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/

 

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Keratin Treatments are the Best

@zicococonut Water allowed me to complete a life list item! What a cool experience! #ad #cracklifeopen // cupcakesandcutlery.comThis post was brought to you by the makers of ZICO Coconut Water.  I received compensation to write this post through the #CrackLifeOpen program. All opinions expressed are my own. 

Most campaigns that bloggers participate in are geared towards promoting a product or service. Very few actually encourage you to make positive life changes.  I have greatly enjoyed working with ZICO Coconut Water on their #CrackLifeOpen campaign. Through the campaign, they encourage not only myself, but also my readers, to create a Life List. Life List items are small changes you can make to live a better life. You can read my Life List here. But they took it a step further. Once my Life List was written, they made it possible for me to complete one of these items! So cool! Yes, of course you should run out and buy ZICO Coconut Water – especially the chocolate (yum!). It is great for hydration and is high in potassium. But you should also look at your list and actually make some changes! It feels amazing.

Frizzy hair! This is why I put a Keratin treatment on my @zicococonut Life List. #ad #cracklifeopen // cupcakesandcutlery.comI looked at my Life List and tried to figure out what would make the most positive impact on my life right now. To some it may seem frivolous, but I decided on the Keratin hair treatment. Up until a few years ago, I did my hair every morning. That meant that I showered, blow dried and flat ironed my hair. Every morning. I know that most women do this but my hair is really thick and blow drying takes forever. Getting ready meant that I spent about an hour and a half.  And somewhere along the line (I truly think it was my oldest starting school) I stopped doing my hair.  But I never felt good about it. My hair has lots of natural wave, which I actually like.  But my hair also has TONS of frizz.  Leaving my hair to air dry saved me lots of time, but I never felt polished. And by mid-afternoon, my hair just went up in to a bun to hide it. Lately, even my bun was looking frizzy and I was feeling really down about my hair.  I felt like the blow drying and styling just contributed to the demise of my hair so I reserved those things only for days when I had events where I had to look my best of might end up in a photo.  A little vain, I suppose.

Before my "life list" item: Wavy, frizzy hair that I need to hide under a hat. #ad #cracklifeopen // cupcakesandcutlery.comThe frizz surrounds the entire crown of my head.  On sunny days, I can hide it with a hat but most days it’s just there for all to see. It really bothers me. I know that our flaws stand out way more to us than other people but we all want to look our best. So when I met my good friend, Carole, for dinner a few weeks ago I finally knew that the Keratin treatment had to be done. Her hair was glorious. It looked so healthy and she had done nothing to it to get it to look that way.  Other than a Keratin treatment. So I called her gal and booked my appointment. 

I participated in a campaign by @zicococonut where I got to complete one of my "life list" items. I'm so grateful! #ad #cracklifeopen // cupcakesandcutlery.comI was giddy with excitement in the week leading up to my treatment. I literally couldn’t sleep thinking about how awesome it was going to be.  And then I would get all anxious.  What if my hair rejected it?!  What if I pay the money and it doesn’t really work?!  But I had to try it out and see if it would be as life changing as I thought it would be. 

The things you do for beauty...#ad #cracklifeopen // cupcakesandcutlery.comThe things you do for beauty, am I right?  The Keratin process is really simple. They clean your hair really well to remove any residue. Then they comb through the special sauce. These glasses were for during the blow dry portion and meant to keep your eyes from stinging if they are sensitive to the solution.  I felt ridiculous but I just knew it would be worth it for the final results. 

Getting a Keratin hair treatment was truly life changing! @zicococonut #ad #cracklifeopen // cupcakesandcutlery.comThere was no down time with the solution at all.  Once it is applied, they blow dry your hair and then flat ironed. The flat ironing activates the solution and it works its magic. It took about an hour and a half for the whole process from start to finish. 

After my Keratin Hair Treatment!! #ad #cracklifeopen // cupcakesandcutlery.comThis was me immediately following the treatment. There are still some flyaways, but my hair felt like silk! Your hair always looks amazing after leaving the salon so the real test would be the following day after my first shower.

