One of my favorite childhood memories is sprouting lentils, pinto and garbanzo beans at home for science class. It was so fun to watch the lentils sprout to 2-3″ in just a handful of days. Beans take a little longer, but not much.
Aren’t they adorable?
Add sprouts to salads or sandwiches for a delightfully different wholesome crunch.
Barley was on my mind tonight. J decided to go get Chinese for the kids, so I made Brown Basmati rice for them, and a Barley pilaf for myself. (Brown rice does not have enough fiber for our Good Carb test.) I asked the restaurant to simply steam a fish filet and some Bok Choy for me, and to add a small container of chili paste.
I had fresh mushrooms and a bowl of chopped leeks in the fridge, so I decided to enliven the barley with these delightful ingredients.
After I concocted this dish, I realized that it packs ONE BIG PUNCH of healthy goodness.
It is believed that the benefits of eating barley, oats and other whole grains are related to their beta-glucan content.
Beta-glucans are found in the bran of oats and barley, and to a lesser extent in rye and wheat. They can also be found in certain varieties of mushrooms! So this meal gives you a double dose of happy heart food from both the beta-glucan content as well as the fiber!
NOTE: If you are gluten intolerant, you need to avoid barley. But if it’s wheat you’re allergic to or avoiding, this is a wonderful grain to cook with.
- 1/2 c. chopped organic Mushroom, choose your favorite (Shiitake, Maitake, Button, Portobello..)
- 1/4 c. chopped organic Leeks
- 1-1/2 c. organic Barley, rinsed
- 3 c. freshly brewed Green Tea, while hot (or vegetable broth)
- 1 tsp. Sea Salt
- 1/4 tsp. Black Pepper
- 1 oz. organic, Grass-Fed Butter (use coconut or olive oil for Vegan version)
Place mushrooms and leeks in a 1.5 quart pot over medium heat, and let cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. It’s ok if the mushrooms stick a little.
Add rinsed barley and stir together.
Add hot water and remaining ingredients. Stir, cover and simmer until barley is done, about 20 minutes. Adjust seasoning to taste. Scoop into a bowl and serve warm.
I like to sprinkle a little cinnamon on top, or chopped toasted almonds… or both!
~ Sahtein (double health) ♥