B is for Barley

Mediterranean Barley Salad
Cooking Light - Mix & Match Low-Calorie Cookbook 

What do I know about barley?  Not much except that it's a cereal grain that can be farmed locally around my area, it can be used to make beer and alcohol, and that I love to eat it when it's in Beef and Barley Soup (conveniently located in the same cookbook as this post's barley salad)!

For literally a year or two now, my friend Cindy has been telling me to make a Mediterranean Barley recipe that we found in a Cooking Light cookbook.  She makes it regularly and raves about how it not only tastes great, but it splits up nicely to form four perfectly portioned meals that she can then take for lunches during the week.  Finally I broke down and made it.  End result-- delicious and healthy!

The recipe is fairly simple and only takes a few ingredients.  The ingredient that was most troublesome was fennel.  First of all, I hoped that the grocery store in Alexandria had it.  Second of all, I couldn't remember how to prepare the vegetable as it has been some time since I've used one in a recipe.  What did I do?  I turned to YouTube.  Why?!  Because you can learn ANYTHING YouTube!!  Here is a link to a great video I found about preparing fennel.

Separate into 4 separate servings and don't add dressing until ready to eat.
Makes a great lunch and keeps well for a few days!
Closing notes:  Make this salad, it's a perfect trifecta: easy, healthy and delicious!  

Also, if you liked this recipe, check out the Cooking Light: Mix and Match Low-Calorie Cookbook.  I love the concept that you pick out three meals and a snack and it keeps you at 1,500 calories or less.  My friends and I have made many meals from it, a few of them being:
*SIDE-NOTE ABOUT COOKING LIGHT RECIPES* I love CL recipes and some of my favorite recipes over the years have come from their kitchens, but-- sometimes the recipes, when prepared as written, are not (in my opinion) outstanding.  Don't get me wrong, they're good-- but a lot of times, I feel like they're missing "something".  I always read the reviews on their website prior to making a new recipe because the CL readers are great about posting tips and suggestions based on their experiences.  If you don't have an idea of how to spice it up a bit, check the site because usually you can find a tip that will take the recipe from good to great.

Happy Cooking!


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