After the Keratin hair treatment! No frizz! No product! No blowdrying! #ad #cracklifeopen // cupcakesandcutlery.comDay 2! Sorry for all the car selfies but these were taken while out running errands. Holy, life changing! That morning, I rinsed out the treatment, conditioned and then did NOTHING else! No product, no blow dry, nothing! I felt amazing! I felt so much more polished than I usually do. This was the wash and wear look that I had been wanting forever! I am so glad that ZICO Coconut Water inspired me to complete this item from my Life List. While this is a somewhat temporary fix (it should last about 3 months) and the frizz will slowly start to come back, I know that this is something that I will be budgeting for in the future.  If that means I have to give up clothes shopping or a house cleaner, I’ll do it. The confidence that having my hair look good brought me that didn’t take me forever to do, was amazing. I didn’t realize I felt so bad until I felt so good. Where I used to be super bummed out about getting ready in the morning I’m now excited to. It has even prompted me to put in a little extra effort in getting dressed. Toni at Proper Hair (let me know if you need her contact info! she’s awesome!) will always hold a special place in my heart for giving me my first Keratin Treatment. 

My first pilates class at Reformer Fit in Dana Point. Crossing this off my @zicococonut life list! #ad #cracklifeopen // cupcakesandcutlery.comAND THEN! Since I was so inspired to start really trying to #CrackLifeOpen, I decided to complete another item off my list. I tried out my first Pilates Reformer at Reformer Fit in Dana Point! I have always wanted to try out these machines and thought that this might be an exercise that I really enjoy. I was right. I think I’m in love and I’m dying to take classes consistently. You engage a ton of muscles in each move but it is really fluid. It is more fast paced than yoga, which I need. And less high impact than running. Which I also need. My instructor, Dottie, was awesome. 

Trying out a pilates reformer machine at Reformer Fit in Dana Point. Inspired by my @zicococonut life list. #ad #cracklifeopen // cupcakesandcutlery.comAnd look at my hair! So this workout was about a week after my Keratin treatment and still NO FRIZZ!  Usually during and after exercise my hair would be fuzzy and unruly all around my face. But not anymore! And once we were done, I took it out of the bun and kind of shook it out. Done. Still the best thing I have ever done!

@zicococonut Premium Coconut Water encourages you to create a "life list" of small changes you can make to live a more purposeful life! #ad #cracklifeopen // cupcakesandcutlery.comI don’t think I was fully prepared for making one pretty small change having a big impact on my life. It really made me realize how important having and revising a Life List really is. As things are crossed off, I plan on adding new things. And I am going to continue to make the time to complete items.  I am trying really hard to leave my cell phone at home when I walk the boys to and from school, but I’ll be honest, I’ve slipped up on that one a few times. But mostly I am thankful to ZICO Coconut Water for a campaign that encourages living better lives. I’m proud to be a part of their campaign!

So what changes have you completed from your Life List?

Share a few items on your Life List with @ZICOCoconut on InstagramTwitterFacebook, use the hashtag #CrackLifeOpen and you may even be in for a special surprise!  

And the Pork goes to…

winner-is-annaThank you to everyone who entered the #Porktober giveaway from the National Pork Board and Costco!  The winner is Anna!  I hope you enjoy your prize, Anna!

 

S’mores Pie and Huge Mess

chocolate chips and marshmallow cremeI was looking on Pinterest one day and read one of the titles out loud.  S’mores Pie.  My oldest son just about started crying he was so excited.  So I knew I was going to have to make it.

mini-marshmallowsThe recipe was fairly easy.  I only make easy.  Although I totally forgot that they sell graham crackers crumbs so I made my own.  An extra step that I will surely not do next time.

smores-pie-with-crustOur neighbors invited us over for dinner that night so I planned on taking it over for dessert.  This is how it looks before it gets put in the oven.  It baked for 20 minutes and got all golden brown and delicious looking.  Marshmallow was oozing out on the sides.  And because I’m crazy and didn’t want to get my oven mitts messy, I decided the smart thing to do would be to slide it out on to a cookie sheet.

