Prep: 15-20 mins (*Variable)
Assembly: ≤5 mins
Type: Main Meal
Tools: Sieve, roasting tin, kitchen foil, non-stick pot w/lid, chopping board, sharp knife, veggie peeler, colander, mixing bowl
Here’s a quick and delicious Friday filler! We promise we have a lot more involved and tasty goodies lined up for you next week!
Salads, salad bowls, or even ones known as ‘Budda or Goddess Bowls’ are wonderful and you don’t have to be a veggie (or on a ‘diet’!) to enjoy them either! Maybe it’s because they have evolved beyond a few pieces of iceberg lettuce and some other token salad veggies; yes exactly, because you can adapt them into any delicious shape or form!
Enjoyed in any season, they can have style, great nutritional substance and a good degree of satiety! They’re an example of another meal that can easily be adjusted to suit your own diet, budget, cooking skills or time and/or taste preferences! We think that they are indeed super (but not a ‘superfood’!), but we’ve previously shared our thoughts on this matter. A salad, simple or not, is what you make of it. Although they might not always look sexy, substance should always win over beauty; with the right planning, they can be nutritionally complete (even without expensive foodie ingredients) and enjoyed every day, well only if you like (but we can never have too many greens)!
This recipe is quite similar to one that we produced last year …
…but on this occasion we have excluded the pasta and kidney beans and used some hearty grains (pearl barley!) and a different variety of vegetables, including kale! After seeing that two of our local supermarkets were selling massive bags of shredded kale, it could only mean one thing- it’s still in season, but not for much longer! So we should all take advantage of this tasty vegetable. All hail the kale! 🙂
So feel free to ‘mass produce’ this salad, adapt its seasonality, flavour combinations, what’s left in your cupboards (you know those odd bits of mixed grains knocking about!) and/or to suit your purse strings! Really, feel free to adapt it as you see fit.
If you think this recipe could do with an upgrade, here are some additional adaptations (well don’t try them all at once!) that could also work quite well:
- A few pan toasted cashews, almonds or pine nuts or natural pumpkin seeds.
- Depending on your flavour combinations (or budget), some (pitted) kalamata olives would be ace!
- Some cooked beans! We’d recommend: soya, black, butter or broad beans.
- Dressing or dip recommendations: your favourite herby or fruit-based dressing, a whole grain mustard vinaigrette, a lemon and tahini sauce, a peanut and yoghurt-based sauce, a zesty orange and tahini dressing, a drizzle of pomegranate dressing (depending on the veggies you decide to use!), or a big fat dollop of our broad bean and spinach dip, our Homemade Sundried Tomato Houmous (or your favourite), or just a basic drizzle of olive oil and light seasoning of salt and pepper -as sometimes simplicity is best!
130-140g Dried pearl barley (or your favourite grain!), cooked
500-600g Vegetables (butternut squash, red, green + yellow bell peppers)
Rapeseed oil (or low-fat cooking oil spray)
Salt and Ground black pepper
2 Spring Onions
Fresh herbs (variable; we used flat leaf parsley)
1. Place the pearl parley into a large sieve. Rinse it under some running cold water. Transfer it into a non-stick pot. Fill the pot with cold water (about 3/4 full). Cover with a lid. Bring to a boil. Remove the lid and allow it to boil for 10 mins. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 25-30 mins or until tender. Drain it in the sieve. Allow to cool slightly.
2. In the meantime, heat the oven to 200ºC/400ºF. If required, line a roasting tin with some kitchen foil.
3. Prepare the vegetables. Peel the skin, trim the top and then remove the seeds from the squash with a sharp knife or spoon; chop it into ½-1″ cubes. Wash, remove the stem and core and then chop the bell peppers into 1cm pieces. Transfer the vegetables into the roasting tin. Drizzle over a little rapeseed oil (or spray them with some low-fat cooking oil). Season it with a little salt and a few grinds of black pepper. Toss to coat. Place the tin onto the middle oven shelf. Roast for about 35-40 mins or until the vegetables or lightly browned and tender; toss and stir halfway through cooking. Remove.
4. In the meantime. Wash the kale. If applicable slice (or shred) the kale into strips. Place the kale into a steamer pot with some water. Bring to a boil. Cook and simmer for 7-10 mins or until tender. Drain in a colander.
5. If applicable prepare your preferred dressing or dip. Wash, trim the ends and finely chop the spring onion. Wash, dry and then chop some herbs.
6. Place the cooked barley, roasted vegetables, kale, spring onion and herbs (if using) into a large mixing bowl. If applicable pour over your dressing or just season with a little salt, black pepper and fresh herbs to taste. Toss together and serve in a large serving bowl. Garnish with some toasted nuts, a dip or houmous (if using), or anything else that takes your fancy!
Tip: Refrigerate any leftovers in an air-tight and resealable container; consume within 3-4 days.
How do you like to enjoy your salads? 🙂