We’ve recently started eating more barley during meal times and use it as a go to for most of the week. When I’m cooking the barley, the aroma that wafts out just makes your mouth water. Then you bite into the nutty flavor and it’s a home run for me. Plus, it’s really healthy so I don’t feel guilty about eating a little extra (as I tend to do). It’s high in dietary fiber, a good source of protein, it’s low in sodium, and is a really good grain to eat if you’re trying to lose weight.
This recipe was born of out sheer laziness. Nope. Not kidding. I had been running errands all day, doing what seems like an indefinite load of laundry for the girls, and just wasn’t in the mood to cook (a rare moment).
So, I started to putter around the kitchen feeling guilty about what to serve the family for dinner, feeling guilty that I wanted to pull something from the freezer, then unsatisfied with everything that I had because maybe, deep down, I knew I would figure something out.
I’ve also been obsessed with sweet potatoes lately. I’m not sure why… maybe it’s a slow developing discovery that I love them whether steamed, roasted or bbq’d? Anyways, of course then I decided I wanted to put the sweet potatoes and the barley together.
I figured on adding avocado because, who doesn’t add avocado to everything? But I was still missing one more thing. As I was getting started prepping, it hit me. Caramelized Onions! I discovered the joy of eating these a couple of Thanksgivings ago, and I keep wondering, what was I doing with my life?! Of course, since I was trying to keep this to a healthy dish, I used EVOO but it does taste so heavenly with butter. If you want to use butter, just swap out the EVOO for equal measurement of butter.
Little by little, I started putting this bowl together without having a real sense of direction and now, my husband wants it in the rotation weekly! Score for me!
I added a chimichurri dressing to this to give it a little pizzazz and some chia seeds at the end (originially for presentation but, hey! the added Omega 3, fiber, and protein helps).
Check out the recipe below, try it out and let me know what you think!
1 med red onion, diced
2-3 garlic cloves, minced
2-3 sprigs Rosemary
1 c pearl barley
4 c veggie broth (optional, 2 c broth & 2 c white wine)
1 large sweet potato, 1″ cubes
1 lg yellow onion, ½” slices
1 lg avocado, cubed
1 Tbsp Chia seeds
2 tsp paprika
salt to taste
pepper to taste
3 Tbsp EVOO
For the Chimichurri:
1 bunch cilantro
2 garlic cloves
2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
1 Tbsp lime juice
3 Tbsp EVOO
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp dried red chili flakes
Salt to taste
pepper to taste
1 serrano pepper (optional for more heat)
Preheat oven to 425ºF . Place sweet potato on baking sheet, add 1 Tbsp EVOO, salt, pepper and paprika. Mix well and bake for 25 minutes.
In a shallow pot, heat 1 Tbsp EVOO. Add onions and cook until they are browned. Add in the barley and cook until it’s golden red in color. Add in the garlic, rosemary, broth, salt and pepper. Mix well and bring to a boil. Once it reaches a boil, cover and cook on medium heat for 20-25 minutes. Turn off the heat and pick out the rosemary stems.
While the barley is cooking, in another pan, heat 1 Tbsp EVOO and add the yellow onions. add some salt to taste and mix well. Cover and cook for 20 minutes, while mixing the onions around every 5 minutes.
For the chimichurri, put all the ingredients in a small food processor or blender and blen everything until it becomes a smooth dressing.
Line a wide bowl with a cup of the cooked barley. Add in the sweet potatoes, caramelized onions, avocado, and chimichurri. Sprinkle some chia seeds on top and enjoy!