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Greek Quinoa Salad

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

We love Greek salad so I thought I would try a new twist with that huge bag of quinoa I still have. This salad turned out very light and very good. It was great topped with grilled chicken. Enjoy!

Greek Quinoa Salad
1 1/2 cups organic quinoa
3/4 cups organic low sodium chicken broth
1/3 cup organic lemon juice
1 T organic extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp garlic powder
1 heaping teaspoon corn starch
1/3 cup flat leaf parsley, chopped fine
6 oz. organic feta cheese, crumbled
3 organic vine ripe tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1/2 large organic red onion, sliced thin
1 large cucumber, peeled, seeded and chopped

Rinse quinoa in a fine strainer for a few minutes. Add 3 1/2 cups of water and the quinoa to a sauce pan. Cook for about 20 minutes until quinoa is cooked through. Rinse quinoa in cold water to cool it off. Drain well by pushing quinoa into the strainer to drain excess water. Set aside.

In a small sauce pan, combine lemon juice, chicken broth, olive oil, corn starch, salt, pepper and garlic powder. Heat until corn starch is blended. Take off stove and set aside to cool.

In a large bowl combine tomatoes, parsley, onion, tomato, cucumber and feta cheese. Once quinoa is cooled, add it to the bowl. Toss well. Pour cooled lemon dressing over top and toss to combine. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste.

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Beef and Lentil Chili

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

My husband loves chili and his favorite recipe is Rachel Ray's Uptown Down Home Chili from www.foodtv.com. I was going to make it but didn't quite have everything so I made a few subtle changes. It was a success and a little healthier too!


Beef & Lentil Chili - adapted from Rachel Ray's Uptown Down Home Chili
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 pound organic ground beef
1 package Trader Joe's cooked lentils
2 tablespoons steak seasoning blend
1 package organic white button mushrooms, sliced
1 organic large onion, diced
5 ribs organic celery, diced
1 large organic red bell pepper, diced
8 cloves organic garlic, minced
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 canned chipotle peppers in adobo, chopped, with their juice
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 bottle of beer
1 (15 ounce) can Eden Organics black beans, rinsed and drained
1 24 oz. carton Pomi tomatoes
1 cup organic chicken or beef broth (low sodium)
2 tsp. dried thyme
1 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. salt

Heat a deep, large skillet or a pot over high heat. Add 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil and the meat. Add in steak seasoning blend and brown the meat as you crumble it. Set meat aside in a bowl. In the same pot, add the rest of the EVOO and add the mushrooms, onion, garlic and red pepper. Cook for about 5 minutes until the veggies soften. Add the meat back to the pot. Open the lentils and crumble them into the pot. Season with Worcestershire sauce, chipotle in adobo, cumin, salt, pepper and thyme. Add in beer and deglaze the pot and reduce the beer in half. Add the black beans, tomatoes and stock. Mix well and let simmer for 20-30 minutes. I like to top it with Trader Joe's gruyere and cheddar hormone free cheese and Fage Fat Free Greek Yogurt. This freezes well so it's a good idea to make extra and freeze it for another time. Enjoy!

Read more...

Quinoa Broccoli and Cheese Casserole

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

I still need to make a dent in that huge bag of organic quinoa I bought at Costco so I have come up with another recipe for tonight. I know my son likes broccoli and it is certainly good for him so I looked around and found some recipes for inspiration and then made my alterations. This is what I came up with. It came out very light and fluffy. My husband and son liked it and had seconds. I think next time I will add a little more of the spices. The mustard gave it a little zing and tangyness which was nice. I will definately make this again because I always have the ingredients on hand.




Quinoa Broccoli and Cheese Casserole


1 1/2 cups organic quinoa


3 cups water


1 organic onion - chopped fine


3 cloves organic garlic - minced


Organic extra virgin olive oil


1 cup Trader Joe's Greyere/Chedder cheese grated (this is a hormone free cheese)


1 cup organic low sodium chicken broth


2/3 cup Fage Fat Free Greek Yogurt


1/2 tsp. paprika


1/2 tsp. salt


1/2 tsp. black pepper


1 1/2 tsp. organic yellow mustard


1 16 oz package Trader Joe's organic frozen broccoli florets


1/4 cup hormone free or organic grated Parmesan cheese





Preheat oven to 375 degrees.





