Featured

10 Grain Salads to Meal Prep for a Week of Healthy Meals

Grain salads are so easy and healthy to meal prep for the week! Here are 10 of my favorite recipes that the whole family will love.

Greek quinoa grain salads

One thing that I work on with most of my clients is meal prepping. Whether your nutrition goal is weight loss, eating healthier, or following a specific diet plan, meal prepping works for everyone!

Benefits of Meal Prepping

Meal prepping is the process of planning and preparing your meals ahead of time. It involves choosing recipes to make, shopping for the ingredients, and cooking the meals, usually over the weekend. While meal prepping takes good organization and a little bit of time, there are many benefits.

  • You save time. Meal prepping requires a few hours to shop and actually make the food, but it will save you hours of time during the upcoming week.
  • You save money. Bringing homemade lunches to work is much less expensive than that $15 dollar salad bowl you’re going out for every day. Taking the time to make a grocery list and shop once also eliminates the need to go to the store multiple times per week to buy more food.
  • It’s healthy. Meal prepped food is generally healthier than restaurant meals. Of course, it depends on the recipe you choose, but home cooked meals have less added sodium, sugar, and saturated fat than take out.
  • You know exactly what you are eating. It’s empowering to know exactly what you are putting in your body, especially if you have a nutrition goal you’re striving to meet. There’s no question about how many cups of rice are in this bowl, how much oil they used, or how much salt they added. You get to dictate what you eat!
  • Reduce food waste. You go to the store to buy ingredients for three recipes. Think about it…once the food is already cooked into a delicious recipe, you’re way more likely to eat it! We’re all guilty of those nights we had every intention of cooking, but were too tired and ordered takeout. So that bag of spinach, peppers, and broccoli go bad before we get another chance to use them. Meal prepping ensures you use your food before it spoils!

Why Grain Salads are Perfect for Meal Prepping

Grain salads are amazing for meal prep because they check all the boxes of meal prep benefits. My basic formula for grain salads is as follows: 1 cup of grains, 2-3 types of vegetables, and protein of choice. I also like to add something creamy, like crumbled cheese or avocado. I then mix it in a simple dressing, and it’s good to go for the week!

  • Grain salads are easy to make, and not too time consuming.
  • Whole grains like brown rice, bulgur, or quinoa are inexpensive and can be purchased in bulk. You can also keep costs down by choosing vegetarian protein sources like beans for your protein!
  • Grain salads are a balanced meal all in one. They include vegetables and whole grains for fiber/complex carbs, protein, and healthy fats, which might come from avocado, tahini, or olive oil in your dressing. Because of this, grain salads will keep you full and satisfied through the afternoon.
  • When you make your own grain salads, you control exactly what goes into them! You can recreate your favorite takeout grain bowl, but in a healthier way.
  • Since grain salads require no assembly once they are made, you are way more likely to eat them!

10 Healthy Grain Salad Recipes

Here are some of my favorite grain salad recipes. Don’t they look so colorful, healthy, and delicious?

Greek Quinoa Salad with Lentils

Greek quinoa salad grain salads

Farro Salad with Roasted Vegetables and Feta

farro salad with roasted veg and feta grain salads

Asian Quinoa Bowls with Peanut Baked Tofu from Simply Quinoa

Asian peanut tofu quinoa bowl grain salads - simply quinoa

Green Goddess Quinoa Summer Salad from Pinch of Yum

Green goddess quinoa salad - pinch of yum

Kale Butternut Squash Farro Salad by Freshly Zested

kale butternut squash farro salad - freshly zested

Summer Grain Salad by Spices in my DNA

summer grain salad - spices in my DNA

Roasted Sweet Potato Black Bean Quinoa Salad by Crunchy Creamy Sweet

sweet potato black bean quinoa salad - crunchy creamy sweet

Slow Roasted Tomato Farro Salad by How Sweet Eats

farro roasted tomato salad - how sweet eats

Strawberry Quinoa Tabbouleh with Feta by Walder Wellness

Strawberry quinoa tabbouleh - walder wellness

Chipotle Black Bean Burrito Bowls with Seared Corn by From My Bowl

Save this post for later to one of your Pinterest boards

Featured

Farro Salad with Roasted Vegetables and Feta Cheese

This farro salad is the most delicious easy and healthy grain salad! It’s filled with roasted vegetables, creamy feta cheese, and crunchy walnuts, and is perfect for meal prep.

farro salad with roasted vegetables

I love experimenting with different whole grains in my kitchen. There are so many delicious options! Quinoa and brown rice are my usual staples, but lately I’ve been obsessed with farro. It has a nice chewy texture and slightly nutty flavor that I love!

