Everyday Mom's Meals: Not Just For Soup

Friday, March 14, 2014

Not Just For Soup

When you buy an ingredient for a specific recipe are you more inclined to then safe the rest for the next time you make it, or do you try to find ways to use it up before it makes its way to the back of the pantry to be forgotten forever?

I will admit, I go either way, depending on what the ingredient is, how much of it I have leftover, and how difficult it is to find. I mean, if we really like the recipe, and I had to go to three different stores to find something, I'm saving the rest so I don't have to again. But if it is something that can easily be used in another application allowing me to get double the use out of it, then that means I'm saving money, which always makes me happy.

Thus was the case with the bag of barley I bought for a new soup recipe (it's coming your way next week). Barley. When I think of it, I think soups. I think most people would probably admit they do too. But actually, it's a wonderful grain that can be cooked many different ways, and is very good for you. It's a great source of fiber and vitamin B1, and magnesium. And personally, I think it's a great idea to swap out a rice or pasta dish now and again with it because the kids still get that chewy texture, but with whole grains instead.

So, I had this bag of barley I had only used a half cup out of for the soup; and I figured why not find something else I could do with it that would be new to us, but maybe remind us of something else we love. What better dish to achieve that than a pilaf? We love rice pilaf and I was confident this would be a great twist on a classic.

I love the fact this is baked. Any dish that can be cooking while I'm busy either doing other things, or working on other dishes makes me extra happy. This has a fantastic nutty, buttery flavor and the tender barley is really accented nicely by the crunch of the almonds and green onions.

If you're always on the hunt for new sides and/or ways to get more whole grains into your diet, this is a great way to do it! So easy, so yummy, it's sure to become a favorite in your house too!

Baked Barley Pilaf From Mel's Kitchen Cafe
1 c. pearl barley
3 1/2 c. chicken broth
1/2 c. sliced almonds
1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 TBS butter
Salt and Pepper to taste
2 green onions, chopped, for garnish

Preheat oven to 375. In a large skillet, melt butter. Add onions, garlic, barley and almonds.Season with salt and pepper. Saute, stirring often, for about 7-10 minutes until onions are tender and barley has a golden color. Transfer to a 3 quart casserole dish. Add chicken broth. Stir well. Bake, uncovered, for 60-80 minutes until liquid is absorbed and barley is tender. Fluff with a fork. Garnish with green onions before serving.

Shared on The Country Cook Mar. 14, 2014

Barley at Very Good Recipes

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