Let the Good Times Roll

It’s been a while since we featured a random recipe, so before we launch off to a new country and the next state in our rotation, we thought we’d share this gem of a salad. You see, we’ve been on something of a roll with goodness lately (Yep, I have a song for this one too.). In fact, the kids haven’t even complained about what’s on their plates in nearly two weeks.

While we will take some credit for a few of the recipes winning them over, several of you deserve the credit too. In the last two weeks we’ve enjoyed recipes from Raymund at Ang Sarap, Courtney at Misadventures in Cooking, Charles at Five Euro Food, Sawsan at Chef in Disguise, John at From the Bartolini Kitchens, and Mary at Inside a British Mum’s Kitchen.

I kid you not, the kids have eaten all of these meals, enjoyed them and asked for more. We even heard phrases like, “Can we eat this every night?” and “Mom, you’re the best cook in the world.” I’m really astounded at this latest turn of events, especially considering none of these have been dessert recipes. Now I have no doubt this streak will come to an end, but until then, we wanted to share this Southwest Farro Salad with you all.Β 

As for the salad, it really couldn’t be any easier. We started with some farro, a grain similar to barley and also referred to as wheatberries or spelt depending on where it is grown and what type of grain is used.

We cooked our farro a day ahead of time and chilled it in the fridge.

In an effort to simplify dinner the next day, we also rinsed and drained our black beans and chopped our tomato, mango and cilantro a day ahead of time.

The following evening at dinner, we chopped up some avocado,

and whisked together our vinaigrette using lime zest and juice, cumin, salt and pepper and chipotle infused olive oil (courtesy of Kitchen Belleicious).

Finally we tossed the salad and vinaigrette and were ready to go.

We served the Southwest farro salad alongside Courtney’s Honey Lime Tilapia which we only modified slightly. First we tossed some freshly chopped cilantro in the breading which we composed of part whole wheat flour and part panko.

The whole meal comes together so easily and it’s full of powerful flavors and satisfying textures. The marinade for the fish is outstanding. It was an instant family hit, so much so, it reappeared on our table this week as part of a fish taco. Thank you Courtney!

As for the farro salad, it was a hit too. The chipotle olive oil brought a lot to the table and the sweetness of the tomatoes and mango balanced nicely with the lime and cumin. It was a 3 spoon dish for Mike and a 4 spoon dish for me (based in part on the ease of the recipe).

Mr. N and Miss A were also smitten with the farro salad. Mr. N even ate the tomatoes without a hint of displeasure. In fact, when he requested seconds I asked him if he knew there were tomatoes in the salad to which he said, “Huh. I guess they’re just good in this.”

Miss A also ate her farro salad. She especially enjoyed the black beans, avocado and mango, but just like her big brother even ate the tomatoes. Most surprising for Miss A though was the fact that she ate the grain, which is a pretty big deal being as how she despises rice. In other words, this salad actually rang in at 3 spoons from the kids, both of whom requested we have this meal again. I know I’m game!

Now let’s just hope the good times keep on rolling as we recreate a few North Carolina recipes and venture off to…(drumroll please)

Romania! Maria any suggestions? Cheers all! Have a great week and we’ll see you back on the weekend.

Print this recipe: Southwest Farro Salad

42 thoughts on “Let the Good Times Roll

  1. Dawn says:

    I love it when my kids say that. Last night I made potato leek soup and asparagus and leek frittata, and surprisingly they ate it without complaining!! N wasn’t crazy about the frittata, but loved the soup. My father who is visiting commented on how much better they are eating these days!! Funny that Miss N doesn’t like rice, my kids could live on that! Beautiful salad, I love the avocado – I think I need to do that on Monday…Have a great long weekend!!


  2. ceciliag says:

    fantastic salad, I am going to be making it for sure, john is not as good as your children at eating unusual salads, thank goodness, so i should be able to eat it ALL myself! Your fish sounded wonderful i must visit these other sites, c


  3. Courtney says:

    Oh, wow Kristy – thank you so much for the shout out (and the gorgeous picture with my fish in it – way better than my attempt). This salad looks amazing and the perfect compliment to the light fish (and how much do I LOVE the cilantro addition to the breading). Yay for kids who eat at every meal – do you think they could give mine a call and peer pressure them into eating, too? πŸ™‚


  4. sallybr says:

    I love, love, love farro! Your concoction is a thing of beauty!

    what’s with tomatoes that have so many people running away? Phil could not stand them in the raw state, but after being with me for so long he’s a tomato convert. I can perform magic, you know. It must be my accent.


  5. Caroline says:

    OMG sounds so good I’m bookmarking this recipe right now!!!!! Sorry, got a little excited. But seriously, I love easy, fresh, delicious salads like this. And even better alongside that honey lime tilapia. I’m so hungry now…it’s only 10:30 a.m. 😦


  6. Kate says:

    we love Romanian food! my bff is Romanian and her food is delish: try mici (a street meat that is ground meats, highly seasoned, kind of like a sausage without casing), cozonac (chocolate filled bread), chiftele (meatball covered in flour), and all of the soups: they are on the sour side. Oh, and for the kids: candy is called “bo bos” — and they tend to be a bit more nougat or taffy like. Feta will almost always be around (usually sheep feta), and other cheeses are delish. a lot of deli-style meats are popular, and the veggies— think mediterrean at it’s freshest and best: eggplants, leeks,onions, tomatoes (red, yellow, purple), and FISH! πŸ™‚


  7. Beth (i run like a girl) says:

    Since you’re going to Romania, I suggest trying eggplant “salad” – a spread for bread.
    (It’s a treat I learned about from a fellow student when I was in grad school. But I love eggplant to begin with, so I might be biased.)


