Grain Bowls, Main Dish, Vegetarian

Barley & Winter Vegetables

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This barley & winter vegetable dish is so tasty and easy to make! I love eating vegetarian for majority of my meals but it’s nice when you have a  versitle recipe (like this one) that you can easily add meat to. 

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During the cooler months of the year it’s normal to crave something hearty and filling, but I hate feeling lethargic and bogged down after a heavy, calorie-dense meal. That’s why I used barley for the base of this dish- it fills you up without making you too stuffed! The barley is a great substitute for meat because of it’s chewy texture and it takes on the flavor of your seasonings and/or dressings.

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I consider this a winter dish because most of the vegetables used are either grown or survive through the colder months. I’m obsessed with butternut squash so that is a must in most of my recipes! To further contribute to the slightly sweet flavor I use red bell peppers, dried cranberries, and a balsamic-OJ dressing!

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Some people may worry that eating a plate full of vegetables won’t sustain their energy level throughout the day. This is where the barley saves the day with its protein, fiber-packed nutritional properties.  A guilt-free comfort meal that keeps you satisfied for hours, what more could one ask for?!

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Besides tha amazing flavors in this dish, I absolutely love the colors. We eat with our eyes and this most definitely looks like a delicious and colorful presentation! I ate this barley & winter vegetables meal as a main dinner meal, but it would be wonderful as a side or even tossed into a salad. It keeps for days so it makes meal prep super easy! 

Barley & Winter Vegetables
Serves 3
Slightly sweet, hearty, and yet very light- this barley & winter vegetable recipe has it all!
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Ingredients
  1. -1 cup dried barley
  2. -1/3 cup dried cranberries
  3. -2 cups kale (chopped)
  4. -1 red bell pepper (chopped)
  5. -2 cups butternut squash (cubed)
  6. -6 large brussels sprouts (sliced or quartered)
  7. For the dressing
  8. -3 Tbsp olive oil
  9. -3 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  10. -2 Tbsp orange juice
  11. -S & P to taste
  12. optional: red pepper flakes
Instructions
  1. Begin by preheating the oven to 425 degrees. Chop all vegetables and place them in a cooking dish, except the chopped kale. Drizzle olive oil over the vegetables and place them in oven. Let them cook for about 25 minutes or until the butternut squash is tender. Meanwhile cook your barley according to the package directions. While the barley and vegetables are cooking measure out your dressing and place chopped kale in a large mixing bowl. Once the barley and vegetables are ready, dump them ontop of the uncooked kale, this allows the leaves to soften without killing the nutritional value. Lastly pour the dressing on the mixture and add your dried cranberries. Toss till the ingredients are evenly mixed. Serve hot and enjoy!
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