Rinse quinoa in a fine strainer for several minutes. Put the water in quinoa in a pot and get it boiling. Lower it to a medium heat and continue cooking for about 15 minutes until quinoa is cooked through and most of the water is absorbed.





While quinoa is cooking, drizzle some EVOO in a medium skillet. Add in onion and garlic and cook over medium heat until onions are translucent (about 5 minutes). Set onions aside.





In a large bowl combine cheddar/greyere cheese, yogurt, chicken broth, salt, pepper, paprika and mustard. Mix well. Add onion/garlic mixture and frozen broccoli and combine. Once quinoa is done cooking, add it to the bowl and mix well.





Spray or drizzle EVOO in a large casserole dish. Pour quinoa mixture into casserole dish. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and drizzle a little EVOO on top. Cover and bake 30 minutes. Remove lid and bake 5-10 more minutes.

Read more...

Vegetarian Mexian Casserole

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

We love Mexican food in our house so when I didn't have all the ingredients for an enchilada recipe I planned to make, I had to come up with something else quick. I just took the ingredients I did have and combined them into a casserole. I was nervous because sometimes when you just "wing it" it can be a not so plesant experience! I was pleasantly surprised this time and so was my family!

This casserole came out really good! The bonus is that it was also vegetarian and I do keep a lot of these ingredients on hand regularly so it would be real easy to make in a pinch. I know it was a hit with my boys as they both went back for seconds. I served it with chips, fat free Greek yogurt and guacamole.

Vegetarian Mexican Casserole

1 can organic black beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup organic frozen corn
1 packet of Trader Joe's Organic Frozen Brown Rice (or about 1 1/2 cups cooked brown rice)
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 large green or red pepper, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup organic fat free Greek Yogurt
1 chipotle pepper, diced fine
1 cup fresh salsa
1 tsp dried cilantro
1 cup organic cheddar or monterey jack cheese, shredded
olive oil

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a medium skillet, heat a little olive oil then saute garlic, onion and green/red pepper until veggies are soft.

Lightly spray a large casserole dish with olive oil. Spread frozen rice over bottom of casserole dish. Spread frozen corn over top. Add sauted onions, garlic and green/red pepper.

In a small bowl, mix yogurt and chipotle pepper and set aside. In a larger bowl, combine beans, salsa and cilantro. Once combined, mix in the yogurt mixture. Spread mixture over onion/pepper mixture in casserole dish. Top with the cheese. Bake covered for 30-40 minutes (until heated through and bubbling).

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Pumpkin Spice Muffins

I always bake healthy banana muffins for my family and was looking for a new muffin to make. I still wanted to keep it healthy so I thought I would try pumpkin. I took the same basic recipe I always make and just varied it a bit with pumpkin and different spices. The muffins came out super light and moist. My family has been gobbling them up so I guess I better make more next time and freeze them!


Pumpkin Spice Muffins


1 17 oz carton of Pacific Natural Foods Organic Pumpkin Puree


1/2 cup organic honey


1/2 cup organic unsweetened applesauce


2 tsp vanilla extract


2 organic eggs


1 cup organic oats - processed in food processor fine


1 cup organic buckwheat flour


1 tsp baking powder


1 tsp baking soda


1 tsp salt


2 T cinnamon


1 tsp allspice


Preheat oven to 350. Lightly oil muffin pan (I use my Misto with some organic extra virgin olive oil).


Combine all dry ingredients in a small bowl. Combine all wet ingredients in a large bowl. Stir the dry ingredients into the bowl with the wet ingredients. Mix with a spoon until all is combined well. Spoon mixture into muffin pan filling each cup about 2/3 full. Bake for 25-30 minutes (until toothpick comes out clean). My recipe made 15 muffins.





Read more...

Quinoa Patties

A while back I bought a five pound bag of organic quinoa and kept thinking I would get around to doing something with it. Well, maybe I should have made that a New Year resolution and then at least I could check one thing off my list! I finally selected a recipe to try so I could start making a dent in that huge bag of quinoa.

I always have to keep my five year old son in mind when I look at recipes and try to find something that I think he will like. I know he loves burgers of any kind so the idea of the quinoa patty sounded safe. I came accross this recipe for Quinoa Patties on www.cookingquinoa.net and thought I would try it out. I am glad I did!

