With a little advance prep, you can enjoy these Italian whole grain and lean beef bowls—packed with vegetables in the Mediterranean tradition—in a matter of minutes. Just prepare all ingredients ahead of time. Want to save even more time? Buy quick cooking farro and a prepared pesto sauce. What’s farro you ask? It’s a whole grain related to wheat commonly used in Italy that has a nutty flavor and chewy texture.

For the Beef

1 lb. Flank Steak, trimmed of all visible fat and sliced into 1/4-inch x 3-inch strips
1 ½ tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 ½ tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary leaves, minced
3 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  1. Combine all ingredients in a gallon size plastic zip lock bag. Seal tightly, shake to fully coat meat with marinade, and place in refrigerator to marinate for 4 to 24 hours.

For the Farro (Makes 3 cups)

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
½ cup diced yellow onion
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
1 garlic clove, peeled and minced
1 cup farro
2 cups water

  1. In a stainless-steel pot with a lid, heat the olive oil, onions, and salt over medium heat. Sweat the onions until translucent, about 10 minutes.
  2. Add in the chopped garlic, stir, and cook for 2 minutes.
  3. Mix in the farro and stir to combine with the onion and garlic mixture.
  4. Pour in the water, cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 40 to 45 minutes, until the farro has softened, and all the liquid has been absorbed.
  5. Set aside until ready to prepare the bowls. If preparing the farro in advance, store in a covered container in the refrigerator until ready to make the bowls.

For the Roasted Zucchini 

2 zucchini, medium size, ends trimmed, quartered and diced
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
½ teaspoon Italian seasoning
¼ teaspoon kosher salt

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Place the zucchini into a small mixing bowl and toss with olive oil, Italian seasoning, and salt.
  3. Line a baking tray with parchment paper. Spread zucchini evenly on parchment.
  4. Roast zucchini for 15 minutes, until the veggies are golden brown and cooked.
  5. Remove the tray and cool off the veggies at room temperature. If preparing the zucchini in advance, store in a covered container in the refrigerator until ready to make the bowls.

For the Basil Pesto (Makes 1 cup)

2 garlic cloves, peeled
2 tablespoons pine nuts or walnuts, toasted
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup basil, leaves only
¼ cup Parmesan cheese, shredded

  1. Place the garlic and nuts into food processor and pulse five times.
  2. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil and pulse three times.
  3. While pulsing further, add the basil leaves and Parmesan cheese, and pulse until a smooth sauce has formed.
  4. If preparing the pesto ahead of time, store it in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 14 days. You’ll have extra pesto to use on sandwiches or in pasta for another meal.

For the Finished Bowls (Makes 4 bowls)

1 recipe cooked farro
1-15 oz. can white kidney or cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup grape tomatoes cut in half
2 cups baby spinach
1 cup green peas, frozen, microwaved for 2 minutes
1 recipe roasted zucchini
½ cup basil pesto
1 recipe marinated lean beef
4 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, shredded or shaved

  1. Set out four shallow bowls and place ¾ cup of farro in each bowl.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, place the beans, tomatoes, baby spinach, peas and roasted zucchini.
  3. Add ½ cup of pesto to the vegetable mixture and gently stir to coat all the vegetables with pesto.
  4. Evenly divide the vegetables among the four bowls.
  5. Place a 12-inch sauté pan over high heat and sear the marinated beef for about 4 minutes total. Stir minimally during cooking to get a good sear on the beef.
  6. Divide the beef among the four bowls.
  7. Garnish each bowl with Parmesan cheese.
Number of Servings 4
Serving Size 1 bowl
Calories Per Serving 750
Total Fat (g) 34
Saturated Fat (g) 8
Trans Fat (g) 0
Cholesterol (mg) 60
Sodium (mg) 890
Total Carbohydrate (g) 66
Dietary Fiber (g) 13
Sugars (g) 7
Added Sugars (g) 0
Protein (g) 45
Vitamin D (mcg) 0.174
Calcium (mg) 255
Iron (mg) 7.27
Potassium (mg) 1215