Sweet Potato Farro Salad with Shrimp

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If it weren’t for a small stockpile of frozen meat in our freezer, I would have become a vegetarian as soon as the temperatures plummeted here. From the safety of my couch I can hear the wind howling outside the window while frozen rain pelts the glass. The last thing I care about is leaving the house to get groceries meaning my reliance on pantry staples has increased ten-fold.

Grains, beans, pasta, and potatoes have been an integral part of our diet as of late. It sounds limiting, but getting creative with what we have on hand has been a fun challenge. I’ve had a grain bowl of some kind just about every day this month and no two have been the same.

In addition to sweet potatoes and farro, another pantry item we typically have on hand is cooked frozen shrimp. I can’t sing enough praises for cooked frozen shrimp. They’re an excellent addition in many pasta dishes and I even like to thaw a few and enjoy them as a snack with a heaping scoop of spicy cocktail sauce. Because they’re already cooked, they just need a few minutes in a pan to warm through before serving them in this dish.

This recipe starts by roasting the sweet potatoes and cooking the farro according to the package directions. The farro gets tossed with parsley then set aside to act as the base for our bowls. Mushrooms get sautéed in a pan and allowed to cook down for a few minutes before the shrimp get added to the same pan. A handful of spinach goes in each serving with the farro followed by the sweet potatoes, mushroom, and shrimp. A drizzle of tahini (another pantry favorite) finishes the dish and adds a delicious creamy, nutty flavor.

Without the shrimp this dish could be made vegan, too. If you’re making it ahead of time, you can store the sweet potatoes, farro-parsley blend, and mushrooms with shrimp separately and combine everything when you’re ready to serve. Fresh and entirely satisfying, this grain bowl was too good not to share.

Sweet Potato Farro Salad with Shrimp

Makes 4 Servings*

For the Spice Mixture

  • 2 Tsp Garlic Powder
  • 2 Tsp Chili Powder
  • 1 Tsp Cumin
  • 1/2 Tsp Salt
  • 1/4 Tsp Cloves

For the Salad

  • 2 Medium Sweet Potatoes
  • 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 Cup Farro
  • 1 Tsp Salt
  • 1 Bunch Parsley
  • Juice from 1 Lemon
  • 2 Tsp Olive Oil
  • 8 Oz. Sliced Baby Bella Mushrooms
  • 1 lb Frozen Cooked Shrimp, thawed
  • 4 Cups Spinach
  • Tahini, for serving

Combine the spices in a small bowl and set aside.

Preheat the oven to 425. Dice the sweet potatoes and place on baking sheet. Toss with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and season with half of the spice mixture. Place in the oven and roast for 15-20 minutes, until the potatoes are tender.

While the potatoes are roasting, cook the farro according to the package directions. Drain and season with salt. Chop the parsley and add to the farro along with the lemon juice and toss to combine. Set aside.

Heat a pan over medium heat. Add the two teaspoons of olive oil and the mushrooms to the pan and cook for about 3 minutes. Season the outside of the cooked shrimp in the remaining spice mixture and place in the pan with the mushrooms. Heat the shrimp until it is warmed through and remove the pan from the heat.

To assemble the bowls, place 1 cup of spinach in each of the bowls. Layer the sweet potatoes, farro, mushrooms, and shrimp then drizzle with tahini. Serve and enjoy!

* If you don’t plan on making all 4 servings at one time, each element can be prepared and stored separately until ready to assemble.