Roasted Cauliflower Farro Bowls

This roasted cauliflower farro bowl recipe makes 2 large or 3 medium bowls that are perfect for lunch.

Cooking farro

Farro is a whole grain that cooks like rice or quinoa. I find that even using the ratios recommended on the package, I always have to drain excess water once it is cooked. For this recipe, you will cook the farro and prepare the bowl, then reheat slightly before serving. If you can’t find farro at your local grocery store, you can use quinoa instead. I usually find farro at Bulk Barn. The texture is a bit chewy, unlike a fluffy rice or quinoa.

Roasting cauliflower

Roasting the cauliflower adds a nice toasty flavor to your bowl. Simply cut it into florets, drizzle with olive oil and seasonings and roast at 425 F. for about 20 minutes. When I make this bowl, I usually alternate the seasonings from week to week. My favorite are lemon pepper and Jay’s Spice.

If you don’t want to use cauliflower, try broccoli or sweet potato.

Dressing the bowl

I like to use simple dressings for lunch bowls, so that I can assemble them quickly. This bowl uses a squeeze of half of a lemon, a drizzle of olive oil and a dollop of tahini. I assemble the bowls with the farro, cauliflower and dressing so that I can warm it up before eating. This allows the tahini to melt in to the bowl and create a creamy sauce. Then I prep some additional toppings to add just before serving.

Additional toppings

There is one topping that requires a little more effort, but is well worth it, and it’s crispy breadcrumbs. I was inspired to try this after having the Roasted Broccoli and Farro salad at Juneberry. The breadcrumbs add a pleasing crisp to the bowl. Simply melt some butter in a skillet, add the breadcrumbs and a pinch of garlic powder, and stir until the breadcrumbs are toasted. As for other toppings, I like fresh parsely, crumbled feta and salted pumpkin or sunflower seeds.

Serving this bowl

As I mentioned previously, I like to serve this bowl warm (not hot), then add in the feta, seeds, breadcrumbs and parsley just before serving. This achieves a combination of textures and fresh and warm flavors.

This bamboo utensil kit is from Zero Waste MVMT. I keep it in my lunch kit and wash with soap and water when I’m finished eating. Use my code TBL10, to get 10% off your order.

Roasted Cauliflower & Farro Bowls

This is a hearty lunch that can be prepped ahead of time and assembled right before eating.

Course Main Course, Salad
Keyword cauliflower, farro, feta, lemon, roasted cauliflower, tahini
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 2

Ingredients

  • 1 cup farro, uncooked
  • 1/2 head cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp lemon pepper seasoning
  • 1/2 cup feta cheese, divided
  • 1/2 cup salted sunflower or pumpkin seeds, divided
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley, divided

Crispy breadcrumbs

  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder

Dressing

  • 2 lemons
  • 1/2 cups olive oil, divided
  • 4 Tbsp tahihi, divided

Instructions

  1. Cook farro according to package directions. Make sure to drain out excess water.

  2. While the farro is cooking, preheat the oven to 425F.

  3. Chop cauliflower, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with lemon pepper and spread out on a sheet pan.

  4. Roast caulflower for 20 minutes.

  5. Split farro into two lunch-sized containers.

  6. Place cooked cauliflower on top of the farro.

  7. Add fresh parsley.

  8. Squeeze one lemon over each portion and add 1/4 cup oil and 2 Tbsp tahini to each portion as well.

Crispy breadcrumbs

  1. Melt 2 Tbsp butter in skillet and add the breadcrumbs and garlic powder.

  2. Toss until breadcrumbs are toasted and crispy.

  3. Set aside to cool.

  4. Once cooled, divide into to small containers or jars.

Toppings

  1. Fill four small jars or containers with crumbled feta and seeds.

  2. To assemble the salad, warm the farro and cauliflower bowls for 2 minutes in the microwave.

  3. Shake to spread the dressing around, then add feta, seeds and breadcrubms.

Recipe Notes

This recipe can also be made with quinoa instead of farro.

You can also use roasted sweet potato or broccoli instead of cauliflower. 

Carrot Oat Mini-Muffins

These carrot oat mini-muffins are the perfect after-school snack or lunch box addition.

Key ingredients

Whenever I develop muffin recipes, I always try to make sure they include bananas or applesauce. Why? Who doesn’t have a ton of bananas in their freezer? Also, we always have a ton of homemade unsweetened applesauce on hand that we make with apples from our friend’s tree. Applesauce is also a more economical choice and a pantry/freezer ingredient, versus using butter, so I like that too!

Food waste tip: Make your own applesauce from bruised apples

Did you know that you can make your own applesauce? Drop chopped skin-on apples in your slow cooker with 1/2 cup of water. Cook it on low for about 6 hours, puree and freeze!

I also like to use whole wheat flour and oats in my muffin recipes because I know my kids will take them for snack, lunch, or even breakfast sometimes, and I want them to be filling and satiating so the kids aren’t asking for another snack right after they have one.

We always have carrots in the fridge, so it’s an easy ingredient to include.

These Oatmeal Applesauce Muffins with Salted Caramel Chips also contain whole wheat flour, oats and applesauce. A few other muffins on my regular roster are these Chocolate Zucchini Muffins these Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins. Both contain bananas!

Meal prep tip: Shred carrots while you chop carrots for another meal or snack

One of my favorite meal prep tips is to touch ingredients once for all uses. That means, shred the carrots for the muffins and bake them while you chop carrots for your weeknight meals and for lunches. This saves on dishes and time!

