Home ยป Meatless Monday: Honey Walnut Power Salad

Meatless Monday: Honey Walnut Power Salad


Back to the grind. The end of the road. The closing of a chapter. This is my last week of work in Ohio and my last week as a renal dietitian. I’ve decided to do a full post on what I loved, and didn’t love, about working in renal. I think a lot of RD’s and future-RD’s would be interested in hearing about my experience…so stay tuned!

I was absent a bit over the weekend — busy eating delicious bites throughout all of Seattle! I am also finally feeling some relief after our 8-mile hike up Mount Si on Friday. Apparently running and hiking require very different muscle groups because everything between my hips/butt and feet were in dire pain for a solid 48 hours. I  would do it again, however! It was very rewarding to come to the top of a mountain with Mr. Prevention after hours of hiking in beautiful Seattle. For a full recap of Seattle, check out yesterday’s post (and great recipe for Chicken in a Tomato-Basil Broth over Couscous).


My plan for this week is to eat lots of foods like this Honey Walnut Power Salad. It is 1) vegetarian and I don’t have any plans of purchasing any meat between now and our move and 2) packed with nutritious calories. After a solid 3 days of vacationing, I need nutrition.

A few weeks ago it was hot and muggy and I was craving a salad, but something more than leafy greens that wouldn’t keep me full for long. After a quick search through my inbox, this recipe popped up and I happened to have everything on hand. You can also switch out any grain for the farro, omit the spinach, include more spinach, omit the cheese and/or nuts, add additional fruit…the sky is the limit!


Personally, I am a sucker for sweet + savory. While not everyone’s preference, I find great satisfaction from dishes that don’t force me to choose one taste palate over the other. This salad dressing is a simple blend of honey and olive oil (the original recipe called for honey + water, but I wanted more moisture as I knew I would be eating this salad over the better part of a week), and I don’t mind spending calories on healthy fats that will add flavor and help keep me full with all of their heart-healthy benefits. The grapes and caramelized onions added their special touch of sweetness, as well.

The savory comes in from the edamame, grain, olive oil, walnuts, and…blue cheese. I think feta, goat cheese, gorgonzola, or any number of cheeses would work beautifully in this salad, as well.

Add big handfuls of spinach, give it a toss, and you’ve got a hearty salad that can serve as an entree or side dish.


This salad would be ideal for cookouts, lunch, or as a flavorful side to a simple grilled meat and vegetable dinner.

As I continue to work the lactic acid out of my legs and finish up this week of work, it is highly likely that a salad similar to this will be thrown together at some point. This recipe is a perfect example of how the unexpected can surprise you and come together to create some unique combinations that are sure to please.



Honey Walnut Power Salad slightly adapted from Pinch of Yum

1 1/2 Tbsp unsalted butter
1/2 large yellow onion, thinly sliced
1 cup uncooked farro
salt, to taste
2 cups seedless red grapes, washed and cut in half
2 cups shelled edamame, fresh or frozen
1/2 cup walnuts
1/4 cup honey
3 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
8 oz fresh baby spinach
3 oz crumbled blue cheese


Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over low heat. Add onions and saute on low for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until onions are soft and golden.

While onions are still cooking, pour farro and 2 cups water into a saucepan; bring to a boil and cook for 15 minutes, until most of the moisture has absorbed and the grains are soft enough to eat. Let cool for 15 minutes and drain.

When onions are done, stir into the farro. Season with salt.

Combine grapes and edamame in a large mixing bowl. Add cooled farro and walnuts. Whisk honey and oil; pour over mixture and stir well. Add fresh baby spinach and crumbled blue cheese just before serving.

