Sunday, May 31, 2015

Summer Time Eats - Barley Salad

Once upon a time there was a girl who joined Weight Watchers and she was so committed and motivated she lost 50 pounds! Yay for her - a dream come true, for sure! Then One day the girl gave birth to her second child and was so happy she only had 11 pounds to lose - whoa! But she became content and started slipping into bad habits more and more, until seven years later she realized that 11 pounds would have been a hell of a lot easier to lose than... (hey, a girl has to keep some things a secret)!! 

If you haven't guessed already, yes, that's my story.  

A couple of weeks ago I started prioritizing. See, I have so many things I want to do - lose weight, finish my book, a thousand work projects at my day job, my kids day to day needs, clean out my basement, manage my garden. You get the drift, because I'm sure I'm not alone. Only, I'm not sure how everyone else deals with all the things life throws at them, but I apparently deal with it with my mouth full.

So, back to basics, resurrecting some of my favorite habits from my Weight Watcher days, and no better time than as we approach summer. I may not be a fan of summer (bathing suits, summer daycare costs, and the heat - need I say more?), but I am a fan of summer eats! Throwing on the barbeque, grilled corn, grilled veggies, fresh fruit, cold salads... oh, hold up... 

Anyone who knows me, knows I am not a salad person, but I do love making salads with various grains, particularly barley. Something about barely, more substantial than rice, a little bite to it, it's nutty flavor - yum!! I made one today and wanted to share - though I'm not one for precise measurements, but I think this is very forgiving. 

Barley, Cucumber and Tomato Salad

2 cups pearled barley, cooked 
2 tbls red wine vinegar 
salt & pepper to taste 
2 tbls olive oil

(You can do the above while the barley is warm, but wait till it cools before adding the rest.)

1/2 cucumber - small dice 
1/3 - 1/2 container grape tomatoes - small dice 
1/2 red onion - small chop 
small handful of parsley - chopped 
small handful of cilantro - chopped (Optional - I know it's a love it or leave it thing - I love it!)

Adjust salt & pepper as needed, or add a little bit more vinegar at a time (go slow with that).

One of my habits of old is making big batches of grains and freezing them. Like an entire bag of brown rice, or barley, then freeze 2 cups in ziplocks for separate servings anytime.

Anyway - looks yummy, right?  Hope you enjoy.