Mini-muffins or standard size?

I used to make standard sized muffins for the kids to take to school all the time, but I was always sending them in plastic bags. I have a personal goal to try to send zero-waste/low-waste lunches as much as I can, so these mini-muffins fit perfectly in the containers I have for the kids’ lunch boxes.

Waste-reducing tip: Avoid paper muffin tin liners

You can reduce waste by simply greasing your mini-muffin tins with cooking spray and skipping the paper liner. You can also purchase silicone mini-muffin liners.

If you’d like to make standard sized muffins, simply increase the cooking time by 5 minutes.

The kids couldn’t keep their grubby little fingers off these muffins.

Meal prep tips for Carrot Oat Mini-Muffins

If you want to pre-measure your ingredients, then bake them later, use three containers: One for the dry ingredients, one for the liquid ingredients and one for the carrots. You can whip together a batch quickly while your dinner is in the oven, then bake them while you eat. When they’re ready, you clean up once! Plus, your oven will already be pre-heated from cooking dinner.

Warm or cool?

I typically enjoy a warm fresh-baked muffin right out of the oven, but these muffins are a lot more flavorful when you let them cool and allow the flavors to concentrate.

Carrot Oat Mini Muffins

Carrot Oat Mini Muffins are the perfect bite-sized treat.

Course Breakfast, Snack
Keyword carrot, mini muffins, muffins, oatmeal
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 24 minutes
Servings 40 muffins

Ingredients

  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 cups unsweetened apple sauce
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 cups carrots

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 F.

  2. Combine brown sugar, applesauce, egg and vanilla. Mix until thoroughly combined.

  3. Add flour, oats, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and mix until combined.

  4. Stir in carrots.

  5. Use a cookie scoop to drop into greased or lined mini muffin tins.

  6. Bake at 375 F for 15 minutes.

How to Make a Chicken Sheet Pan Meal

This post was written in a paid partnership with Manitoba Chicken Producers. As always, all opinions are my own and I only promote products and services that I use and love.

Sheet pan meals are my absolute favorite quick weeknight meal because you can prep them entirely ahead of time. While they’re baking, your hands are free to do other tasks, like empty the dishwasher or prep for the next day’s meal. This Sheet Pan Pomegranate Orange Chicken recipe from manitobachicken.ca looks festive and contains warm spices like cinnamon and cumin as well as fresh orange and pomegranate.

Sheet pans are versatile

The great thing about this cooking method is that you can use any vegetable, and seasoning that you like. For example, this recipe contains squash, which we’re all not crazy about in our house so I’m swapping it for sweet potato. There are a few other substitutions you could make in this recipe if you don’t have the ingredients, for example, you can use carrots instead of parsnips, or cranberry juice instead of pomegranate juice.

This sheet pan builder shows you how to use any cut of fresh Manitoba chicken to make endless sheet pan combinations.

Choosing chicken

Depending on the cut of chicken you decide to use, your cooking time will vary. This is something to consider when you’re looking for a quick weeknight meal and want to keep the cook time within 30 minutes. Bone-in pieces such as breasts, thighs and drumsticks, wings and drumettes will take the longest to cook. Whole chicken breasts and ground chicken meatballs will cook within the 30 minute time-frame and you can even shave that down to 20-25 minutes by thinly slicing boneless skinless chicken breasts, for example for fajitas.

Prepping components

When prepping components for your meal, you can chop all of the veggies, and marinate the chicken. Combine your ingredients, marinate and store in a freezer bag or container overnight to let the marinade work its magic.

For the Sheet Pan Pomegranate Orange Chicken recipe, you will need to chop the vegetables and make the sauce, which is tossed with the vegetables and chicken prior to baking.

Alternatively, you can also use dry seasonings and spices that don’t require marinating. When I use this method, I like to drizzle a sauce on top when the pan comes out of the oven, like balsamic reduction, pesto, or a squeeze of roasted or fresh citrus like lemon, lime, or orange.

Cooking sheet pan meals

I have learned that the perfect temperature for these meals is 425°F for 25 minutes. It’s important to note that oven temperatures can vary and some cuts of chicken take longer to cook than others, depending on the size of the pieces and if they are bone-in pieces. Even if you are following a recipe, always use a meat thermometer to check for doneness. You know that chicken pieces are fully cooked when the thermometer reads 165°F or 74°C.

When cooking at this temperature, I like to cut veggies in approximately 1-inch pieces. This ensures that they don’t overcook and burn or get too mushy.

Space your ingredients out on your tray if you like crispier vegetables. If you crowd them on the pan, as shown in the image above, it will create a lot of steam, giving the vegetables a softer texture. Consider using two sheet pans if you like crispy veggies.

Different combinations

There are many great chicken sheet pan combinations on manitobachicken.ca like this Sheet Pan Lemon Chicken that we shared last week on the Cooking Comfort Facebook Live Event. You can watch it here if you missed it and would like some meal prep tips for making sheet pans.

Here are a few more of my favorite combinations:

Sheet Pan Chicken and Sweet Potatoes with Warm Spice
Sheet Pan Chicken Fajitas
Chicken Teriyaki w/pineapple (chicken breasts, mushrooms, pineapple, bell peppers)
Lemon Basil Chicken meatballs w/tomatoes and pesto

Try one of these done-for-you ideas or use this sheet pan builder to create your own!