Broiled Salmon with Mushrooms and Farro – Inspired by Lyfe Chef Art Smith

Broiled salmon with mushrooms and Farro TBTAM

One of the highlights of my visit to the Medicine X Conference in Palo Alto in September, in addition to my poster presentation and meeting all the amazing e-patients, docs and tech gurus there, was dinner at Lyfe Kitchen.

Founded by former McDonalds CEO Mike Roberts, Lyfe (which stands for Love Your Food Everyday) is the first of a growing chain of healthy, pretty fast food franchises that “put sustainability, our planet and our employees first”.

As soon as I entered Lyfe, I was hooked.

There was a gorgeous live herb garden forming the centerpiece of the place and lending a deliciously fresh scent to the room.

Lyfe herb garden

The food itself was healthy and varied, with plenty of veggie, vegan, low fat and gluten free options on the menu created by Chef Art Smith, who you may know as Oprahs personal chef.  Smith, who himself lost over 100 pounds after being diagnosed with diabetes, has kept dishes under 600 cals, low in saturated fat and sodium, and high in fiber and protein.

Service was faster than a traditional sit down restaurant – diners line up at the counter and place their orders, then sit down with a pager that alerts the servers where they are and when their food is ready. Prices were moderate,  but not cheap, which is to be expected if local food sources are being used and employees treated like human beings.

On to the food – The edamame hummus was delicious. (I have the recipe and will post it soon)

Lyfe edamame dip

as were the flatbread

Lfye pizza

the grilled fish

Lyfe salmon

the veggie burger and the sweet potato fries.

Lyfe burger

Smith’s cookbook Healthy Comfort was on sale at Lyfe, so I picked up a copy for inspiration and dinner ideas.

I’m excited to see healthy food making it closer to the masses and look forward to the day when Lyfe makes it to NYC. If they do, they’ll find some real competition here in the Belgian chain Le Pain Quotidian, an even faster growing chain that serves delicious, organic and healthy food.

(Recipe after the jump)


This satisfying and healthy dinner is from Healthy Comfort and based on Smiths recipe for Broiled Salmon with Mushrooms and Lentils. I substituted my new fave grain farro for the lentils, sautéing it with the onions before adding the broth but otherwise stayed true to Smith’s recipe. I’m not quite sure what the julienned prosciutto is adding other than calories, so feel free to leave it out. If you do use it, I’d sauté it up with the onions to take better advantage of its wonderful flavor. A green salad and a generous dollop of sheeps milk yogurt makes a nice accompaniment to this entree. Enjoy!

For the Farro

  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 cups low sodium chicken stock
  • 1 cup farro (or green lentils)
  • 1 1/2 ounces prosciutto, julienned
  • 2 tbsp chopped parsley
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the Mushrooms

  • 4 cups crimini mushrooms
  • 1 sprig rosemary
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 cup water
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the Salmon

  • 4 – 6 ounce salmon fillets
  • 4 tsp low sodium soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup minced red onion
  • 1 lemon, quartered
  • 1 tbsp chopped parsley for garnish


  1. Heat olive oil in medium saucepan. Saute onions over med-high heat till translucent. Add farro and sauté for 2-3 minutes. Add chicken stock, heat to boiling and lower to a slow simmer. Cover and simmer till done – 30-45  mins.  Fold in prosciutto and parsley, season with salt and pepper. Keep warm.
  2. Preheat oven to 350. Wash mushroom under cold water, trim and discard ends of stems. Cur in half and place in small baking dish with rosemary and garlic. Add 1/4 cup water cover with foil and make for 30-45 mins or until just cooked. Remove mushrooms and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Preheat broiler. Rub salmon with soy sauce and top with red onion evenly. Place on non stick broiling pan or baking dish, broil for 10 mins or till cooked medium rare. Remove from oven and squeeze lemon over it.
  4. Plate the farro and mushrooms, top with salmon, sprinkle with parsley and serve.

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