I have really been trying to embrace healthy carbs, lately, such as whole grains. I have always loved barley. I remember being a little kid and stealing the barley out of my moms chicken soup pot. I remember the chewy texture sucked me right in!
I was on an oatmeal kick, last year, and then heard of quinoa bowls. I made one for breakfast one morning and thought how great of an idea it was to switch out my oatmeal and top this grain with berries! Then I heard of breakfast barley bowls, which I, still, have yet to try! But, today, I bought a bag of barley and I’m ready to rock!
With an eggplant on the discount rack and a bag of cauliflower in the freezer, I was more than ready to try Julie’s barley risotto. I’ve always had risotto made with rice and I have heard that it is rather difficult to make. Bring it!
Heres my take:
Eggplant Barley Risotto
- 2 1/2 cups cubed eggplant, skin on
- 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
- 1 Tbsp garlic, minced
- 1 cup onion, chopped
- 1 cup barley
- 3 cups fat free, low sodium chicken broth, divided
- 1 tsp to 1 1/2 tsp thyme
- 1/2 Tbsp granulated garlic
- 1 16oz bag cauliflower florets, frozen
- 2 wedges Laughing Cow Light Swiss cream cheese
- 1/4 cup reduced fat grated Parmesan
- s/p to taste
Heat the oven to 440 F. On a baking sheet, lined with parchment paper, spread the eggplant and sprinkle with Italian seasoning. Roast int heat oven for about 8 minutes. While the eggplant is roasting, Add the onion and garlic to a large pot, cover, and simmer over medium heat, until the onions start to sweat.
Add the barley, along with 1 cup of broth. Bring to a boil. Add the eggplant and frozen cauliflower. Cover the pot, lower the heat to medium high. Stir the pot frequently. As the broth is absorbed, add another cup of broth. Once the last cup of broth is added, add the thyme and granulated garlic. Stir until spices have been disbursed.
Lastly, add the cheese wedges and stir. Turn off the heat. Sprinkle the parm in a little at a time, stirring constantly.
Each serving is 3/4 cup. If you’re really hungry, this dish can be divided into fours!
Damn I love barley! I’m already planning another barley dish! Stay tuned!