Here to save you from a lunch-routine rut with colorful, flavorful Honey Mustard Chickpea Farro Salads! These come together in less than 20 minutes and can easily become your favorite simple, tasty, and nourishing weekday lunch.
Lunches can be confusing. How much do I want to eat? What do I want to eat (duh)? Am I more of a snack or a substantial meal kinda person? How will I transport my lunch? And of course, when will I find the time to eat it? One last question: am I taking lunch too seriously? It’s an important matter. I spent years in junior high and high school eating sandwiches every. single. day. and right now I’m just not into that. Like, I have a kitchen in which I cook dinner six out of seven nights a week and leftovers are almost always a thing, so lunch should be manageable. Shouldn’t it?
Class starts at noon everyday this quarter, and I’d sure as heck eat in class if they weren’t such stressful classes. I want to enjoy my food, thank you. I don’t want to eat my lunch while learning about paracentesis (look it up) or while sifting through pages and pages and pages of research articles on the effect of a high-fat diet on endurance exercise performance. Every minute throughout these classes feels like a mouthful, so I’d prefer not to add a literal mouthful to the equation.
I walk from my house to school each day, which takes maybe 20 minutes one way, and if I discipline myself well enough to leave on time, it’s quite an enjoyable walk. The return home, however, is a different story. You know, I imagine it’s like the drive home from work for you grown adults/full-time office professionals - there’s traffic, you’re tired, you’re hungry, and you just want to be home. I understand. Passersby might think I’m a training for the Olympic speed-walking team, just watching how quickly my legs move in anticipation of being at home with food.
Food. Lunch. That’s what we were talking about! By the time I make it back home, I want food and I’d really appreciate it as soon as possible, please. But the thing is that it’s mid-late afternoon and now I’m confused and asking myself some of those aforementioned questions all over again. My trusty go-to’s are carrots and hummus, toast, pasta salad, or those leftover roasted veggies from last night. All filling options, but nothing satisfying for my current cravings, which is an actual lunch: a balanced meal with carbs and protein and fat and, of course, flavor and texture and color. Aesthetic and a fancy name maybe with some specialty ingredients from Whole Foods or something are bonuses.
I first made this salad right after I made and ate an actual lunch for the first time in weeks, so I admired it’s beauty and then packed it up to eat over the course of the next few days. If my friends were into as into food as I am, I would’ve, like, snap-chatted this to all of them. Instead, I texted a picture to Mom and Uncle Tom - two of my foodie bff’s (adult version? I don’t know) - with a full breakdown of all the ingredients and how I made it.
GENIUS IDEA, HALEY - you should post this on your blog! I love my thoughts sometimes. Here ya’ go, lunch-lovers!
Makes 2 servings
For the salad:
1/2 cup uncooked farro
1 15-oz. can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 cups organic curly kale
2 large organic carrots, peeled and chopped into thin discs
1/2 ripe avocado
1/4 cup finely diced red onion
1/2 lemon, cut in half
2 tsp. extra virgin olive oil, divided
Sea salt and pepper, to taste
Fresh chopped cilantro, for garnish
Crushed red pepper flakes, for garnish (optional)
For the honey mustard dressing:
2 tbsp. brown mustard
2 tbsp. raw honey
1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp. white wine vinegar
1 tsp. sea salt
1. Cook the farro. In a small saucepan, stir the farro with 1 cup filtered water and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook for 10-12 minutes, stirring occasionally. Uncover, stir, and reduce heat to low. Continue cooking until the liquid has evaporated - the grains will double in size and may be . Then remove from heat and set aside.
2. Assemble the bowls. Divide the kale evenly between two bowls and drizzle each portion with 1/4 lemon wedge and 1 tsp. EVOO. Massage the lemon and oil into the kale leaves until they soften and turn a bright green color. Next, divide the chickpeas evenly between the bowls, followed by the carrots, avocado, and red onion.
3. In a small bowl, whisk together the ingredients for the dressing until smooth. Drizzle this evenly over the salad bowls, and then top with sea salt and pepper, fresh chopped cilantro, and crushed red pepper (if using).
4. Serve immediately, or pack in airtight containers and store in the fridge for up to one week until you’re ready to eat them. They make perfect weekday lunches!
Double this to make four salads - meal-prep for the week!