Barley – Canada’s Ancient Grain

Barley – Canada’s answer to a super food

Three types of barley plus the two recipes I demmed on Breakfast TV in Toronto

Three types of barley plus the two recipes I demmed on Breakfast TV in Toronto picture by: Mairlyn Smith

 

Asian Barley Salad

Asian Barley Salad

Asian Barley Salad picture by: Mairlyn Smith

 

 

Cholesterol-lowering barley with two folate stars – peas and peanuts – makes this another heart healthy dish.

This is one of my all-time favourites for a spring or summer dinner. Plan ahead and cook the barley the night before. Then in the heat of the day all you have to do is chop a couple of onions, toss in some peas and peanuts and top with a great salad dressing.

I serve this in large Asian-style soup bowls and we eat it with chopsticks usually in the backyard while I stare at my garden, one of my summer hobbies.

 

 

The night before or early in the serving day:

1 cup (250 mL) pot barley

3 cups (750 mL) cold water

 Serving day:

2 green onions, finely sliced including the white end

1 cup (250 mL) fresh or frozen peas, thawed

1 cup (250 mL) red skinned peanuts – see sidebar

 

Dressing:

2 tbsp (30 ml) natural peanut butter – it has to be natural

2 tbsp (30 mL) rice vinegar

2 tbsp (30 mL) lower sodium soy sauce

2 tsp (10 mL) wasabi paste – found in the Asian section of your grocery store or where they sell sushi

 

  1. The night before or the morning of serving day: Place barley in a mesh colander and rinse under cold water.
  2. Put barley into a medium saucepan. Add water, bring to the boil, cover, reduce heat to low and simmer 40-50 minutes or until cooked. Stir once or twice to evenly distribute any remaining liquid, remove from heat, fluff with a fork to separate the grains and let sit covered for 10 minutes. Fluff again and then let it cool for 30 minutes. Place in a container and store in the fridge covered for up to 3 days.
  3. Serving day: In a large bowl toss together the sliced green onions, peas, and all of the cooked barley.
  4. Whisk together the peanut butter, rice vinegar, soy sauce and Wasabi paste in a small bowl. Pour over barley mixture and toss well.
  5. Spoon into bowls. Sprinkle each serving with ¼ cup (60 mL) peanuts over top each bowl.

Makes 4 cups (1 L)

Each serving = 1 cup (250 mL)

 

One serving contains: 476 calories, 24.1 g total fat, 3.1 g sat fat, 0 g trans fat, 354 mg sodium, 53.6 g carbs, 14 g fibre, 5.9 g sugar, 19 g protein

Diabetes Food Choice Values Per Serving

2 ½ Carbohydrates, 2 ½ Meat and Alternatives, 3 ½ Fat

 

Tuscany Supper

A main course made with pot barley and Mediterranean herbs. Picture by: Mairlyn Smith

A main course made with pot barley and Mediterranean herbs. Picture by: Mairlyn Smith

 

 

It got four thumbs up from the Decade Divas the first time I made it and another big thumbs up from my publisher and his partner the next time I made it. All that praise, and it can lower your cholesterol too, what a fabulous dish.

 

 

 

 

4 cloves garlic

1 onion

1 cup (250 mL) pot barley

1 tbsp (15 mL) canola oil

4 cups (1L) sliced mushrooms

1 tbsp (15 mL) dried basil leaves – dried works best in this recipe

1 tsp (5 mL) dried oregano leaves. What! Can’t I use fresh? Yup – 1 tbsp (15 mL) will do

¼ tsp (1 mL) cracked black pepper

One – 19 fl oz (540 mL) can diced tomatoes

1 cup (250 mL) lower sodium vegetable or chicken broth

½ cup (125 mL) loosely packed grated Asiago cheese, approx 1 oz. (25 g) or really good Parmesan or if you are lucky enough to make dinner in my publisher’s amazing kitchen then a Pecorino is perfect.

 

  1. Mince garlic and set aside.
  2. Mince onion and set aside.
  3. Place barley in a mesh colander and rinse under cold water. Set aside to drain.
  4. Heat a medium/large pot over medium heat. Add oil and onions. Sauté for 5 minutes or until golden brown. This extra bit of time browning the onion pays off in the end with a deeper flavour.
  5. Add garlic and sliced mushrooms and continue cooking for 3 minutes. I know what you are thinking – this pot isn’t big enough. Trust me, the principle of shrinkage applies here and in about 3 minutes they will have shrunk down.
  6. Add basil, oregano, and cracked pepper. Sauté for 1 minute.
  7. Add barley and sauté for 1 minute. Stir in tomatoes and broth, stirring well to make sure any bits clinging to the bottom of the pot are mixed in. Bring to the boil, stir once more, cover, reduce heat to low/simmer and cook for 45 – 50 minutes or until barley is cooked through and soft. Stir occasionally and adjust heat so it doesn’t burn.
  8. When cooked remove from heat stir once and let sit for 10 minutes. Serve each bowl with 2 tbsp (30 mL) of grated cheese over top. Any leftovers can be stored in the fridge for up to three days.

 

Makes – 6 cups (1.5 L) One serving = 1 cup (250 mL)

One serving contains: 207 calories, 5 g total fat, 1 g sat fat, 0 g trans fat, 309 mg sodium, 33 g carbs, 8 g fibre, 5.5 g sugar, 9 g protein

Diabetes Food Choice Values Per Serving

2 Carbohydrates, 1 Meat and Alternative, ½ Fat

 

Professional home economist tips:

What does 4 cups (1 L) of sliced mushrooms look like?

Some stores sell mushrooms loose, others in packages so it’s about 24 medium mushrooms or one and a half 227 g packages.

 

Can I use fresh basil?

Yes, but add it at the end so the flavour isn’t completely cooked out of it. It works out to be 3 tbsp (45 mL) fresh basil leaves, chopped

 

To make this a vegan side dish use the vegetable broth and eliminate the cheese. Add 2 tbsp (30 mL) pine nuts and you have a Vegan main course.

 

For the recipe for the Barley Scones seen on the set of BT Toronto and Barley 101 click here.

For more recipes using barley go to www.gobarley.com

 

Recipe for Barely Scones from the Alberta Barley Commission

Recipe for Barely Scones from the Alberta Barley Commission

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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