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Rebellion, Meal Prepping, Chicken, Asparagus, Farro (and anything else) Salad

Sometimes I’m a rule follower in life, and sometimes I’m a rebellious rule breaker. I take the same approach with recipes. Sometimes I’m a recipe follower and sometimes I’m a total recipe rule breaker. This recipe brought out the recipe rebel in me and turned out to be a complete home-run! I double batched it so that I could invite a friend for dinner, and still have enough leftovers for several take-to-work lunches. I had SO much food, that I was pretty set for the entire week. Sounds a lot like meal prepping!
When I hear the phrase “meal prepping” I get a little twitchy, because quite honestly “meal prepping” sounds like a lot of work. (You actually have to prep – create your menu and shop, chop, etc. - to meal prep.) But that’s exactly what this recipe turned out to be – a gigantic, fun, no anxiety meal prepping session!
So, make a big batch, separate your meals for the week, and invite a friend to join you for dinner! There’s plenty of food!

INGREDIENTS:

1 cup uncooked farro (Side note – Trader Joe’s has a fabulous product called 10 minute farro that’s perfect for this recipe! Follow the directions on the packaging.)

1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast
2 TBLSP olive oil
4 large baby carrots, quartered lengthwise (Confession: I have a baby carrot phobia so I use 2 large whole carrots cut into small cubes instead of baby carrots!)
2 cups asparagus cut into 1” pieces
1 cup frozen peas, microwaved
2 medium sweet potatoes, cubed (The original recipe doesn’t call for sweet potatoes. This is my own addition, related to my sweet potato addiction!) 
¼ cup chopped parsley

2 TBLSP fresh lemon juice
½ tsp salt
½ tsp freshly ground black pepper

Raw pumpkin seeds and/or raw sunflower seeds to sprinkle on top before serving.

DIRECTIONS:
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. 
In a small pot, bring 3 cups of water to a boil and add the farro. Place a lid, slightly ajar, on the pot, and reduce to a simmer for 25-45 minutes, depending on the type of farro. When the farro is tender, drain in a fine mesh strainer. Let cool.

While the farro is cooking, prep the chicken.

Place the chicken on a parchment-lined sheet pan and drizzle with a tsp of olive oil. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 160 degrees. Cool the pan on a rack, when cool enough to handle, shred or cube and set aside.

While the chicken is baking, prep the vegetables for roasting, or steaming.

***Directions for steaming carrots and asparagus:
Set up a steamer and steam the carrot slices for 3 minutes, then place the asparagus on top of the carrots and steam 2 minutes longer.

***Directions for roasting the carrots, asparagus and sweet potatoes:

I’m not a fan of steamed vegetables, so I roasted the carrots, sweet potatoes and asparagus in the the oven. Spread the carrots on a foil or parchment paper lined baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil, (salting is optional) and roast at 425 degrees for about 10 minutes, until the carrots are somewhat soft (but not mushy.) Repeat for the asparagus. 
To roast the sweet potatoes, prepare the same way for roasting but cook for 20 minutes (or until somewhat soft but not mushy)

In a small bowl, combine the lemon juice, salt, pepper and remaining olive oil and whisk together. Drizzle over the farro mixture and toss to coat.

Serving options: 
• Combine the farro with the chicken, vegetables, and parsley and serve over a bed of spring greens, power greens, or baby spinach. 
• Set up your individual foods buffet style and let everyone pick and choose the ingredients for their meal.

Keeps for up to four days, tightly covered, in the refrigerator.
Serves 4 – 6 
Serving size 1-3/4 cup