Baked barley: the play-by-play

Vegan MoFo food journal – October 17, 2012

Yesterday I felt the urge for some simple, nourishing, cleansing food. To that end I prepared baked barley, steamed dino kale, and BBQ tempeh. It was delicious and simple and left me feeling re-energized.

I began baking barley per a recipe from Alton Brown. I think I had just googled ‘barley’ and it popped up! Here is the link! As one comment says, this is stupid easy. But man, is it good!

Here is a play-by-play of my take on the recipe:

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Spray a small covered casserole dish with cooking spray/olive oil. Sprinkle in salt.

Heat two cups of water in the microwave. I typically heat it for 4 minutes, so it is steaming.

Put one cup of barley in the casserole dish. Put 1 tbsp Earth Balance butter on top.

Pour hot water over the butter and barley so it all mixes together.

Cover the dish with a piece of foil, folding over the edges to get a good seal. Place casserole lid on top of foil.

Bake for 1 hour. Take out and set aside until ready to eat. If we are not going to eat right away I leave the foil on. Otherwise you will want to uncover it to let some steam escape and cool it down to edible.

While the barley was baking I cut up and washed a huge bunch of dino kale. I also cut up a block of tempeh and coated it with BBQ sauce.

The kale just needs to steam for about 5 minutes,  so it is bright green and tasty. I cooked ours while the barley cooled. For the BBQ tempeh I simply plopped it all in a non-stick skillet, put a cover over it, and cooked it on medium-low for about 10 minutes. The tempeh we get, from Trader Joe’s, is pre-cooked so it just needs to be heated up. It all turned out pretty well! I sprinkled nutritional yeast on the kale (TRY IT!!) and the barley. So good. If you haven’t tried nutritional yeast (aka ‘nooch’) you really should. It adds a nutty, cheesy flavor and is choc full of protein. It is the base of many vegan mac and cheese recipes!

Please forgive our dinnerware. We bought a set of dishes at IKEA 7 years ago. We are lucky they’ve lasted this long! Someday we’ll replace them since they all have a deformity of some kind, but for now, function over form!

Moving on to other events of my day. I had a few errands to run in the morning. Specifically I had an 11am appointment at David’s Bridal to pick up my wedding dress. Since Griffey came to live with us just last Saturday, we haven’t left him alone for more than an hour. The silly thing is he is completely fine on his own at home and because of Lucky (RIP) and his anxiety, we are now conditioned to be all uptight and worried. We are all learning here. So I left home with my receipts and reminders of other errands needing to be completed. I headed up to South Center Mall in Tukwila, which is where David’s Bridal is located. Macy*s had sent me a customer appreciation deal for free panties so I popped in and grabbed them. Of course the clerk didn’t know how to ring it up. Oops! Picking up the dress was quick. I got there a few minutes prior to opening and hung out in my warm car until the door opened. Heading inside, the reception called the fitting room and I was taken back to the main stage and alteration fitting room. Bertha, one of the seamstresses helped me put my dress on and zip it up. Sorry, no photos – hubby-to-be hasn’t seen it yet! The one tradition we are sticking to. I hope he likes it! Once on, I noticed it was still a bit large. My wedding is in 23 days. No time to alter and it wasn’t that bad so I brought it home. I did think it weird though.

Sidebar: this morning I hopped on the scale in the bathroom just to see. Morbid curiosity strikes again! To my disbelief, I have somehow lost ten pounds in a month! 
The only explanation I can think of: I stopped drinking. Completely. No wine, no beer, not even a sip. 
Let me tell you, it was not easy at first. I am someone who loves a nice glass of wine at the end of the day. I miss it so much!
But the point/goal was to not gain any weight. Mission accomplished – ha!

So my dress is hanging up in its giant garment bag with a fake bust keeping the shape in our bedroom. This weekend I am heading down to mom and dad’s house to do some final planning and I’ll take it down with me for safe keeping. I hit up the giant Goodwill store around the corner on my way home. It was one of the nicest, and largest, I’ve been to. So much fun stuff. I did manage to buy a new rug for Griffey to lay on at the back door for $3. Score!

Here is Mr. Griffey enjoying his mat and afternoon sunshine:



3 responses to “Baked barley: the play-by-play

  1. Going to make this tonight! (minus the tempeh)

  2. Dinner looks really good. I’ve never had barley like that. I think I’ve only had it in soups. It will be something new to try this winter. What a nice surprise you didn’t want to gain weight and you lost weight! And so happy Griffey has settled in so nicely. 🙂

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