In order to have the right mindset for my first week back to work, I have made sure to take extra care of myself this week ~ getting at least 8 hours of sleep, drinking a lot of water, exercising and, of course, eating right. I made this dish on Sunday & it has instantly become one of my most favorite Not So Fat Friday recipes ever! I enjoyed it for lunch for 3 days after, even cold, & it was simply delicious.
If you've never cooked with barley before, I highly recommend it. It's a cereal grain & is similar to rice & couscous in the way you cook it. While pearled barley is the least nutritious of the barleys, it's still excellent for you. I may look for hulled barley next time which is even healthier, just not as tasty as the pearled.
Either way, this is a dish I will be making again. This weekend in fact!
1 cup dry pearled barley
3 1/2 cups low sodium vegetable broth
3-4 shallots, chopped
2 cups mushrooms, chopped
1 tblsp olive oil
4 cups baby spinach
1/2 lb peeled, cooked shrimp
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1/4 cup fresh sage, torn
Sea salt, to taste
In a medium pot on high heat bring both barley & broth to a boil. Cover & let simmer on low to medium heat, so liquid doesn't boil over. Set timer & cook for 50 minutes.
In a non stock skillet, saute shallots & mushrooms in oil for 5 minutes over medium high heat. Add spinach & lightly saute for about 3 minutes, until wilted.
At 50 minutes check on barley. When there is no more remaining broth, add shrimp & pepper to barley. Cook for 1 minute. Add shallot-mushroom mixture, sage & salt to barley. Stir & cook for 3 minutes.
My shrimp weren't cooked so I just sauteed them quickly for only 3 minutes in a separate pan. Or you could just add them last to the same pan with the mushrooms & shallots. Just don't overcook. Dried sage worked beautifully & I would do it again. Use about 4 tsps of dried. It really adds a nice flavor. I also threw in an extra cup of spinach to make a total of 5 cups.
This can be enjoyed cold or warmed up. Keeps for 4-5 days in fridge or 6 months in freezer.
Have a great weekend everyone. I can't wait to make my rounds to see how your week was!