Yikes, I was doing a little inventory of my pantry and I found 4 boxes of barley! 2 quick cook and 2 pearled…if there is ever a barley emergency, I am go to go. 😀 I do this quite often, I think I don’t have something, so I buy it then come home to find I already have it. Oh, it has also happened that I won’t buy something because I’m positive I have it. Does this ever happen to you ? I attribute this to the fact that we recently moved. In my minds eye, I still see my old pantry and how it was stocked. I’m really good at remembering what is placed where, but ever since we’ve moved I get everything mixed up. It’s definitely frustrating, aside from time I just can’t think of any way to keep things straight.
Back to barley …I’ve written about this yummy grain once before. I use it in my Vegetarian Chili, which I love. Barley is a cereal grain that looks like wheat but has a chewy texture, similar to pasta. Barley is a great source of dietary fiber, it contains both soluble and insoluble fiber. The fiber and beta-glucans (a type of soluble fiber) in barley have been shown to lower cholesterol and slow glucose absorption. Barley is also a good source of niacin, which helps protect against cardiovascular risk factors. Niacin is a B vitamin, that also helps the body convert carbohydrates into usable energy.
(1 cup cooked)
- Calories 193
- Protein 3.55 g
- Dietary Fiber 6 g
- Potassium 146 mg
- Magnesium 35 mg
- Phosphorus 85 mg
Asparagus is part of the same family as garlic, leeks and onions. Asparagus is a great source iron, potassium, and is one of the highest sources of folate next to orange juice. It is also packed with phytonutrients like saponins, and antioxidants such as flavonoids. Saponins have anti-inflammatory properties, and consuming saponins may improve blood pressure, insulin and cholesterol levels. The tips of asparagus contain glutathione, a protein that functions as an antioxidant in the body to detoxify, defend against cell damaging free radicals, and boost immune cells.
(1 Cup, raw)
- Calories 27
- Calcium 32 mg
- Potassium 271 mg
- Vitamin A 1013 IU
- Vitamin K 56 µg
- Folate 70 µg
Chicken and Asparagus with Barley
3/4 cup Pearled Barley
4 cups Vegetable Broth
1 Tbsp Olive oil
1 lb Chicken Breast, sliced thin
1 Garlic Clove, minced
1/2 tsp Paprika
10-15 turns Italian Herb Grinder or 1/4 tsp Italian seasoning
1 lb Asparagus, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 cup Mushrooms, sliced
Cook barley according to directions provided, but substitute vegetable broth for water and omit the salt.
Thinly sliced chicken breast, season with paprika and herb seasoning.
Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Once oil is heated add chicken and sauté until browned. Add garlic and cook until fragrant.
Push chicken to side of pan. Add mushrooms and asparagus to pan and cook until asparagus are tender. Season to taste.
To serve place 1/2 cup barley on plate and top with chicken, asparagus and mushrooms.
Using the vegetable broth to cook the barley produced a creamy barley with lots of flavor. I use the McCormick spice grinder in this recipe., I like how it adds a little spice and lots of flavor to the chicken. I’ve made this same dish without the chicken, I just added more mushrooms and asparagus and it is as tasty and filling. 😀