My son and husband both loved this recipe! Each of them ate at least three patties (I made mine larger than the recipe did). In fact the recipe made quite a bit, so we had tons of leftovers. My son asked for them for lunch the next day, which means this recipe was a success in my house!

I really enjoyed these too. The patties were very light. I served them with a nice salad and vegetable. It really got me thinking of ways to vary this recipe with different spices and fresh herbs. I am definately going to make these again and use the basic recipe to create some new versions. I do think they needed to be served with some type of a topping or sauce though. I am going to give that some more thought for next time.

Quinoa Patties

2 1/2 cups cooked quinoa
4 large eggs, beaten
1/2 tsp sea salt
2/3 cup fresh chives, chopped
1 yellow onion, chopped fine
1/3 cup fresh Parmesan, grated
6 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
1 cup whole grain breadcrumbs (or gluten free bread crumbs)
1 T extra virgin olive oil

In a medium bowl combine quinoa, eggs, and salt. Stir in garlic, chives, onion, cheese and cayenne pepper. Add breadcrumbs and allow to sit for a couple of minutes.
Form into 1 inch patties. The mixture should be very moist. You may need to add water or extra breadcrumbs to moisten or make the mixture dryer.
Place a large skillet over medium low heat. Heat olive oil. Add as many patties as your skillet can handle, being careful not to overload it so that you have trouble flipping the quinoa patties.
Cover and cook for 8 to 10 minutes. If after 10 minutes your patties aren’t brown turn the heat up and cook (carefully to avoid burning) until they brown. Flip and cook for 7 more minutes on the other side.
Allow to cool on a wire rack.

My notes: The only changes I made to the recipe was to use 1/2 cup of bread crumbs and 1 slice of organic spelt bread crumbled up fine. I did add a little black pepper, dried oregano and dried basil into the mixture. I also had to use a little more olive oil to fry all of these. Every time I added a new batch to the pan, I would have to add a little more olive oil. I made the patties larger. I used a 1/4 cup measuring cup and formed a patty in the cup and then just flipped it out over the pan and slightly flattened the patty with my spatula. That way the patties were all the same size and thickness. I did also serve these with a little bit of organic fat free Greek yogurt. We thought they needed a little sauce or topping of some kind. I am going to get more creative with that next time!

Read more...

Baked Barley with Shitake Mushrooms and Carmelized Onions

I am trying to incorporate more vegetarian meals into my menu plan for the week so when I came accross this recipe on www.cookinglight.com I wanted to give it a try. I have never cooked with barley before but have eaten it before and liked it. My husband loves mushrooms so I decided to give this recipe a try. I was worried about my five year old son with this recipe as he does not like mushrooms at all, so I had some leftovers as a back up for him just in case.

The recipe was easy and once you got it in the oven it baked for an hour giving me time to clean up the kitchen. I enjoyed the recipe but think I would add a little more spices to it. The only changes I did make when I used it was instead of a teaspoon of sugar, I used some balasamic vinegar and just a pinch of sugar. I also sauted a few cloves of minced garlic with the onions. I also topped it with fresh chopped parsley.

Overall, we enjoyed the recipe (except for my son!). My husband liked it and thought it would also make an excellent side dish with chicken or steak. It made a lot so if you do choose to make it as a side dish, make less. I froze the leftovers and plan to reheat it on the stove with a little more vegetable broth so it does not dry out. I will definately make this one again.

Baked Barley with Shitake Mushrooms and Carmelized Onions
2 tablespoons butter
4 1/2 cups chopped onion (about 3 medium)
1 teaspoon sugar
3 cups sliced button mushrooms (about 9 ounces)
3 cups sliced shiitake mushroom caps (about 8 ounces)
1 1/2 cups uncooked pearl barley
1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon dried thyme
4 cups vegetable broth
Fresh thyme sprigs (optional)

Preparation
1. Melt butter in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion and sugar; cover and cook 25 minutes or until golden brown, stirring frequently. Add mushrooms; cook 10 minutes or until browned, stirring frequently. Add barley; cook 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from heat. Stir in soy sauce, salt, pepper, and thyme.
2. Preheat oven to 350°.
3. Bring broth to a boil in a medium saucepan. Pour broth over barley mixture; cover and bake at 350° for 1 hour or until barley is tender. Let stand 10 minutes. Garnish with thyme sprigs, if desired.

