Barley Bake

I have been sick for over a week and although my appetite is returning, I’m still not  feeling the meat products.  I found this recipe for a Baked Barley Casserole in Clean Eating Magazine.  It looked like the perfect dinner to have for the week.  The barley is a whole grain so it is healthy and filling, but easy on the stomach.  Just a heads up…I didn’t have the energy to go looking for leeks at the grocery store, so I just didn’t use one.  My casserole didn’t look as organized as the one in the picture, but it tastes great.  It reminded me of one the grain salads I love from Whole Foods.

I started by peeling and then cutting my butternut squash into cubes.

You can use any mushrooms, and I found these at the Whole Foods.  Saute mushrooms with salt and olive oil.

Add veggies and continue to stir.  I also used some extra celery since I had some around.

Add barley and garlic, stir to coat.  Then add chicken or veggie stock along with thyme.  I used dried spices since I didn’t have fresh thyme.

Transfer mixture into casserole dish.  I used my largest Pyrex.  Then cover with foil and bake 20-30 minutes until all the liquid is absorbed.

Add pumpkin seeds and cheese.  The recipe calls for goat cheese, but I had feta so I used that instead.  Return to oven for 10 minutes until seeds are toasted and cheese has melted.

Enjoy the casserole warm or cold.  It has fabulous flavor and the crunch of the seeds tastes great with the feta.  Yum!  Someone has already typed up the recipe on Spark People, so I am going to use that to save some time.

  

  

Baked Barley Casserole with Mushrooms and Squash

Ingredients

    1 tbsp plus 1 tsp olive oil, divided
    8 oz mixed wild mushrooms (shitake, oyster, cremini), sliced (about 3 1/2 cups)
    1/4 tsp sea salt
    1 cup butternut squash, peeled and cubed
    1/3 cup leeks, white and light green parts only
    1 stalk celery finely diced
    1 cup uncooked pearl barley
    1 clove garlic, minced
    3 1/2 cups low sodium chicken broth ( vegetable stock for vegetarian)
    2 tbsp parsley
    1 tbsp thyme leaves
    1/3 cup raw pumpkin seeds
    1 1/2 oz soft goat cheese , crumbled(I used feta)

Directions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a skillet or dutch oven, add mushrooms and salt and cook, stirring often, until mushrooms begin to release their moisture, about 2 minutes. Add squash, leeks, celery, and remaining 1 tsp olive oil, cook until everything is tender about 4 minutes. Add barley and garlic and stir until well coated and slightly toasted, about 1 minute. Add broth, parsley, and thyme and stir.
Transfer to an 11-cup casserole dish cover with foil and bake until barley is tender and liquid has been absorbed, about 35 minutes. Remove foil sprinkle with pumpkin seeds and cheese and return to oven uncovered for 10 minutes until seeds are toasted and cheese is softened.
Number of Servings: 6
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