Nutritious Barley Salad

So as promised in my last post, I am sharing the recipe for Barley Salad. A couple of months ago I came across a few health benefits of drinking barley water. So I went ahead and bought the smallest bag of barley I could find (what if I didn’t like it!). Unfortunately I forgot all about it as it sat in the back of the kitchen cabinet. Then very recently just as my daughter announced that she was turning vegan, (I am in the process of turning vegetarian) I started creating some space in the kitchen for new ‘vegan’ food options and it was during this period I rediscovered the little bag of ‘barley’.

I decided to try the barley water but then wondered about how to use the left over barley. Adding it to a salad seemed like a good idea.

So here is the recipe. Add a half cup of pearl barley (after thoroughly washing and rinsing) to about 3 cups of boiling water. Let it cook on medium high for 5 minutes, then lower the heat to medium low for 15 min (until the barley grains are soft al dente not mushy). Next strain the water (to drink later) and reserve the cooked barley for the salad.

Now for the salad

Ingredients

1/4 cup of cooked barley

1-2 tsp cooking oil

1 tbsp raw peanuts

1 stalk of green onion, chopped

1/2 cup of finely shredded green cabbage

1/2 cup of finely shredded purple cabbage

1/4 cup of chopped carrot

1/4 cup of finely cut green beans

1/2 tbsp of finely chopped ginger

1/4 tsp roasted cumin powder (optional)

Salt to taste

1/4 lime wedge

Method

Heat the oil in a saucepan on medium and add the peanuts. Let them turn brown, remove them in a small bowl and then add the green onions, green beans and carrots to the saucepan. Stir the mixture and after 2-3 minutes add the rest of the vegetables along with salt, ginger and cumin powder. Keep stirring the pan and after 3-4 minutes as the vegetables turn softer (not mushy), turn off the heat. Squeeze the lime, add the barley and stir everything evenly. Garnish with the peanuts!

Voila! your salad is good to go! Enjoy it while it’s still warm.

Some interesting pointers on Barley

People with gluten sensitivity should avoid this grain as it has gluten and can cause nausea or cramping.

However it’s a good source of fiber and so helps maintain good digestion and a healthy body weight. Beta glucans in the barley reduce cholesterol and high blood sugar. Also this grain is great for folks with kapha dosha!

This is all for now. If you have any other ideas of using barley, please share here. I will love to read!

A Soup for Chilly Days!

With the dip in the temperatures, it’s time for heart warming homemade soups that are both easy to prepare as well as healthy. Here is just the recipe you need on a chilly day – a tomato-carrot soup rich in fiber, anti oxidants and of course vitamin A!

Ingredients:

6 medium size Roma tomatoes washed and cut into halves

2 carrots diced

1 small onion diced

3 cloves garlic chopped finely

1/2 tsp crushed ginger

2 cups vegetable OR chicken broth

1/4 tsp red chili flakes 

salt to taste

1/2 tsp ground pepper

1/4 tsp dry crushed oregano

1/4 tsp dry crushed sage

1 1/2 tbsp olive oil

a tiny sprig of cilantro

Preheat the oven to 425 deg F. Put the tomatoes cut side down on a baking dish and drizzle 1/2 tbsp olive oil and some salt on them. Using your hands coat the tomatoes with the oil. Bake for 15 min. 

In the meanwhile heat 1 tbsp olive oil and add the onions. As soon as the onions turn a light golden, add the garlic and the carrots. Cook until the garlic starts turning golden. Add the ginger. If the tomatoes are finished baking, then add them slowly to the carrots and onion mix. Add 2 cups broth and the rest of the ingredients except oregano and sage. Let the mixture simmer for 5-6 min. 

Let this cool. Puree in a food processor. If you want a very clear soup you may sieve the mixture otherwise you can leave it as such. Add the herbs and heat this soup once again on low heat for about 10 min. 

Serve the soup topping it with a sprig of cilantro.

Note: I usually use any dry italian herbs that are available. But I wait till the end to add them to the soup to maintain their flavor. 

 

 

 

Tomato Carrot Soup