Go Barley: Modern Recipes for an Ancient Grain.

February was Heart Month and in our February newsletter we featured recipes with ingredients that had Health Canada’s Heart Health claims. During our search for recipes to feature in our newsletter we turned to Go Barley: Modern Recipes for an Ancient Grain and decided that it deserved a full book review. Go Barley is chock full of great recipes – if you’re thinking ‘How many ways can you cook barley?”, the answer is A LOT!  There are breakfasts, appetizers, salads and soups, main dishes, sides, baking, desserts and even a recipe for Barley Water. Most people think of beer and Beef Barley Soup when they think barley, but the authors, Pat Inglis and Linda Whitworth have ventured way outside that box with Wild Rice, Barley, and Fruit Salad, Spinach, Smoked Salmon, and Barley Risotto, Coconut Barley (to serve with grilled shrimp or stir-fried pork), Curried Chicken and Barley, and Yogurt Barley Fruit Scones…just to mention a few of the many imaginative and tasty recipes.  It’s not surprising that Go Barley won a prestigious Gourmand World Cookbook Award.

The cookbook has a section called ‘Barley Basics’, that explains the different types of barley, different methods of cooking barley, how to cook with barley flour and how to mill flour at home. Each recipe has nutritional information per serving including calories, protein, carbohydrates, fibre, sugars, fat saturated fat, trans fat, cholesterol, sodium and potassium.

If you’re wondering where to get barley, a recent blog on the Go Barley website lists and ranks stores where you can find barley.  They ranked the Bulk Barn as the best source of barley products across Canada, but they also found it at Sobey’s, Save-On, Safeway, Superstore, Walmart, Planet Organic and Co-op as well as several local stores in Calgary.

We had a request for a bison recipe recently, so we decide to feature the Hearty Bison Barley Soup recipe here.  It’s a protein, fibre and flavour packed soup. It is delicious and I’m sure it’s going to become a standard, go-to soup in our home. Leftovers, if there are any, can easily be frozen for a quick meal or lunch for another day.  For more great healthy barley recipes visit http://gobarley.com/recipes/.

Hearty Bison Barley Soup

Purchase ground bison, either frozen or fresh, and brown it with onion to make this comforting, hearty barley soup.  Once cooked, the barley will continue to thicken the soup, so add water or broth if it gets too thick.  Complete the meal with a salad and crusty bread.

1 lb (500 g) ground bison

1 medium onion, finely chopped

1 cup (250 mL) pot or pearl barley

1 can (28 oz [796 mL]) diced tomatoes

2 cans (10 oz [284 mL] each) condensed less-sodium beef broth, undiluted

4 cups (1 L) water

4 carrots, finely chopped

3 celery stalks, finely chopped

1 bay leaf

1/2 tsp (2 mL) dried thyme

1/4 tsp (1 mL) pepper

1/4 cup (60 mL) chopped parsley

In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, brown bison, breaking it into chunks as it browns.  Add onion and saute for 5 minutes.  Stir in barley, then add tomatoes, beef broth, water, carrots, celery, bay leaf, thyme, and pepper.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat, cover pan, and simmer for 1 hour, adding more water if soup becomes too think.  Remove bay leaf.  Stir in chopped parsley and serve.

Makes 8 servings (1 3/4 cups [425 mL] each).

Nutritional information (per serving):  Calories: 268, Protein: 16 g, Carbohydrates:29g, Fibre: 6 g, Sugars: 5 g, Fat: 10 g,  Saturated Fat: 0.2 g, Trans Fat: 0 g, Cholesterol: 40 mg, Sodium: 310 mg, Potassium: 476 mg.


This recipe was shared with permission from Linda Whitworth, Market Development Manager for Alberta Barley and co-author of Go Barley.  Go Barley: Modern Recipes for an Ancient Grain is available in a number of bookstores and on the Go Barley website.