Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Must love barley.

I love food. I love the stuff that I shouldn't love. Stuff like fettucini alfredo, ice cream, chocolate, brownies with whipped cream, pizza, pudding, grilled cheese sandwiches, milkshakes... oh man. See - I love the stuff that I shouldn't. But. BUT. But, I also love stuff that is good for me. Stuff like chicken breasts, celery, raw cabbage, eggs, cottage cheese, apples, oranges, watermelon, quinoa, homemade soup, almond butter, chickpeas... oh man. I could keep going on and on but I am bored, so I imagine you are too.

My new plan that has worked the past couple of weeks, and especially this week, is to make up a bunch of stuff on the weekend so that it's all prepped for the week. This past Sunday I did a few things - and although it is only Tuesday, it's been the greatest thing.
I boiled 12 eggs - peeled them - don't worry I am not eating them all by myself :)
I cooked 5 boneless/skinless chicken breasts
I whipped up a pot of barley for barley salads for dinner and lunch

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I like to take eggs for a small meal between breakfast and lunch. I usually eat at 6AM and have lunch at noon - so you guessed it - around 9ish. I try to have protein at every meal - it's hard sometimes to find healthy options. Eggs are so good for you. No sugar, no fat, no carbs and full of protein. If I don't have them as a snack - I like to put two in a huge salad - again great source of protein. And when I say 'huge', I mean huge. Love it.

I like to cook up the chicken breasts, add a bit of seasoning to them, cook them in a baking dish with a bit of water, covered for about 40 mins at 350. They stay super moist and are full of flavour. I wrap them up and keep them in the fridge and cut up half a piece to add to salad, or whatever.

And barley - oh how I love thee. I like to make a big pot of it - maybe 2 cups of dry - cook it up just like rice - add a bit of lemon juice and a pinch of salt when it's cooking - and give it a good toss when it's finished. I put it in a big container and have it ready for a huge salad - and I mean 'huge'.

With these, and a bunch of fresh vegetables and fruit, it really helps make healthy meal choices and not eat something like you might regret later.

So on the lines of barley - here is my newest salad that we are loving. LOVING. It's tasty. It's healthy. And it's easy.

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Barley Salad

Barley - cooked
Vegetables - peppers, celery, grape tomatoes (halved), broccoli (cut into very small florets)
Chicken or salmon - if you like
Feta cheese

Dressing:
Plain yogurt
Balsamic vinegar
Fresh dill or fresh cilantro

As I was adding these instructions, I sort of realized that it's not really a recipe. It's more like - add a bunch of stuff together and enjoy!

For the barley - I cook it like rice. 2 cups of barley and 4 cups of water. Bring to a boil, cover and let simmer for about 20 minutes. Stirring regularly. I like to add a pinch of salt and a bit of lemon juice. Let cool before making up the salad. 2 cups of barley is A LOT! So it will give you a bunch for the week.

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I like to cut up the vegetables so that they are all small pieces - about the same size. Add all of the veggies to a big salad bowl with the barley.

If you want to add chicken or fish - I love it with salmon - cook it up  - have it on hand - and add it in.

Toss in a bit of crumbled feta.

For the dressing - about a cup of yogurt, 1 tbsp of balsamic vinegar, and some fresh herbs. Mix it all up and add it to the salad and give it a good stir.

And that's it. It's hearty and it's deelish.

Loves.

Enjoy!

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