yourself. Don’t feel like you need to serve everyone personally. Instead set up your tables so guests can help themselves.  Try to incorporate some fall colors. I loved this fabric with the warm golds, oranges and reds. I loved the background of a bright-ish navy blue. It think it helps to keep the colors from being too wintery but keep it fun and fiesta-like.  Drape the fabric over your table and don’t worry about finishing the edges.  Or if raw edges bother you, simply tuck them under and use a Glue Dot to keep it tacked during your party. I’m a big fan of being able to reuse things so I like to find quick, temporary fixes rather than permanent ones. 

This apple flavored beverage is the perfect way to celebrate fall. #ad // cupcakesandcutlery.comServe beverages that are easy and don’t require a lot of fuss. These Bud Light Lime Apple-Ahhh-Rita’s are a great choice for this. They come in individual cans, can easily be kept cold on ice and don’t require any mixing or special glassware.  The perfect fall choice is to serve them in Mason jars but a margarita glass would also be perfect if you have enough of them.  Or consider mixing and matching the glassware. Mason jars are inexpensive and perfect for reusing after the party. I use them for salad dressings and other food items but they also come in handy for displaying flowers. 

Cinnamon sugar apple wedge fall cocktail garnish. #ad // cupcakesandcutlery.comTo add an extra special touch, mimic the flavors in the Bud Light Lime Apple-Ahhh-Rita’s and use an apple wedge as a cocktail garnish. I dipped them in cinnamon and sugar to give them a little more flair and flavor. Or to play up the “margarita” aspect of this cocktail, you could rim the jar in cinnamon and sugar. All you would need is a little lemon juice to rub on the rim and then dip the rim in a simple cinnamon and sugar mixture. 

Bud Light Lime Apple-Ahhh-Rita's are a great fall party drink idea! #ad // cupcakesandcutlery.comGuests can easily serve themselves which means you may actually get more time to talk to your party guests. While I love hosting parties, I don’t love that I only see each guest for a few minutes at a time before you are pulled away to take care of someone else. Consider keeping the guests list down so you can focus more on each person and really enjoy your time with them. 

Apple Margarita inspired ready made cocktails for a fall party. #ad // cupcakesandcutlery.comApple is the perfect fall flavor in my opinion and these drinks kind of remind me of apple cider. Served over lots of ice, these Bud Light Lime Apple-Ahhh-Rita’s are totally refreshing and have just the right amount of sweetness.

Set out a drink bar for your fall party. #ad // cupcakesandcutlery.comEven the colors of the can scream fall to me.  I love how they match the rest of the party colors.  The gold pop-tops are a nice touch.

Cinnamon sugar apples make a great fall cocktail garnish. #ad // cupcakesandcutlery.comWhen hosting a party, I try to let my guests decide how they want to enjoy their beverages.  Some people find garnishes bothersome so I set them out in a bowl and let each person decide if they want to use one or not. Or they make a delicious little snack! I also make sure to set out coasters. Nothing worse than finding permanent reminders of the party the next day. 

Mix artificial flowers and fresh finds from the neighborhood for a quick fall party. #ad // cupcakesandcutlery.comTo keep the decor super easy, I picked up some artificial flowers at my local craft store in colors that would match the tablecloth fabric. I do not have a lot of fall decor so these can be used throughout the entire season.  I mixed in a few fresh elements that I found in the neighborhood to add even more interest and to vary the height. If you wanted to make this in to a more traditional fiesta, you could even make brightly colored tissue paper flowers. They are easy to make, inexpensive and add a great whimsical touch.

Plan a simple fall party with easy cocktails and pretty colors. #ad // cupcakesandcutlery.comReady to host your own fall fiesta? Bud Light Lime Apple-Ahhh-Rita’s have got you covered.  Pick them up at your local grocery store, chill and serve. Easy as apple pie. Mmmmm, apple pie. You should probably also make an apple pie for your guests…

Bud Light Lime Apple-Ahhh_Rita_logo

The awesome flavors of Bud Light Lime Ritas are so incredibly delicious that wherever they go a party happens! For more Fiesta Inspiration, visit https://www.facebook.com/budlightlimeritas