Barley is one of the crops that farmers love, due to its short growing season and hardy nature. We should love this nutty, wholesome grain too, since it is so good for us. Serve cajun-spiced barley with extra-lean beef sausages or lamb kebabs.
Source: Cook Smart for a Healthy Heart, Reader’s Digest Canada
Heat a heavy-based frying pan over medium heat. Add the pearl barley and toast, stirring constantly, for about 4 minutes or until the grains just start to brown and smell fragrant. Remove from the heat immediately, transfer to a shallow bowl and set aside.
Heat the oil in a heavy-based saucepan over medium heat. Add the white parts of the green onions, the celery, onion and green pepper, and sauté for about 5 minutes or until slightly softened, stirring occasionally.
Stir in the chili, garlic, cumin, thyme, peppercorns and cayenne pepper. Sauté for a further 5 minutes, stirring well.
Add the barley and stock. Bring to a boil, then cover, reduce the heat and simmer for 30–40 minutes or until the barley is tender and the liquid has been absorbed.
Stir in the lemon juice. Scatter cajun-spiced barley with the green onion tops and serve with the lemon wedges.
Per serving: 209 calories, 4 g protein, 11 g total fat, 2 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 23 g total carbohydrate, 5 g sugars, 5 g fibre, 547 mg sodium
Like oats, barley is rich in soluble fibre, the type of fibre that can bind the end-products of cholesterol metabolism and sweep them out of the body. When the outer bran and germ are removed to make pearl barley, there is some loss of vitamins, particularly thiamine.