Read more...

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Greek Quinoa Salad

We love Greek salad so I thought I would try a new twist with that huge bag of quinoa I still have. This salad turned out very light and very good. It was great topped with grilled chicken. Enjoy!

Greek Quinoa Salad
1 1/2 cups organic quinoa
3/4 cups organic low sodium chicken broth
1/3 cup organic lemon juice
1 T organic extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp garlic powder
1 heaping teaspoon corn starch
1/3 cup flat leaf parsley, chopped fine
6 oz. organic feta cheese, crumbled
3 organic vine ripe tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1/2 large organic red onion, sliced thin
1 large cucumber, peeled, seeded and chopped

Rinse quinoa in a fine strainer for a few minutes. Add 3 1/2 cups of water and the quinoa to a sauce pan. Cook for about 20 minutes until quinoa is cooked through. Rinse quinoa in cold water to cool it off. Drain well by pushing quinoa into the strainer to drain excess water. Set aside.

In a small sauce pan, combine lemon juice, chicken broth, olive oil, corn starch, salt, pepper and garlic powder. Heat until corn starch is blended. Take off stove and set aside to cool.

In a large bowl combine tomatoes, parsley, onion, tomato, cucumber and feta cheese. Once quinoa is cooled, add it to the bowl. Toss well. Pour cooled lemon dressing over top and toss to combine. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Beef and Lentil Chili

My husband loves chili and his favorite recipe is Rachel Ray's Uptown Down Home Chili from www.foodtv.com. I was going to make it but didn't quite have everything so I made a few subtle changes. It was a success and a little healthier too!


Beef & Lentil Chili - adapted from Rachel Ray's Uptown Down Home Chili
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 pound organic ground beef
1 package Trader Joe's cooked lentils
2 tablespoons steak seasoning blend
1 package organic white button mushrooms, sliced
1 organic large onion, diced
5 ribs organic celery, diced
1 large organic red bell pepper, diced
8 cloves organic garlic, minced
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 canned chipotle peppers in adobo, chopped, with their juice
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 bottle of beer
1 (15 ounce) can Eden Organics black beans, rinsed and drained
1 24 oz. carton Pomi tomatoes
1 cup organic chicken or beef broth (low sodium)
2 tsp. dried thyme
1 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. salt

Heat a deep, large skillet or a pot over high heat. Add 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil and the meat. Add in steak seasoning blend and brown the meat as you crumble it. Set meat aside in a bowl. In the same pot, add the rest of the EVOO and add the mushrooms, onion, garlic and red pepper. Cook for about 5 minutes until the veggies soften. Add the meat back to the pot. Open the lentils and crumble them into the pot. Season with Worcestershire sauce, chipotle in adobo, cumin, salt, pepper and thyme. Add in beer and deglaze the pot and reduce the beer in half. Add the black beans, tomatoes and stock. Mix well and let simmer for 20-30 minutes. I like to top it with Trader Joe's gruyere and cheddar hormone free cheese and Fage Fat Free Greek Yogurt. This freezes well so it's a good idea to make extra and freeze it for another time. Enjoy!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Quinoa Broccoli and Cheese Casserole

I still need to make a dent in that huge bag of organic quinoa I bought at Costco so I have come up with another recipe for tonight. I know my son likes broccoli and it is certainly good for him so I looked around and found some recipes for inspiration and then made my alterations. This is what I came up with. It came out very light and fluffy. My husband and son liked it and had seconds. I think next time I will add a little more of the spices. The mustard gave it a little zing and tangyness which was nice. I will definately make this again because I always have the ingredients on hand.




Quinoa Broccoli and Cheese Casserole


1 1/2 cups organic quinoa


3 cups water


1 organic onion - chopped fine


3 cloves organic garlic - minced


Organic extra virgin olive oil


1 cup Trader Joe's Greyere/Chedder cheese grated (this is a hormone free cheese)


1 cup organic low sodium chicken broth


2/3 cup Fage Fat Free Greek Yogurt


1/2 tsp. paprika


1/2 tsp. salt


1/2 tsp. black pepper


1 1/2 tsp. organic yellow mustard


1 16 oz package Trader Joe's organic frozen broccoli florets


1/4 cup hormone free or organic grated Parmesan cheese





Preheat oven to 375 degrees.





