Barley is one of those lesser known grains that people don’t even give a thought to. Poor barley, all alone in the grocery store with no one to love it. Well it’s time to expand your horizons beyond the standard oatmeal, quinoa, or rice. Barley is crunchy, full of protein, fiber and tastes pretty good. It’s also hella-cheap if you’re into that sort of thing. (Side note: I am!)
I’ve used barley in pea soup and even just on its own as a side dish with butter and garlic salt. It makes a great salad as well. This week I mixed up a fast and easy side salad with strawberries and kale in a tangy lemon dressing. When you’re making your barley, make extra so that you have some to eat for quick and easy breakfasts during the week.
Barley, Strawberry, and Kale Salad
- 1/2 cup (100g) uncooked pearl barley
- 4 cups (80g) kale, stems removed
- 1 cup (100g) strawberries
- 2 Tbsp white balsamic vinegar
- 1 Tbsp lemon juice
Cook the barley according to package directions. Mine said to bring 1 1/2 cups of water and the barley to a boil, and simmer for 50 minutes until done. While the barley is cooking, remove the stems from the kale and wash and dry it well. Chop the leaves into bite sized pieces and stem very lightly in the microwave. I nuked mine for 1 minute. You don’t want to cook it all the way, but just soften the leaves.
Mix the kale, barley, and strawberries in a bowl. Drizzle with the balsamic vinegar and lemon juice. Toss to combine.
Makes 4 servings at approximately 129 calories each – 4g protein, 26g carbs, and 1g fat.
Since kale is a pretty hearty green, it keeps well in leftover salad. I just put the rest of the salad into plastic containers for the next day. I had the extra barley like cold cereal mixed with a little almond milk, cinnamon and topped with greek yogurt. So if you haven’t given barley a try, look for it the next time you’re at the store and give it a try.
I am curious though if there are other kinds of barley besides the “pearl” variety. Things that make you go hmmmmm.