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  • Barley Pilaf with Mushrooms, Red Peppers, and Spinach

    How to make Barley Pilaf with Mushrooms, Red Peppers, and Spinach

    Yield: 12 (2/3 cup) servings


    4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
    1 large onion, chopped
    1 3/4 cups pearl barley
    1 garlic clove, minced
    1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
    4 cups low sodium vegetable or chicken broth
    12 ounces assorted mushrooms, wiped clean, trimmed, and sliced
    1 large red bell pepper, seeded and diced
    1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
    Freshly ground black pepper to taste
    4 cups fresh spinach leaves, chopped
    1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar


    Heat 2 teaspoons of the olive oil in a large heavy pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring often, until softened, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add the parley, garlic, and thyme, stirring until fragrant, about 30 to 60 seconds. Pour in broth and bring to a simmer. Cover and simmer over low heat until the barley is tender and the liquid has been absorbed, about 45 minutes.

    Meanwhile, heat the remaining 2 teaspoons of olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over high heat. Add the mushrooms and bell pepper and season with salt and pepper. Saute until just tender, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add spinach leaves and stir until they have just wilted, about 1 minute.

    Add vegetables to cooked barley and stir gently to mix. Season with vinegar and more salt and pepper if necessary. Pilaf will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.

    From The Essential Eating Well Cookbook

  • Stuffed Acorn Squash with Quinoa and Pistachios

    How to make Stuffed Acorn Squash with Quinoa and Pistachios

    Yield: 8 servings


    • 4 small acorn squash, halved and seeds removed
    • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
    • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
    • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed
    • 1/2 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
    • 1/2 cup feta, crumbled
    • 1/2 cup roasted, salted, pistachios, chopped
    • 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
    • pinch red pepper flakes


    Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Brush squash with 2 tablespoons olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast cut-side down on two baking sheets until tender and caramelized, 15-20 minutes.

    Meanwhile, bring quinoa and 2 cups water to a boil in a small pot. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, until tender and water is absorbed, about 15 minutes. Let cool, then fluff with a fork. In a large bowl combine quinoa, parsley, feta, pistachios, remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, and vinegar. Season with salt and red pepper flakes to taste. Divide filling among squash.

    From Whole Living November 2011

  • Healthy Breakfast Recipe: Greek Yogurt Parfait

    How to make Healthy Breakfast Recipe: Greek Yogurt Parfait

    Yield: 8 servings


    • 3-4  cups cooked grains (grano, barley, wheat berries, brown rice), from about 1 cup of uncooked grains
    • 1/2  cup orange blossom honey, more or less depending on your preference, divided
    • 1/4  teaspoon  kosher salt
    • 4  cups plain Greek-style yogurt
    • 2  cups fresh berries (such as blackberries, raspberries, blueberries, and sliced strawberries)


    1. Stir in half the honey and salt with the cooked grains. Stir in the other half with the yogurt.

    2. Layer equal spoonfuls of yogurt, grains, berries into 8 parfait or glass containers. Enjoy!

    Inspired by Cooking Light July 2010

  • Balsamic Chicken with Baby Spinach and Couscous

    How to make Balsamic Chicken with Baby Spinach and Couscous

    Yield: 4 servings


    • 1 tablespoon olive oil
    • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
    • 2 (8-ounce) boneless, skinless chicken breasts, halved
    • 8 ounces baby spinach
    • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
    • 1/3 cup low-sodium chicken broth
    • 1 cup low-sodium canned chopped tomatoes with juice
    • 2 cups whole wheat couscous, cooked


    Heat a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil and heat. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the chicken and cook about 4 minutes per side, or until cooked through and juices run clear. Remove the chicken and set aside. To the same pan, add the spinach and cook just until wilted, about 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from the pan and set aside. Lower the heat to medium and add the balsamic vinegar and chicken broth to the pan and stir, scraping the bottom of the pan to remove any browned bits. Add the tomatoes, bring to a simmer and cook 3 to 5 minutes.

    Place the couscous in a serving bowl. Top with the spinach, chicken and balsamic-tomato sauce.

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