Rinse quinoa in a fine strainer for several minutes. Put the water in quinoa in a pot and get it boiling. Lower it to a medium heat and continue cooking for about 15 minutes until quinoa is cooked through and most of the water is absorbed.





While quinoa is cooking, drizzle some EVOO in a medium skillet. Add in onion and garlic and cook over medium heat until onions are translucent (about 5 minutes). Set onions aside.





In a large bowl combine cheddar/greyere cheese, yogurt, chicken broth, salt, pepper, paprika and mustard. Mix well. Add onion/garlic mixture and frozen broccoli and combine. Once quinoa is done cooking, add it to the bowl and mix well.





Spray or drizzle EVOO in a large casserole dish. Pour quinoa mixture into casserole dish. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and drizzle a little EVOO on top. Cover and bake 30 minutes. Remove lid and bake 5-10 more minutes.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Vegetarian Mexian Casserole

We love Mexican food in our house so when I didn't have all the ingredients for an enchilada recipe I planned to make, I had to come up with something else quick. I just took the ingredients I did have and combined them into a casserole. I was nervous because sometimes when you just "wing it" it can be a not so plesant experience! I was pleasantly surprised this time and so was my family!

This casserole came out really good! The bonus is that it was also vegetarian and I do keep a lot of these ingredients on hand regularly so it would be real easy to make in a pinch. I know it was a hit with my boys as they both went back for seconds. I served it with chips, fat free Greek yogurt and guacamole.

Vegetarian Mexican Casserole

1 can organic black beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup organic frozen corn
1 packet of Trader Joe's Organic Frozen Brown Rice (or about 1 1/2 cups cooked brown rice)
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 large green or red pepper, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup organic fat free Greek Yogurt
1 chipotle pepper, diced fine
1 cup fresh salsa
1 tsp dried cilantro
1 cup organic cheddar or monterey jack cheese, shredded
olive oil

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a medium skillet, heat a little olive oil then saute garlic, onion and green/red pepper until veggies are soft.

Lightly spray a large casserole dish with olive oil. Spread frozen rice over bottom of casserole dish. Spread frozen corn over top. Add sauted onions, garlic and green/red pepper.

In a small bowl, mix yogurt and chipotle pepper and set aside. In a larger bowl, combine beans, salsa and cilantro. Once combined, mix in the yogurt mixture. Spread mixture over onion/pepper mixture in casserole dish. Top with the cheese. Bake covered for 30-40 minutes (until heated through and bubbling).

Pumpkin Spice Muffins

I always bake healthy banana muffins for my family and was looking for a new muffin to make. I still wanted to keep it healthy so I thought I would try pumpkin. I took the same basic recipe I always make and just varied it a bit with pumpkin and different spices. The muffins came out super light and moist. My family has been gobbling them up so I guess I better make more next time and freeze them!


Pumpkin Spice Muffins


1 17 oz carton of Pacific Natural Foods Organic Pumpkin Puree


1/2 cup organic honey


1/2 cup organic unsweetened applesauce


2 tsp vanilla extract


2 organic eggs


1 cup organic oats - processed in food processor fine


1 cup organic buckwheat flour


1 tsp baking powder


1 tsp baking soda


1 tsp salt


2 T cinnamon


1 tsp allspice


Preheat oven to 350. Lightly oil muffin pan (I use my Misto with some organic extra virgin olive oil).


Combine all dry ingredients in a small bowl. Combine all wet ingredients in a large bowl. Stir the dry ingredients into the bowl with the wet ingredients. Mix with a spoon until all is combined well. Spoon mixture into muffin pan filling each cup about 2/3 full. Bake for 25-30 minutes (until toothpick comes out clean). My recipe made 15 muffins.





Quinoa Patties

A while back I bought a five pound bag of organic quinoa and kept thinking I would get around to doing something with it. Well, maybe I should have made that a New Year resolution and then at least I could check one thing off my list! I finally selected a recipe to try so I could start making a dent in that huge bag of quinoa.

I always have to keep my five year old son in mind when I look at recipes and try to find something that I think he will like. I know he loves burgers of any kind so the idea of the quinoa patty sounded safe. I came accross this recipe for Quinoa Patties on www.cookingquinoa.net and thought I would try it out. I am glad I did!

