I had a pretty productive weekend, though when I try to list off what I did to make me feel so accomplished I can’t think of a long list. Maybe the baby is sucking my memory, or maybe I’m just riding the high of finding a great piece of artwork for his room and getting my cheeseburger fix. I’m pretty sure those things count as productive during your second trimester.
As I head into this week on my productivity high I was feeling totally on top of the world for getting balanced lunches packed, the dogs walked and both C and I out the door a little early. Packing lunches is a bit easier when the main dish covers all the food groups- it’s the difference in throwing one thing into a container or three to four. I made this grain salad for my class last week and was lucky enough to have some leftovers for lunches.
I love grain salads both for their functionality but also because you can do so much with the flavors and add-ins. This one is definitely worth trying. If you don’t have barley on hand just substitute another whole grain- freekah, wheat berries, whole wheat couscous, etc.
- ½ cup pearl barley
- 1 ½ cups Water
- 1 (1 ½-pound) Butternut squash, peeled, seeds removed and cut into ½-inch cubes**
- 1 Tablespoon Extra virgin olive oil
- 3 cups Kale, center rib removed and finely shredded (organic preferred)
- 1 medium organic Apple, cut into ½-inch cubes
- 1 cup Black Beans, drained and rinsed (if canned, organic and BPA free)
- ½ cup dried Cherries
- ½ cup toasted Pecans
- 3 Tablespoons Lemon juice
- 3 Tablespoons Balsamic vinegar
- 1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 clove Garlic, minced (optional)
- ½ cup Extra virgin olive oil
- Salt and Ground black pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 400° F.
- In small saucepan, combine barley, water and pinch of salt. Bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat to a simmer, stirring occasionally, for approximately 40 minutes, until all water is absorbed. Remove pan from heat. Set aside.
- Toss butternut squash with 1 Tablespoon olive oil, ¼ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon black pepper.
- Spread squash across baking sheet in a single layer. Roast in preheated oven for 25 minutes, stirring once halfway through. Remove squash from oven. Set aside.
- Add shredded kale to large salad bowl. Top with cooked barley, butternut squash, apple, black beans, dried cherries and pecans.
- In medium bowl, whisk together lemon juice, balsamic vinegar, mustard, garlic, ¼ teaspoon salt and
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper. Gradually whisk in olive oil until emulsified. Taste and season with additional salt and pepper as desired. Drizzle dressing over salad. Toss together.