Shrimp salad with farro and watercress is a tasty and healthy salad that keeps well and needs no reheating (perfect for lunch!). This delicious weight loss recipe is adaptable for even healthier results. 

Houston is home to many different cultures which makes the variety of food here amazing. Of course, that also makes weight loss difficult sometimes! This recipe draws on a variety of cultures and ingredients that can be found fairly easily. 

Farro is a delightfully chewy grain that is easy to cook and low in calories. Even though you may not have heard of it before, it’s easy to find and should be available at any Kroger or H-E-B store. 

Watercress is a wonderful herb that brings balance to this dish. It’s rich in vitamins, low in sodium, and has a mild, crunchy texture that’s a little bit like a light and refreshing. Taste-wise, it’s somewhere between lettuce and a much milder version of a radish. There’s just a tiny little bit of spiciness. You can find it at your local H-E-B and most supermarkets, but if you’re having a hard time finding it, try a local Asian grocery store, they are sure to have it. 

Shrimp naturally have a lot of sodium, so we’re going to avoid adding any extra salt for this dish to keep the sodium levels down. We’re broiling them for this recipe, but to save time and reduce calories they could be boiled or even bought frozen and pre-cooked (boiling the shrimp instead of broiling will remove 40 calories per serving). And since shrimp are sometimes pricey even in Houston, you could also simply use 1 pound and save an additional 20 calories per serving. 

Cannellini beans provide a lot of protein and fiber for this recipe. They’re also called white navy beans and you should be able to find them in the canned aisle in almost any grocery store. Canned foods generally contain extra sodium, so for a truly healthy (but more time-consuming) option, you could try to find them dried. 


  • 1 ½ lbs shrimp
  • 1 cup farro
  • 1 bunch watercress
  • 15oz can Cannellini (white navy) beans
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh mint
  • ¼ cup + 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • Juice of ½ lime
  • Pepper

Total time: 35 minutes

Servings: 6


  1. Put farro in a small pot or saucepan and add 1.5 cups water. Bring farro a boil, then simmer for 20 minutes.
  2. While farro is cooking, peel and devein shrimp, if needed. Pat shrimp dry with a paper towel.
  3. Remove any tough stems from watercress and place in a large bowl.
  4. Rinse canned Cannellini beans and place in bowl with watercress.
  5. Make dressing by adding ¼ cup olive oil with lemon juice and mint. Add pepper to taste.
  6. Pre-heat broiler. In a separate bowl, mix shrimp with 2 tbsp olive oil, the lime juice and pepper. Broil shrimp 10 minutes, turning halfway to ensure an even cook. (If shrimp are smaller, you may only need 2-3 minutes per side)
  7. Drain farro and add to the bowl with beans and watercress. Add dressing and mix well.8. Divide into six equal portions. Top with shrimp and serve!


Makes 6 servings. Calories 366, Fat 16g, Protein 35g, Carbohydrates 19g, Sugar 0g, Sodium 936mg, Fiber 5g.

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