This green lentil bowl starts with lentils cooked with a bay leaf until tender, and is finished with lemon juice, salt and pepper. Chewy farro, also finished with lemon, form the base of this bowl along with the lentils. Hearty button and shitake mushrooms are sauteed along with thyme and a bit of sherry, then layered over the grains and lentils. Finally, spinach is wilted along with garlic and shallots. These healthy greens finish off the bowl.
In my quest to cook with more beans, I’ve been neglecting my whole grains. And what with it being so freakin’ cold, I’ve been going heavy on the comfort (read: not super healthy) food. (I’ve also been a bit obsessed with cooking macarons, which are loaded with sugar and not healthy either.) I’ve been craving greens, so a nice bowl loaded with whole grains, vegetables, and greens seems to be just what the doctor ordered.
Farro is an awesome grain. It’s nutty, chewy, and hearty It’s a great alternative to rice and pairs wonderfully with mushrooms, so that seemed like an obvious pairing. Farro is a Mediterranean grain, which inspired me to to add lemon to the mix.
Thyme is the perfect herb to tie the mushrooms and lemon together - it goes beautifully with both. Lentils are also a Mediterranean staple and allow the mushrooms to shine. Shiitake mushrooms are amazing, but also a bit pricey. Mixing them in with classic button mushrooms gives that meaty flavor while the button mushrooms provide rich bulk.
This requires the orchestration of a few pans on the stove at once, but two of them are just simmering the farro and mushrooms so it’s actually pretty easy and quick to put together. This green lentil bowl has whole grains, beans, vegetables, and greens so you can feel good about eating it, and you’ll feel satisfied and full too.
Hope you enjoy this healthy bowl!
Time: 45 minutes
- 1 cup farro, rinsed
- 1 cup green lentils
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 tablespoons olive oil + 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 24 oz. button mushrooms, sliced
- 3.5 oz.. shiitake mushrooms. sliced
- 2 teaspoons fresh thyme (or ½ teaspoon dried)
- 1 tablespoon sherry cooking wine
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 4 shallots, halved and sliced
- 10 oz. Fresh spinach
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice + 1 tablespoon lemon juice, divided
- Add the farro along with 3 cups of water to a pot and bring to a boil. Turn down to a simmer and simmer for 25-30 minutes, until tender. If it gets dry, add water as needed.
- Meanwhile, add the lentils along with 3 cups of water to a another pot, add the bay leaf, and bring to a boil. Turn down to a simmer and simmer for 25-30 minutes, until tender. If it gets dry, add water as needed.
- Once the lentils and farro are simmering, add 2 tablespoons of the olive oil to a skillet and heat until shimmering. Add the mushrooms and thyme and cook until softened and liquid is released, about 10 minutes.
- Add the sherry and salt and pepper to taste, and cook a few minutes longer until alcohol has burned off the sherry. Remove from skillet, pour off any remaining liquid, and set aside.
- Add the other 2 tablespoons of oil to the skillet and heat briefly, then add the garlic. Cook until just puffed, about 30 seconds. Add the shallots and cook for another minute or two until the shallots are softened.
- Add the spinach and cook until wilted, about 8 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste, then remove and set aside.
- Drain the lentils and farro if there’s any water left. Remove and discard the bay leaf from the lentils.
- Add a tablespoons of lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste to the farro.
- Add a tablespoon of lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste to the lentils.
- Assemble bowls with farro, lentils, mushrooms, and spinach.
This is a bowl, so you won't need anything else. Just layer and serve!
This will actually freeze just fine, so feel free to make up some extra bowls in containers and throw them in the freezer.
Are you feeling like eating healthier? Do you make a lot of bowls? Let me know in the comments!