Sunday, January 16, 2011

Barley...the other whole grain

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I've discovered barley recently.  As some of you may remember, I used it in my stuffed peppers a couple of weeks ago and again last night in my stuffed pepper soup.

Tonight I was pondering what to do with the leftover barley from last night's soup (made 3 times what I needed).  One cup of dry barley yields 3-4 cups of cooked barley - it's a very economical food, I must say.  The entire bag was about 77 cents and will probably make about 8 cups of cooked barley in the end.

I decided to wing it.  I had veggies in the fridge, I had to have my healthy oils with my supper, so I thought of chopping up my veggies (celery, onions and mushrooms - I forgot the peppers!) and sauteing them in the olive oil and some spices (red pepper flakes, garlic, etc.).  After the veggies were done I tossed in 1/2 cup of cooked barley and heated it through (adding a bit of chicken stock).  I then added 2 egg whites and all of a sudden this was turning into "friend barley" (think fried rice, but with barley) so I added soya sauce and a few dashes of hot sauce for good measure.  YUMM!!!!  This was soooo good!  I've done a bit of googling to compare barley to rolled oats/oatmeal.  From what I've read, if you get the "real" barley (not the pearl kind found in the grocery store, which is what I used), it beats oats on almost every level - 3FatChicks' website spells it out, but basically in protein and fibre barley kicks butt against oats!  Barley is a bit higher in calories (per cup), but from the sounds of things, it's totally worth it.  I think I'll take a trip to a health food store to see if I can get some real barley and check it out.  I certainly enjoyed it for supper and I think tomorrow I will try it in place of my regular oatmeal for breakfast.  Perhaps 3/4 cup of barley, splash of milk, cinnamon, apple and some no-sugar-added syrup for sweetness...Perhaps some of my usual peanut butter, but the barley itself is pretty high in protein, so it may not be necessary...I usually add PB to my oatmeal for the protein - hoping it'll keep me fuller longer.

So folks, that's my take on Barley....the other whole grain :-)  What's next to try...quinoa maybe?


Shondi said...

Weren't you going to make a barley casserole recipe you got from your Mom? I've been waiting... :-)

Tanya said...

Yeah I was...I didn't get the recipe from her yet - a friend of hers made it for her when she was sick. I emailed Mom again to get the recipe - I bought the leeks now so I have to get it!