Yield: 8 servings (1 cup each)

Nutrition Information (per cup): 349 calories; 16.8 g. fat; 8 mg. cholesterol; 346 mg. sodium; 39 g. carbohydrate; 5.6 g. fiber; 12.3 g. protein

Result: Sweet and savory meet in this vegetarian farro. Serve this as a side or entree. While the calories are “high” for a salad, this is extremely filling with the healthy fats, fiber, and protein. I love that it is carb-controlled, moderate in sodium, and offers up loads of antioxidants and omega 3’s. Keeps great…just be sure to add the cheese right before serving. Enjoy!


Busy day today. Labs and rounds, my car needs to go into the shop for radio/clock repair, and I have a private consult tonight with one of my old student’s husbands!

P.S. Don’t forget to enter the giveaway ending tonight!

Share With Your Friends!


  1. June 11, 2012 / 6:23 am

    Hiking will absolutely destroy your lower body but it is SUCH an amazing workout! Can’t wait to try this salad soon!

  2. June 11, 2012 / 7:14 am

    This sounds delicious!! I really wish I could eat honey, as I miss the taste so much (sometimes I just smell it to remind me how good it is).
    I’ve been brainstorming where to go on Friday night for your last meal out in Ohio. Any ideas?? Anywhere you and Mark haven’t been yet??

  3. June 11, 2012 / 9:13 am

    I love EVERYTHING in this salad– especially those big chunks of blue cheese!!

    Good luck with this last week!

  4. June 11, 2012 / 10:12 am

    That looks delicious!! I love walnuts so much – they always make me feel super full. Hope you have a fantastic day!

  5. June 11, 2012 / 11:08 am

    Recently, I’m really into sweet & savory combos. The salad sounds great!

    And, yes, running and hiking use very different muscles. I hike a lot (but don’t run anymore due to my weak ankle which I kept on re-injuring). The other day, I misjudged the distance and had to run the last 2.5 miles (quite fast) after I had already hiked 6 miles to make it in time to pick up the kid. Usually 8-10 mile hikes leave me a little sore. But finishing the hike with a fast run left me REALLY sore.

    Good luck with the move!

  6. June 11, 2012 / 11:11 am

    This salad looks fantastic!
    I love salads that also have grains in them. It adds more interest and also fills me up more than most salads. I will have to make this.

  7. June 11, 2012 / 11:41 am

    I’m glad you had a good time in Seattle, and even more glad that you got the mac and cheese. ๐Ÿ™‚
    This salad sounds flipping delicious.

  8. June 11, 2012 / 5:40 pm

    I love this salad! I too am a sucker for sweet and heat – wowza, just reading everything that you have going on is making me tired!

  9. June 11, 2012 / 8:57 pm

    Ha ! I did the same thing recently. I run all the time and thought a day of hiking would be a breeze. Two days later, I could barely move ! This salad definitely looks like it could help.

  10. June 11, 2012 / 11:11 pm

    I’m not even an RD but I’m anxious to hear your wrap-up about your experiences.

  11. Layla Bowen
    June 18, 2012 / 4:00 pm

    Hi Nicole,
    I am having touble finding farro. Would quinoa or rice work better in this recipe? I have never had farro, so I don’t know what it compares to.
    Thanks and happy moving!

    • Nicole, RD
      June 18, 2012 / 9:41 pm

      Hey Layla! I would probably use barley or Israeli couscous…but I think quinoa would work, too! ๐Ÿ™‚

      • Layla Bowen
        June 20, 2012 / 10:20 am

        I made this with barley last night…yummy!

  12. Pingback: Salads
  13. Natalie
    August 21, 2013 / 3:46 pm

    This was really good! Since it’s still hot as heck here in Texas and in the worst stretch of the summer, I have been looking for things I can eat cold but still taste good and fill me up. This doesn’t even need the cheese, IMO, but for people without a strong sweet tooth it might be helpful for cutting the honey/grape sweetness. The chewiness of the farro was kind of nice and helped slow me down, as I’m guilty of the American tendency to scarf stuff down and still feel hungry. I will totally remake this again and am bringing some to share with my coworker tomorrow!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Get my newest recipes
Follow Me