  8. Three Well Beings says:

    I just pushed “print” and I’m going to be ready to go! I think I even have some farro in my cupboard. This would suffice for my entree, no accompaniment needed. I think I would choose salads like this more often if I worked ahead, like you did, and prepared ingredients the day before. I need to be so much less last minute! Great meal, Kristy. I hope you put this on your Pinterest board πŸ™‚ I’ll check…Debra


  9. Kelly @ Inspired Edibles says:

    Well, I’m all for randomness – especially when it involves something this fabulous! I love farro but have not made anything with it in ages…this is great inspiration especially the whole make-ahead idea; simplicity at its best. The chipotle olive oil sounds wonderful… I haven’t come across that before only the ground up chipotle in a squeeze bottle. I will be keeping an eye out for sure. Luminous photos Kristy.


  10. Eva Taylor says:

    This salad looks amazing Kristy, I’m sure the addition of the avocados made it luxurious and creamy. A very nice addition to the tilapia.
    Two weeks without a complaint? Now that’s something!


  11. Lisa {Smart Food and Fit} (@LisaNutrition) says:

    This is my kind of salad! My kids would not eat this unfortunately, well possibly my oldest and youngest but we are still working on our kindergartner. It’s funny, he likes most of the ingredients but not together, most kids are at this age. I’ve been MIA so I need to go back and check out your other recipes.


  12. Charles says:

    I don’t think I ever cooked with farro before… no idea what it’s like, I’ll have to try and get a hold on some one day, but to be honest, for a salad stuffed with avocado, mango and black beans… how could it be anything other than awesome? The fish looks beautiful – flavoursome with that cilantro in there… nom nom!

    I know next to nothing about Romanian food – I was watching a documentary recently cheeses though – I know it’s not entirely what you normally do but have you considered making some cheese, something like Romanian Telemea for example? It might be a fun project and could accompany another main dish you made, although I’m sure you must have some wonderful ideas already up your sleeve!


    • Kristy says:

      You know we haven’t made a cheese yet, but with all of ChgoJohn’s posts, I do have it on my list of things to do this summer. Maybe this would be a good start. πŸ™‚


  13. Choc Chip Uru says:

    Looks like you are becoming quite the popular cook my friend – and about time too πŸ˜€
    Gorgeous recipe choices made!
    Keep the food… I mean… the good times rolling πŸ˜‰

    Choc Chip Uru


  14. rsmacaalay says:

    Isn’t that nice to hear from your kids β€œMom, you’re the best cook in the world”. I enjoy that always when we are having dinner and hear similar words from my daughter


  15. Nami | Just One Cookbook says:

    What a healthy and delicious salad. Mango is my kids favorite and this definitely will catch their attention to this salad. I’m really excited about Romanian food. I’m not familiar with it so this is going to be fun learning experience for me! =)


  16. Sawsan@ Chef in disguise says:

    I love everything about your recipe and I am only missing the mango, if I can pick some up on the way back home from work, I’ll make this today!
    Thank you kindly for the shout out Kristy. I am really glad you and the kids enjoyed it and I am honored to be in such great company


  17. Judy | Bebe Love Okazu says:

    Hi! I’ve never tried farro salad but it looks great with the fish. Trying to add more fish to my family’s diet and would love to try this. I know I’ll love it but the real test will be the kids – can’t go wrong with mango and avocado! πŸ™‚


    • Kristy says:

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting! πŸ™‚ We try and have fish at least once a week. Some recipes are winners with the kids, others not so much. Both of the kids loved this recipe though! They even ate it again this week in fajitas.


  18. A_Boleyn says:

    This looks like a very interesting salad, Kristy.

    As to Romanian recipes … off the top of my head … you could always make cabbage rolls which are ubiquitous in a number of eastern European countries. I’ve never made them myself but either the sour cabbage (with saurkraut on top) or the sweeter version with blanched regular cabbage and a tomato puree sauce and hand cut pork inside are quite tasty.

    I like mititei (free form sausage) but I’ve never had a recipe for the meat mixture. Even my mother just bought the pre-seasoned ground meat from the city market, formed them into links and bbq’d them.

    Here’s a picture of the last batch I made.


    I’ve made 2 versions of pork crackling biscuits you might want to try.


    And then there are the yeast based poppy seed rolls called “cozonac cu mac ” or the chopped walnut version called “cozonac cu nuca”.


    Good luck.


  19. ChgoJohn says:

    Now that’s a great meal! Such a great mix of flavors, not to mention a healthy one, as well. It’s really something watching your SousChefs’ palates mature. They’re eating better than a few adults that I know. Seriously.

    Thanks for the shout-out, Kristy. You’ve placed me in some mighty fine company. πŸ™‚


  20. hotlyspiced says:

    There are some beautiful combinations of flavours in that salad Kristy. Isn’t mango awesome in salads! It’s such a shame our mango season is over for another year – I miss it already! xx


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