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Mediterranean Meatball and Farro Bowls with Smoky Hummus Sauce

Serves 4


    During the blustery winter months, it’s always nice to serve salads with a warming element. Here, oven-roasted plant-based meatballs, tender farro, and oh-so-sweet sautéed tomatoes give this meal in a bowl star power. It’s a family meal that’s healthy, colourful, and satisfying. Instead of farro, you can use your favourite cooked grain, such as quinoa. Or leave the whole grains out altogether and serve with toasted pita bread. It’s also possible to make meatballs with ground beef, pork, or chicken.


    Raise a toast

    To add more flavour to your salad grains, you can toast them first. Simply heat 2 tsp (10 mL) oil in heavy-bottomed saucepan and add farro grains. Heat, stirring a few times, until grains darken a few shades and smell a bit like toasted nuts.


    Mediterranean Meatball and Farro Bowls with Smoky Hummus Sauce


      • 1 cup (250 mL) farro
      • 1 lb (450 g) plant-based ground “meat”
      • 2 tsp (10 mL) Italian seasoning
      • 1 tsp (5 mL) cumin powder
      • 1/2 tsp (2 mL) black pepper
      • 2 Tbsp + 2 tsp (30 mL + 10 mL) extra-virgin olive oil, divided
      • 2 cups (500 mL) halved cherry or grape tomatoes
      • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped, divided
      • 1/2 cup (125 mL) hummus
      • 1 tsp (15 mL) smoked paprika
      • 1 Tbsp (15 mL) fresh lemon juice
      • 8 cups (2 L) baby spinach
      • 2 cups (500 mL) sliced cucumber
      • 1/2 cup (125 mL) crumbled feta cheese
      • 1/4 cup (60 mL) sliced kalamata olives
      • 1/2 cup (125 mL) parsley


      Per serving:

      • calories502
      • protein28 g
      • total fat18 g
        • sat. fat5 g
      • total carbohydrates56 g
        • sugars5 g
        • fibre17 g
      • sodium614 mg



      In saucepan, place farro, 3 cups (750 mL) water, and a couple of pinches of salt. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer, covered, until grains are tender, about 15 minutes. Drain any excess water.


      Preheat oven to 375 F (190 C).


      In large bowl, gently mix together ground “meat,” Italian seasoning, cumin, and black pepper. Form into golf ball-sized meatballs and place on rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes.


      In skillet over medium heat, add 2 tsp (10 mL) olive oil. Add tomatoes and half the garlic and heat until tomatoes have softened and are beginning to break down, about 7 minutes.


      In small bowl, whisk together hummus, 2 Tbsp (30 mL) olive oil, remaining garlic, paprika, and lemon juice.


      Divide spinach among 4 serving bowls and top with farro, cucumber, tomatoes, and meatballs. Scatter on feta, olives, and parsley. Drizzle on hummus dressing.



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      Going Pro

      Going Pro

      You might think of protein as something you mainly get from a meal and, therefore, not a component of dessert. But, if you’re going to opt for dessert from time to time, why not consider working in ingredients that go big on this important macronutrient? It’s easier (and more delicious) than you may think! Protein is an essential part of every cell in your body and plays a starring role in bone, muscle, and skin health. So, certainly, you want to make sure you’re eating enough. And it’s best to spread protein intake throughout the day, since your body needs a continual supply. This is why it can be a great idea to try to include protein in your desserts. When protein is provided in sufficient amounts in a dessert, it may help you feel more satiated and help temper blood sugar swings. Plus, in many cases, that protein comes in a package of other nutritional benefits. For instance, if you’re eating a dessert made with protein-packed Greek yogurt, you’re not just getting protein; you’re getting all the yogurt’s bone-benefitting calcium and immune-boosting probiotics, too. Adding nuts to your dessert doesn’t just provide plant-based protein, but it also provides heart-healthy fats. Yes, desserts need not be just empty calories. Ready for a treat? These protein-filled desserts with a healthy twist are dietitian-approved—and delicious.