Whenever I’m in a meal prep rut, I’ll make a big grain salad. I cook a big batch of grains, roast a few different veggies, and mix them all together. I love to add something creamy to the salad, such as avocado, tahini, or a soft cheese. So simple, healthy, and delicious!

farro salad with roasted vegetables

This farro salad features some of my favorite summertime veggies: asparagus, corn, and cherry tomatoes. There is also lots of garlic, fresh basil, and chickpeas for a boost of protein. My favorite part of this salad might just be the walnuts, though! They add such a great unexpected crunch.

How to Cook Farro

There are a lot of instructions out there about how to cook farro. My favorite method that has never failed me is the pasta method. Honestly, this is also the easiest method, and works every time for me!

  • Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil (just as if you were cooking pasta).
  • Add your farro and reduce to a simmer.
  • Cook for 25-30 minutes until desired consistency is reached. I prefer a slightly chewier farro.
  • Drain the excess water from the pot.
  • Fluff farro with a fork, then use any way you’d like!
farro salad ingredients

Main Ingredients Of This Farro Salad + Some Nutrition Notes

  • Farro: Farro is a type of wheat grain. It’s an excellent source of fiber, and has more than most grains! It is also higher in protein than other grains like brown rice.
  • Asparagus: Asparagus is a good source of many vitamins, including A, C and K. It’s also an excellent source of folate, which is very important during pregnancy to prevent neural tube defects.
  • Tomatoes: Tomatoes have many antioxidants, including lycopene. This antioxidant, which gives tomatoes their red hue, is actually more abundant in cooked tomatoes, like the ones in this farro salad!
  • Corn
  • Basil
  • Feta Cheese
  • Walnuts
farro salad

If you love this farro salad recipe, you may also like

Let me know if you love this recipe by leaving a comment or rating below, and check out Instagram and Pinterest for more healthy lifestyle inspiration.

Print
farro salad with roasted veg and feta grain salads

Farro Salad with Roasted Vegetables and Feta Cheese

  • Author: Alex
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: main dish

Description

This farro salad is the most delicious easy and healthy grain salad! It’s filled with roasted vegetables, creamy goat cheese, and crunchy walnuts, and is perfect for meal prep.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 cup farro
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes
  • 4 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 1 bunch asparagus, woody ends removed, and chopped
  • 12 tbsp avocado oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 1 ear corn
  • 1 can low sodium chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 2 handfuls fresh basil, chopped
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/3 cup feta cheese

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 410 degrees F.
  2. Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil. Add farro, reduce to simmer, and cook for 25-30 minutes until desired consistency is reached. Drain excess water.
  3. While farro cooks, roast the vegetables. Toss cherry tomatoes, garlic, and asparagus with avocado oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Roast for 20 minutes, until tomatoes are burst and wrinkly.
  4. Toss cooked farro, roasted vegetables, chickpeas, and basil together in a large bowl with lemon zest, lemon juice, and a generous drizzle of olive oil. 
  5. Sprinkle with feta cheese and walnuts.
  6. Serve warm or cold – it tastes delicious either way!


Notes

  • Farro does not expand as much as other grains like rice, so if you sub another grain, reduce the dry measurement to 1/2 or 2/3 cup.
  • Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. 

Keywords: farro salad, roasted vegetables, grain salad

Save this recipe for later to one of your Pinterest boards

pinterest graphic

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links, which help keep Daisybeet running. I truly love all the brands I link to, and use them frequently in my daily life!

Featured

Almond Butter Zucchini Bread with Chocolate Chips

This zucchini bread is a more nutritious version of your favorite summertime baked treat. It’s filled with whole grain flour, almond butter, and one whole zucchini! Bake up a loaf (or two!) today if you’ve got zucchinis to use up from the garden.

almond butter zucchini bread

Zucchini bread will always remind me of sweet summer days. I grew up going to Martha’s Vineyard every summer, and my family would frequently have a loaf of Morning Glory Farm‘s zucchini bread around. Their version is the best – it’s not too sweet, super moist (sorry), and incredibly soft.

I’ve been on a baking kick lately, and have made a few recipes using almond butter that I’ve loved. I decided to test out an almond butter zucchini bread recipe. It’s instantly become one of my new favorite recipes! Ben and I polished off the loaf in a matter of days, so I think another loaf needs to happen ASAP.

almond butter zucchini bread

This zucchini bread is healthier in a few ways. White flour is replaced with whole grain spelt flour. Instead of oil, almond butter provides moisture and healthy fats. While I’m usually not the biggest fan of nuts in my quick breads, the walnuts in this recipe are a MUST. The toasty flavor and crunch are so good!

