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Barely Caper Cuddles Salad


Up until recently, I wouldn’t have had an answer for you either. Barley salad? Who on earth eats pearl barley other than my grandmother? She actually never really made it into a salad. She usually added it to her vegetable soups and I stopped eating those after she inadvertently poisoned me with MSG.

Yes, barley has been in my life a little bit of late, ever since the man-panion accidentally ordered a 25kg bag of the stuff. I am new to the world of barley as it is a gluten-containing grain and I tend to stay away from them as much as I can. Now, gluten from a whole grain such as this has absolutely no effect on my health at this point. Kind of amazing considering that at one point, rice was the only grain I seemed able to tolerate. Oh this body… it sure can heal.

So if you are sensitive to gluten- you can totally make this with whatever grain suits your fancy. Most often in the store, you’ll find pearl barley, which means the outer hull/husk has been removed. This makes it quicker to cook, but will have far less of that important fibre punch. Barley in its hulled form contains the most amount of nutrition but will take a little longer to cook.

Factoids on Barley

  • It’s a low glycemic grain making it a super great option for any diabetics, hypoglycemic or just sugar junkies in general (which let’s be honest, is most of us).
  • It’s a high fibre grain so it helps rid the body of waste and keeps things moving tres regularis.
  • Super powered source of antioxidants which keeps us looking young and fresh. Plastic surgery nonsense aside- when we look young and fresh on the outside, chances are good we are looking that way on the inside too!

Most often, I believe nutritional studies are redundant and useless. For example:

“For medical use barley is being researched for its ability to help alleviate diabetes, high cholesterol, and obesity. Some evidence suggests that barley seed products in the diet may improve blood sugar levels in individuals with diabetes, possibly because the fiber in barley seeds delays stomach emptying and slows down the absorption of carbohydrates from foods. Like oatmeal, barley seeds contain both soluble and insoluble types of fiber that may help to lower cholesterol. Studies have shown that individuals with barley in their diet experienced reductions in their total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein (LDL – the bad cholesterol), or triglyceride levels. Additionally, barley may assist in weight loss because it acts as an appetite suppressant making people feel like they have eaten more than they really have. Barley seeds may also protect against colon cancer”.

Really? We need this to be studied. It’s common sense so go with it.

Here is my yummy in the tummy Barley Salad.


Barley Caper Cuddles Salad

1/2 cup barley, soaked 6-8 hours
1 1/4 cups water
2 stalks celery, chopped
1/2 onion, chopped
1/2 sweet potato, cubed
1/2 zucchini, cubed
1/2 cup shiitake mushrooms, sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
2 Tbs tamari
1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
2 Tbs capers (could use olives as an option)
1/2 lemon, juiced
1-2 Tbs olive oil
sea salt to taste

  • Rinse soaked grains thoroughly
  • Add grains to pot with water, onion, celery, sweet potato, garlic, zucchini, mushrooms and tamari.
  • Bring to a boil and reduce to simmer for about 40-50 mins, until water absorbed and grains are soft.
  • Once cooked, remove from heat and transfer to a mixing bowl.
  • Stir in capers, olive oil, fresh herbs, lemon and add sea salt to taste.
  • Serve warm or at room temperature

Try these other great recipes using Barley Flour!

Question Of The Day: Is there any grain you are dying to try, or would love to see used in more recipes? Challenge me or share your own attempts!

19 Responses to “Barely Caper Cuddles Salad”

  1. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Love In The Kitchen, TREVOR JOHNSTON. TREVOR JOHNSTON said: When Was The Last Time You Ate Barley?: Up until recently, I wouldn't have had an answer for you either. Barley ... [...]
  2. Ricki said…
    Seriously, people don't eat barley? I ADORE the stuff. One of my all-time favorite grains. Except I can't eat it now, either, due to the gluten. But maybe I should try again if it doesn't seem to bother you. . . I have so many barely-based recipes I want to try, and now you've given me another one! :)
    • Meghan Telpner said…
      In all honesty- not much bothers my system these days so I may not be the best judge of things. But it IS delicious.
    • Alex said…
      Ricki, The grain "job's tears" is somewhat similar to barley and is gluten-free if you want a substitute!
      • Meghan Telpner said…
        There's a grain called "Job's Tears"? Seriously? From what plant?
  3. Deborah said…
    I'm a barley fanatic. Although I don't use the pearled stuff, only pot barley or the unhulled variety. I've been making barley salad for a few years now and it's always a big favourite at pot lucks. I think some people just don't think of using it. They don't realize they like it until they try it. Here's are a couple of the ways I like to use it and I don't think I've blogged about my barley salad, but will send you a link when I do as it's quite different from yours (which I'll have to try of course!).
  4. Alisa Fleming said…
    I've always loved barley! Man-panion ... now that is a term I have never heard!
  5. Sarah said…
    What a coincidence as I'm eating the yummiest barley, mushroom and canellini soup for lunch and sit down to read my fave blog that I find another barley recipe to add to the collection. Thanks Meghan, can't wait to make this.
  6. melissa said…
    I found some barley in the back of my fridge the other day! The uncooked stuff lol! I really should cook it more as I do love it Your recipe sounds delish!!
    • Meghan Telpner said…
      Or toast it up in a dry pan and then simmer it or a tea. Moojicha is amazing.
  7. Erin said…
    I make bean/barley salad regularly to keep in the 'fridge. How about farro? I don't think I've seen you work with that one yet ;-)
  8. WestE said…
    Pre-Gluten intolerance realization I would eat this after soaking it all night with slightly steamed apples (in a skillet with a smidge of water), cinnamon and maple syrup. Give it all a quick (very quick) sizzle in the skillet and you have a delish breakfast thats healthy and hearty. Boy do I miss it!!
  9. [...] Oh my goodness was this the best “Leftovers For Lunch” lunch that I’ve ever had! Remember that barley salad I shared last week? [...]

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