Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Barley Risotto with Vegetables

With the intention of eating better I made a risotto last night, but substituted the arborio rice with barley. Barley is one of the "superfoods" that is supposed to be be extremely healthy. According to Dr. Perricone barley's benefits include:

* Lowers blood cholesterol levels
* Protects against cancer because its high fiber content helps speed food through the digestive tract, and because its a good source of selenium, shown to significantly reduce the risk of colon cancer
* Is a good source of niacin, the B vitamin that is cardio-protective
* Slows starch digestion, which may help keep blood sugar levels stable
* Provides high concentrations of tocotrienols, the "super" form of vitamin E
* Provides lignans, phytochemicals that function as antioxidants. Women who consume lignans (also present in high levels in flaxseed) are less likely to develop breast cancer.

Anyway, cooked like a risotto, tastes great and all the better if its healthy. I used water instead of chicken stock, and just added a little salt to taste.

2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1 Finely Chopped Onion
1 Large Carrot Diced
1 Large Celery Stalk Diced
1/2 Pound Mushrooms Sliced
1 Garlic Clove Minced
2 Cups Pearl Barley
6-8 Cups Water
1 Teaspoon Salt

In medium/large pot on medium heat, cook up onions until golden. Add carrot, celery, mushrooms and garlic and cook until firm but tender. Add barley and 1 cup of water and stir. As water reduces keep adding 1/2 to 1 cup at a time while stirring regularly. You want almost all the water absorbed before you add. Continue for about 30 minutes until barley is firm but creamy in texture.

Ready to Serve

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