I also used Bolthouse Farms new Plant Protein Milk! This milk alternative is SUPER creamy. It’s made with pea protein, so it has 10 g of plant-based protein per 8 oz serving (plus, 50% more calcium than a serving of dairy milk)! This is definitely becoming a new staple in my kitchen. Check out their store locator to find some near you.

slices of zucchini bread

How to Make Almond Butter Zucchini Bread

  • Mix together dry ingredients – spelt flour, salt, baking powder, cinnamon, and apple pie spice.
  • Mix together wet ingredients – egg, applesauce, maple syrup, Plant Protein Milk, and vanilla.
  • Grate zucchini and squeeze out excess water.
  • Mix wet ingredients into dry. Fold in zucchini, then chocolate chips and walnuts.
  • Bake for 45 minutes – 1 hour.
sliced zucchini bread

Main Ingredients + Some Nutrition Notes

  • Zucchini: One of my favorite summertime veggies, zucchini is super versatile and full of nutrients. It is high in antioxidants, including vitamin C, plus vitamin A. It’s also a hydrating vegetable as it is high in water. Zucchini contains both soluble and insoluble fiber. Insoluble fiber helps bind cholesterol in our bodies, and it also feeds the good bacteria in our gut!
  • Bolthouse Farms Plant Protein Milk: This plant-based milk alternative is one of my new favorites! It’s got 10 grams of pea protein per 8 oz serving. Pea protein is one of the most easily digestible plant based protein sources. It is high in Branched Chain Amino Acids, which may promote muscle growth. This milk alternative also contains 50% more calcium than a serving of dairy milk, which is wonderful for those who cannot or choose not to consume dairy.
  • Walnuts: I recently wrote about walnuts in this post, but they are a wonderful nut to include in your diet. They are high in ALA omega-3 fatty acids – higher than any other nut. These anti-inflammatory healthy fats are essential in our diet, because we cannot make them ourselves.
  • Spelt Flour
  • Unsweetened Applesauce
  • Egg
  • Cinnamon
  • Almond Butter
  • Maple Syrup

If you love this recipe, you may also like

Let me know if you love this recipe by leaving a comment or rating below, and check out Instagram and Pinterest for more healthy lifestyle inspiration.

Print

Almond Butter Zucchini Bread

  • Author: Alex
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes – 1 hour
  • Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
  • Yield: 8 slices 1x
  • Category: baking

Description

This zucchini bread is a more nutritious version of your favorite summertime baked treat. It’s filled with whole grain flour, almond butter, and one whole zucchini!


Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 medium-large zucchini, finely grated
  • 1 1/2 cups spelt flour
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp apple pie spice
  • 1/2 cup almond butter
  • 1/2 cup Bolthouse Farms Plant Protein Milk
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup crushed walnuts

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a loaf pan with parchment paper.
  2. Grate zucchini and use a clean tea towel to squeeze out excess moisture.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, combine spelt flour, salt, baking powder, cinnamon, and apple pie spice.
  4. In a separate bowl, whisk together almond butter, plant protein milk, maple syrup, applesauce, egg, and vanilla extract.
  5. Pour wet ingredients into dry and mix until just combined.
  6. Fold in zucchini, then chocolate chips and walnuts.
  7. Pour batter into loaf pan. Top with additional chocolate chips and nuts if desired.
  8. Bake for 45 minutes – 1 hour, until a toothpick in the center comes out clean.
  9. Let cool before slicing and serving.


Notes

  • Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
  • Almond butter can be replaced with other types of nut butter, but the flavor may be slightly altered. 

Keywords: zucchini bread, healthy zucchini bread, whole grain

Save this recipe for later to one of your Pinterest boards

Thank you Bolthouse Farms for sponsoring this blog post! I’m grateful to partner with brands I love to cook with, and all opinions are my own.

Featured

Whole Grain Banana Bread with Chocolate Chips, Cranberries and Blueberries

Banana bread is one of my all-time favorite treats. I could eat it every single day! I have fond memories of devouring my mom’s chocolate chip banana bread with my college roommates when she would bring a loaf during visits. I’ve wanted to create a more nutrient dense version of banana bread for years. I absolutely love my blender banana bread baked with almond flour, but it doesn’t have the same texture as traditional banana bread! I wanted this recipe to be one that really mimicked a good old fashioned loaf of banana bread.

You guys know I have a major sweet tooth, and in my eyes, no ingredients will be able to seamlessly recreate baking with real sugar, butter and flour. But, as a dietitian, it makes me so happy to create recipes that are similar to traditional ones, but with more nutritional bang for your buck! I always view these “healthier” desserts as additions to my diet, rather than complete replacements for the real thing. Because you know I’ll never pass up a slice of Flour Bakery banana bread!

