All good things always seem to come to an end. I had anticipated the RSBC Challenge since last year and now it is over. The last food challenge I picked for this challenge was barley. Barley is one of the “forgotten” grains. I love using it but never seem to really remember it when I am adding a “filler” to our meal. In addition to it’s nutty and robust flavor the health benefits are really fantastic – rich in fiber, as well as a good source of phosphorus, copper and manganese. Barley is used to help regulate your body as well as it helps lower your cholesterol and helps with intestinal protection.
Most of the time I like to through a handful into soup or make a pilaf to serve alongside a piece of meat. This time I decided to make a hearty salad that would be our main entree for dinner. I filled it with kale, green onions, goat cheese and then dressed it with a simple balsamic vinaigrette. I had wanted to add fennel and tomatoes; but, the fennel looked as sad as the tomatoes did! If you don’t want a vegetarian version, slices of grilled chicken would be a great addition.
1 cup barley
2 1/2 cups water
3 green onions, sliced thinly
6 small leaves of kale, sliced thinly
4oz goat cheese crumbles
olive oil, to taste
balsamic vinegar, to taste
salt, to taste
pepper, to taste
Bring water to boil with a generous portion of salt. Add barley, stir, cover and turn down heat to a low simmer. Cook until tender but still firm, about 20 – 25 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking. Let drain over a colander until dry, about 30 minutes. In the mean time, prepare your veggies and the dressing. Once the barley is cooled and fairly dry add to a mixing bowl and fold in the veggies. Drizzle in the dressing, sprinkle in the goat cheese, season with salt and pepper and give a good stir. Serve. Eat.