My son and husband both loved this recipe! Each of them ate at least three patties (I made mine larger than the recipe did). In fact the recipe made quite a bit, so we had tons of leftovers. My son asked for them for lunch the next day, which means this recipe was a success in my house!

I really enjoyed these too. The patties were very light. I served them with a nice salad and vegetable. It really got me thinking of ways to vary this recipe with different spices and fresh herbs. I am definately going to make these again and use the basic recipe to create some new versions. I do think they needed to be served with some type of a topping or sauce though. I am going to give that some more thought for next time.

Quinoa Patties

2 1/2 cups cooked quinoa
4 large eggs, beaten
1/2 tsp sea salt
2/3 cup fresh chives, chopped
1 yellow onion, chopped fine
1/3 cup fresh Parmesan, grated
6 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
1 cup whole grain breadcrumbs (or gluten free bread crumbs)
1 T extra virgin olive oil

In a medium bowl combine quinoa, eggs, and salt. Stir in garlic, chives, onion, cheese and cayenne pepper. Add breadcrumbs and allow to sit for a couple of minutes.
Form into 1 inch patties. The mixture should be very moist. You may need to add water or extra breadcrumbs to moisten or make the mixture dryer.
Place a large skillet over medium low heat. Heat olive oil. Add as many patties as your skillet can handle, being careful not to overload it so that you have trouble flipping the quinoa patties.
Cover and cook for 8 to 10 minutes. If after 10 minutes your patties aren’t brown turn the heat up and cook (carefully to avoid burning) until they brown. Flip and cook for 7 more minutes on the other side.
Allow to cool on a wire rack.

My notes: The only changes I made to the recipe was to use 1/2 cup of bread crumbs and 1 slice of organic spelt bread crumbled up fine. I did add a little black pepper, dried oregano and dried basil into the mixture. I also had to use a little more olive oil to fry all of these. Every time I added a new batch to the pan, I would have to add a little more olive oil. I made the patties larger. I used a 1/4 cup measuring cup and formed a patty in the cup and then just flipped it out over the pan and slightly flattened the patty with my spatula. That way the patties were all the same size and thickness. I did also serve these with a little bit of organic fat free Greek yogurt. We thought they needed a little sauce or topping of some kind. I am going to get more creative with that next time!

Baked Barley with Shitake Mushrooms and Carmelized Onions

I am trying to incorporate more vegetarian meals into my menu plan for the week so when I came accross this recipe on www.cookinglight.com I wanted to give it a try. I have never cooked with barley before but have eaten it before and liked it. My husband loves mushrooms so I decided to give this recipe a try. I was worried about my five year old son with this recipe as he does not like mushrooms at all, so I had some leftovers as a back up for him just in case.

The recipe was easy and once you got it in the oven it baked for an hour giving me time to clean up the kitchen. I enjoyed the recipe but think I would add a little more spices to it. The only changes I did make when I used it was instead of a teaspoon of sugar, I used some balasamic vinegar and just a pinch of sugar. I also sauted a few cloves of minced garlic with the onions. I also topped it with fresh chopped parsley.

Overall, we enjoyed the recipe (except for my son!). My husband liked it and thought it would also make an excellent side dish with chicken or steak. It made a lot so if you do choose to make it as a side dish, make less. I froze the leftovers and plan to reheat it on the stove with a little more vegetable broth so it does not dry out. I will definately make this one again.

Baked Barley with Shitake Mushrooms and Carmelized Onions
2 tablespoons butter
4 1/2 cups chopped onion (about 3 medium)
1 teaspoon sugar
3 cups sliced button mushrooms (about 9 ounces)
3 cups sliced shiitake mushroom caps (about 8 ounces)
1 1/2 cups uncooked pearl barley
1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon dried thyme
4 cups vegetable broth
Fresh thyme sprigs (optional)

Preparation
1. Melt butter in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion and sugar; cover and cook 25 minutes or until golden brown, stirring frequently. Add mushrooms; cook 10 minutes or until browned, stirring frequently. Add barley; cook 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from heat. Stir in soy sauce, salt, pepper, and thyme.
2. Preheat oven to 350°.
3. Bring broth to a boil in a medium saucepan. Pour broth over barley mixture; cover and bake at 350° for 1 hour or until barley is tender. Let stand 10 minutes. Garnish with thyme sprigs, if desired.

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