This healthy and hearty summer salad is a fresh and bright dish that is delicious on its own or paired with your favorite protein! It’s filled with fresh summer berries, creamy feta cheese, fluffy farro and walnuts.
It’s no secret that summertime is the season for salads…right? With so many delicious fruits and veggies in season, the different combinations you can put together are endless. But, we all know how easy it is to make a salad that leaves you hungry an hour later. The key is to include a significant portion of all three macronutrients – protein, carbohydrates and fat. To make a nourishing and filling summer salad, you need an appropriate balance of all three. This berry and farro Summer salad does just that.
This salad is full of complex carbohydrates, protein, fiber, and healthy fats. First and foremost, the berries and chickpeas offer fiber – which we LOVE. (We’re BIG fans of fiber here at Culina Health.) Secondly, the avocado and walnuts provide healthy fats. We get protein from the feta cheese and chickpeas. Thirdly, the farro is an excellent source of resistant starch. Let’s not forget all the vitamins, minerals and antioxidants provided by the baby spinach, strawberries and blueberries. Looking for some more easy salad recipes? Check out this blog post!
There’s a reason Popeye was always encouraging us to eat our spinach – it’s a powerhouse vegetable. Spinach is chock full of vitamins A, C and K, magnesium and iron. Additionally, vitamin K is an essential nutrient that maintains bone health and helps your blood clot. Iron is an essential mineral that helps transport iron throughout the body. Using spinach as the base of this salad levels up its nutritional density and antioxidant content significantly. Curious about how much spinach we should aim for? Check out this blog post!
Strawberries and Blueberries
Not only do the berries in this salad give it a slight and delicious sweetness; they offer extra fiber, vitamin C, and the robust power of antioxidants. Just one cup of strawberries contains about 95% of the recommended daily amount of vitamin C. And blueberries contain a high amount of anthocyanins – which are compounds that protect against free radicals and have anti-inflammatory and anti-viral properties. Research shows that anthocyanins also have a range of potential anti-cancer and heart disease properties…sign us up!
Farro is an excellent source of complex carbohydrates, resistant starch, fiber and plant-based protein. One cup of farro contains 7 grams of fiber and 7 grams of protein. Therefore, farro encourages slow digestion, which then encourages a slower rise in blood sugar, and longer satiation. Its nutty flavor pairs really well with the sweetness of the berries and the tanginess of the feta cheese.
Summer Beery & Farro Salad with Strawberry Vinaigrette
For the salad
- 4 cups baby spinach
- 1/2 cup strawberries quartered
- 1/2 cup blueberries
- 1 avocado diced
- 1/2 cup chickpeas drained and rinsed
- 1/4 cup feta cheese
- 2 tablespoons chopped walnuts
- 1 cup farro cooked
Strawberry Vinaigrette Dressing
- 1 tbsp strawberry jam
- 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tbsp water to thin
- In a large bowl, combine spinach, strawberries, blueberries, avocado, chickpeas, feta cheese, walnuts and cooked farro.
- In a separate bowl, add strawberry jam and balsamic vinegar. Whisk thoroughly until the vinegar breaks down the jam. While continuously whisking, slowly drizzle in extra virgin olive oil until dressing comes together. If needed, add 1 tablespoon water to thin.
- Drizzle dressing over the salad and toss. Serve and enjoy!
- You can sub other greens for the baby spinach. Mixed greens or romaine would work well.
- You can sub other types of berries as well. Raspberries or blackberries would be great in this salad.
- You can sub other grains for farro. Bulgur, quinoa, or wild rice would make great options.
- Omit walnuts if any diners have a nut allergy. Can sub with sunflower seeds.