We chose barley as our grain to work with this week. We made up 6 cooked cups worth.
The first thing we did was try it as our “oatmeal” one morning. I read that it makes a really good substitute for oatmeal, which we eat at least 300 mornings a year! We used all of our typical add-ins…raspberries (just Mike), walnuts, cinnamon & soy milk and were really happy with the result. The texture was not as “mushy” as oatmeal, but that was a fine change of pace. I can see us using this grain on a regular basis for our hot cereal breakfast.
Soup was the next use for our barley. We used the following recipe, but since the barley was already cooked we omitted 2 cups of the water and only heated it through after adding it. Our concern that the barley would get kind of mushy from cooking it more didn’t happen, and making it ahead cut about 15 minutes off from the cooking time, so that was a plus. This soup really filled us up and had great flavor (the taco seasoning was probably the key and it doesn’t end up with a taco taste.) This recipe is going to become a regular for us.
Turkey Barley Soup (from Taste of Home)
- 1 lb lean ground turkey
- 3/4 cup sliced or baby carrots
- 1 med onion
- 1 celery rib, chopped
- 1 garlic clove, chopped
- 1 envelope taco seasoning, divided
- 3 1/2 cups water (we used 1 1/2 with our precooked barley)
- 1 (28oz) can Italian diced tomatoes, undrained
- 3/4 cup quick-cooking barley (we used 2 cooked cups)
- 1/8 tsp dried oregano
In Dutch oven, cook the turkey, carrots, onion, celery, garlic and 1 T. taco seasoning over medium heat until meat is no longer pink. Stir in the water, tomatoes and remaining taco seasoning; bring to a boil.
Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Add barley; cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes longer (we did only 5) or until barley is tender. Stir in oregano.
Our last plan is to use up the remaining barley in Barley Stuffed Acorn Squash (from makingthymeforhealth.com)
- 2 medium-size acorn squash
- 1 cup dry pearled barley, rinsed (we have 2 1/2 cooked cups left)
- 3 c vegetable broth (will omit but may regret its absence)
- 1 shallot, minced
- 8 0z shittake mushrooms, thinly sliced
- 10 ounces green beans, chopped into bite size pieces
- 2 large carrots, peeled and finely chopped
- 1 cup chopped leafy greens (kale, swiss chard, etc)
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- salt & pepper to taste
- 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 375 and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Wash the squash then slice off the stem and a small piece of the pointy bottom so it is able to sit on an even surface on both sides. Cut it in 2 separate halves down the center. Using a spoon, scoop out the seeds and any loose pieces of flesh.
Lightly rub the flesh with oil and transfer to the baking sheet facing down. Bake in preheated oven for 45 minutes to 1 hour. The outer skin should be pliable when squeezed with an oven mitt.
In medium size pot, bring the vegetable broth to a boil and add the barley. Reduce to a simmer and cook for about 25 minutes, until tender. (We won’t be using the broth since our barley is already cooked. We’ll probably have to season with salt and pepper a little heavier to compensate.)
In separate large pot, warm the olive oil over medium heat Add the shallot and a sprinkle of salt and cook for 2-3 minutes, until fragrant. Add the greens, mushrooms, carrots and green beans; sprinkle with salt and garlic powder; cover with a lid and cook for 5-7 minutes until vegetables are slightly tender.
Once barley is tender add it to the larger pot with any remaining broth and stir to combine. Spoon the filling inside the cooked squash, sprinkle the tops with parmesan cheese. Serve warm.
This meal won’t happen until Wednesday (after post time) so we have no results to remark on. It sounds good though, doesn’t it!