One of the advantages of a full-fat cheese is that it melts nicely; but in cold dishes (like this salad) where meltability is not an issue, you can use a lower-fat cheese with no sacrifice and the health benefits are obvious. If you prefer, substitute quick-cooking barley for the pearl.
Makes 4 servings
1½ cups pearl barley
¾ teaspoon salt
4 teaspoons vegetable oil, such as olive or canola oil
1 red bell pepper, cut into ½-inch squares
1 medium red onion, coarsely diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1½ cups frozen corn kernels
2 teaspoons chili powder
¼ cup fresh lime juice
½ teaspoon black pepper
1 cup crumbled reduced-fat feta cheese (4 ounces)
1. In a large saucepan, cook the barley according to the package directions, using ¼ teaspoon of the salt. Drain well.
2. Meanwhile, in a large nonstick skillet, heat two teaspoons of the oil over medium heat. Add the bell pepper, onion and garlic. Cook, stirring frequently, until the pepper is crisp-tender, about five minutes.
3. Add the corn and chili powder. Increase the heat to medium-high and cook until the corn is piping hot, about five minutes.
4. In a large bowl, whisk together the remaining ½ teaspoon salt, lime juice and black pepper. Add the barley, sautéed vegetables and the remaining two teaspoons oil, tossing to combine. Add the cheese and toss gently. Serve at room temperature or lightly chilled.
Nutrition per serving: 322 calories, 4.9g total fat (2.4g saturated), 10mg cholesterol, 9g dietary fiber, 63g carbohydrate, 15g protein, 828mg sodium.
Good source of: beta glucan, fiber, lutein, vitamin C.
Barley salad: different spins
- Lemon-Mint Barley Salad Follow the directions for Chili-Lime Barley & Vegetable Salad, but substitute 1½ cups diced fresh fennel for the corn and one teaspoon crushed fennel seeds for the chili powder in step three. Substitute lemon juice for the lime juice and add ¼ cup chopped fresh mint in step four.