This is a tasty and satisfying dish, filled with greens and whole grain. Add your favorite lean protein and you have a balanced plate in a bowl! You can easily get creative with the recipe and leftovers, adding different veggies and/or proteins. Barley, a versatile cereal grain, boasts a rich nutritional profile, including fiber, vitamins, and minerals. This recipe combination of nutrients supports heart health and inflammation reduction, an awesome addition to a health-conscious diet. You can substitute quinoa for a gluten-free version as well.
1 butternut squash, peeled, seeded and chopped into bite-size pieces (or purchase and avoid this work 🙂!)
3 Tablespoons olive oil, divided
¼ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup pearled barley
1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon fresh lemon zest
2 teaspoons fresh thyme (or 1 teaspoon dried)
2-3 garlic cloves, minced
3 cup chicken broth, low sodium
½ cup shaved Parmesan cheese, crumbled
5 ounces arugula
2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Options: 1-2 Tablespoons toasted walnuts or pine nuts, leftover turkey, chicken, veggie sausage
To roast the squash: Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a large baking sheet or roasting pan with parchment paper. Place the squash cubes on the baking sheet and toss with one tablespoon of olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast for 30 to 35 minutes or until golden brown around the edges. Remove from oven and set aside.
Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the barley and cook for about 5-6 minutes, stirring constantly. Add the lemon juice through the broth. Bring to a simmer, stir, cover, and reduce the heat to low. Cook for 30-35 minutes, stirring occasionally. When most of the broth is absorbed, remove from heat. Place in a large mixing bowl.
Add cooked butternut squash, Parmesan cheese, arugula, a tablespoon of olive oil, and balsamic vinegar to the barley. Stir well and add salt and pepper to taste. Options: Top with toasted nuts, leftover turkey, or other lean protein. Makes 4 side-dish servings or 2 main-dish servings.
THE REBELLIOUS RD
As a longtime promoter of healthy cooking and eating, Amy's focus is on plant-based eating, with a rebellious twist - that she and no one, needs to be perfect.