Screen shot 2013-07-24 at 11.15.48 AMAnd then this happened.  I was apparently feeling over-confident about my wrist strength.  The minute the pie pan hit the cookie sheet it was like a domino affect.  It tipped the front of the cookie sheet down and the pie went sliding back in to the oven.  This  photo above was my documentation from Instagram.  But it was quickly followed up with a little of this.

sloppy-smores-pie

I was able to salvage most of it.  And it was pretty darn tasty too.  I will totally be making this again.  But next time I will place it on the cookie sheet before I put it in to the oven.  Now when I use my oven there is this odd mix of sweet, burnt and cleaner.  It’s not that cool.

Find the S’mores Pie Recipe here.  Are you following my pin board ‘Get in my Belly?”

Raskullz Helmets Photo Shoot and Rad Swim Gear

*Not a sponsored post.  This is straight up mom style.  My kid’s were in a photo shoot for Raskullz helmets (set up through my husband) and I wanted to share that fun experience with you.  And because we love Raskullz and think every kid on the planet should have one.  And wait until you see the SWIM stuff!

green dinosaur helmetPlease tell me your child owns a Raskullz helmet, or bike or scooter?  Aside from keeping their heads safe, they are the most fun, creative, just plain rad helmets on the market.  And the characters that they make in to bikes and scooters are beyond!  You may remember that my kids got to be in a photo shoot for them before.  When my husband asked the kids if they wanted to be in another one, they were super excited.

boys-at-the-beachThe photo shoot took place down by the beach earlier this summer.  The boys were super excited to be there.  If I have one regret as a mother it is not taking my kids to the beach more.  I mean, we live about 15 minutes away and this was their first time at a beach other than playing around the tide pools.  Mom fail.  In my defense sand is just, so, sandy.

Raskullz helmetsThe photos will probably be used for line sheets and other company materials as well as online(?) I’m really not sure and we really don’t care.  The boys just love getting to check out all the helmets (I don’t think some of these are out yet) and new products.  I’m pretty sure they wore each one of the helmets at one time or another.

rasullz-transportation-helmeyYou guys!  It is a plane!  And I didn’t get a photo but the tank helmet is also pretty amazing.

raskullz cool kids helmetsI mean…

cool kids helmetsMy younger one had some trouble staying focused (and he couldn’t smize to save his life) my older one really enjoys this kind of stuff.

helmets for kids

raskulls-helmet-photo-shoot-There were action shots.

swim goggles and masksRaskullz got the cutest and coolest kids to come down and be in the shoot.  It was pretty much like one big beach party.

raskullz-swim-maskNow let’s talk about Raskullz Swim!!!!!!!  How awesome is this swim mask?  The kids absolutely loved them.

shark-swim-mask-from-rasullzShark!!!!!!

swim gogglesThey do goggles too.  I’m totally kicking myself for not taking photos of the girl’s swim too.  Freaking adorable!!

behind-the-scenes-for-raskullz-swimThe little one finally decided to sit still and get his photo taken.  I’m pretty sure he is pouting here but luckily the mask hides it.

playing-in-the-water-at-the-beachAnd then they let them loose in the water.  This is where my heart did a little flip flop.  I hadn’t planned on them going in the water so my type A was in full effect thinking about not having a change of clothes for them.  Or towels.  Next came the “oh fu*k” they don’t really know how to swim, a rip tide is going to pull them in and I’m going to have to save them even though I am afraid of water and it’s cold.  Thank sweet baby Jesus I hadn’t seen Sharknado yet.  But I forgot all of that when I saw how much fun they were having.  There were shrieks, there were shouts of “this is AWESOME” and laughter.  We have started swim lessons and hopefully I will feel better about their swimming real soon.  I vow to take them back before the end of summer.

The kids don’t know it but I’m probably going to go buy them some swim masks this weekend (I hear Walmart has them).  How can I not?  They are so fun!!

See more from our day at the beach with Raskullz here, here and a little video here.