Thursday, April 16, 2009

Shrimp, Spinach & Mushroom Barley

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 Thoughts

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!


Kristina P. said...

I have had barley before, and I really like it. But I like whole grains like that. Looks great, as usual!

Jen said...

this sounds wonderful!

Liz (Loving Mom 2 Boys) said...

That sounds good - do you think it would do with chicken instead of shrimp?

Reeni♥ said...

I've never tried barley before, it looks like corn kernels, almost, or teeny pasta. I have been seeing it everywhere of late. This looks delicious! A nice one-dish comfort meal!

Carrie said...

Okay, I'm totally dying that this dish has shrimp in it!! HAHA

It looks delicious! On first glance, I thought it was Israeli couscous. I love barley in soup, so I'm sure I would love this dish!!

FROGGITY! said...

yum! i love couscous, and i like barley in small quantities, so why not as a main feature of the meal!? this looks like something hubby would LOVE! hope your week is going great!

Ronda said...

This looks really good and healthy, I'll try it. Still waiting to hear about your new job. Do you like it? Are you adjusting? Have a great day!!

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Angela said...

Hmmm.. I've made barley once before and I think I enjoyed it but hubs was not crazy about it. I may try this though - you've talked me into it!

Now, I'm off to make my menu and grocery list!

VeggieGirl said...

I love barley -- and so does my husband! This looks like an awesome recipe, I will definitely try it ASAP.

Pam said...

I really need to use barley more often - this look healthy and delicious!

angie said...

Yum. I love barley, but never cook with it.

Jerri - Simply Sweet Home said...

This looks very appetizing!

Elra said...

Absolutely delicious. I love barley and shrimps.

simpledaisy said...

Looks very yummy!! I love barley and i'm sure it's fabulous!

Life, Love And Lola said...

Yum! And Barley is so good for you!

OMG!!! You got one of those Japanese comments up there ^^^^!
Don't open it! DELETE!!

Pam said...

This is a dish my whole family would enjoy. I think I will substitute couscous though, since it is my favorite.
The kids complain about couscous, but since it has several ingredients they like, I will ignore them. : )

Lula! said...

I have never cooked with Barley--but this is so colorful and delicious looking.

Just added Barley to my grocery list.

wanto said...

Yummy, try this food

seafood supplier said...

Delicious food and great photo