OK- I love to cook food! but seriously, I’ll admit, I’m still learning. And something I’m finding to be true about cooking alternative grains- like cous cous, polenta, barley, wild rice, quinoa, kamut- is (when in doubt) cook it like pasta! I’m sure many foodies and chefs are cringing- but seriously, they’re probably not reading my blog. But for those of you working and/or raising children folk who stick to what they know is easy to cook but secretly wish they could make exotic-sounding dishes… um, just COOK IT LIKE PASTA! I mean, boil a pot of water (or broth), add a dash of salt, and then add the grain and stir/cover/stir until that grain is soft and edible! You can always drain excess water.
Not perfect, but damn, at least you got an alternative to sandwiches. Besides, these healthy grains will keep you alive and kicking for a long time… long enough to learn how to cook them better! ;) That said, read on for an easy barley recipe… EAT UP!
Easy Barley and Mushroom Pilaf Recipe: For a vegan barley pilaf recipe that is lower in fat and cholesterol-free, simply omit the Parmesan cheese, or, you could try adding a bit of nutritional yeast instead of the cheese.
- 1/2 cup fresh sliced mushrooms
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 1 cup pearl barley
- 3 cups vegetable broth
- 2 tbsp chopped green onions (scallions)
- 1/4 tsp crushed dried rosemary
- 2 tbsp grated fresh Parmesan cheese
Heat olive oil in saucepan; add mushrooms and sautee until limp. Add barley, vegetable broth, green onion and rosemary. Bring to a boil.
Reduce heat to low, cover and cook 45 minutes or until barley is tender and liquid is absorbed. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese over barley pilaf and serve.
Makes 4 servings of barley pilaf.
Per serving: 242 calories, 7g protein, 7g fat, 40g carbohydrate, 4mg cholesterol, 11g fiber, 790mg sodium.