I’m so amped for this recipe, because it really is so similar to a traditional banana bread! The texture is spot on, and it’s just sweet enough thanks to the ripe bananas and maple syrup. This was my first time baking with spelt flour, and honestly I don’t know why I haven’t used it before! Spelt flour is still a 100% whole grain flour, but it’s much lighter and sweeter tasting than whole wheat flour. I can already tell I like it better for recipes than whole wheat flour because of this when replacing refined flour in recipes. I also used Greek style yogurt in place of oil for this bread, and it turned out wonderfully. I’m a firm believer that banana bread is best with some add-ins, so I decided on both chocolate chips AND berries. Definitely a winning combo!

Ingredients

  • 2 ½ cups spelt flour
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ cup + 2 tbsp pure maple syrup
  • ½ cup plain Greek style yogurt
  • ¼ cup milk of choice (I used oat milk)
  • 3 very ripe bananas, mashed well
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup chocolate chips + more for sprinkling on top
  • 1/3 cup frozen cranberry/blueberry blend + more for sprinkling on top (I used the Blueberry Blend by Cape Cod Select)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a loaf pan with parchment paper.
  2. Combine spelt flour, salt, baking soda and cinnamon in a large mixing bowl.
  3. Combine the eggs, maple syrup, yogurt, milk and bananas in a bowl, whisking until smooth.
  4. Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and stir to combine.
  5. Fold in the chocolate chips and frozen berries.
  6. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan, and sprinkle the top with additional chocolate chips and berries.
  7. Bake for 50-70 minutes until edges are lightly browned and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  8. Let cool completely before slicing.

If you guys try this recipe, tag @daisybeet on Instagram so I can see your creations! 🙂

Healthy Puppy Chow

Lately, I’ve been feeling nostalgic for the most random things. Maybe it’s because I’m officially an “adult” now being completely done with school and working a full-time job, or realizing I’m only 2 years away from being 30 years old, but time seems to be flying by too quickly!

Last night, my roommate was showing me home video clips she watched after going to her parent’s house for the weekend, and we chatted about all the Disney VHS movies we both owned. Who else was a diehard Little Mermaid fan?

In addition to nostalgia for things like movies, I’ve also been thinking about foods I haven’t eaten in years. I bought a box of shredded wheat cereal to add to yogurt bowls for quick breakfasts last week, and that brought me down memory lane! I used to LOVE frosted mini wheat cereal for breakfast – there was something so satisfying about that sugary flavor and that delicate ratio of milk to cereal that created the perfect texture piece of cereal.

Munching on shredded wheat all week reminded me about a popular snack we had growing up: puppy chow! My own mom actually never made this for us, and I don’t think I was introduced to this treat until middle school at a friend’s house. This crunchy, peanut buttery, chocolately, sugary snack was so addicting.

Puppy chow is traditionally made with peanut butter, chocolate chips, rice chex cereal, sometimes butter and coated in heaps of powdered sugar. I decided I wanted to make a more nutritious version, without compromising on flavor!

My version maintains the same texture and rich peanut butter chocolate goodness, however I swapped the powdered sugar for a blend of powdered peanut butter, cacao powder and cinnamon. Here are some of the benefits of my puppy chow:

  • Whole grain fiber, thanks to unsweetened shredded wheat cereal
  • A boost of antioxidants by using dark chocolate
  • Zero added sugars or preservatives by using natural peanut butter and no powdered sugar

If you guys had puppy chow growing up, I encourage you to try this recipe for a more nutritious trip down memory lane. I plan on making another batch for a Super Bowl snack to munch on!

Ingredients:

  • One 3.5 oz bar of dark chocolate, roughly chopped (or ½ cup dark chocolate chips)
  • 1/3 cup creamy natural peanut butter
  • 4 cups shredded wheat cereal
  • ¼ cup powdered peanut butter
  • 2 tbsp cacao powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon

Instructions:

  1. Melt the chocolate in a double boiler on the stovetop. Stir in peanut butter once melted.
  2. Add 1 cup shredded wheat cereal to a large mixing bowl. Add a few big spoonfuls of melted chocolate and mix.
  3. Alternate about 1 cup shredded wheat cereal and melted chocolate, and mix gently until everything is combined. (I suggest using a rubber spatula to scrape out as much chocolate as you can).
  4. In a large ziplock bag, combine powdered peanut butter, cacao powder and cinnamon.
  5. Pour chocolate coated cereal into the bag, close and shake until pieces are well coated.
  6. Pour into a bowl or enjoy! This snack will keep well in the fridge.

 

If you try this recipe, tag @daisybeet so I can see your creations! I hope you enjoy 🙂