Thursday, July 19, 2012

Summer Bean and Barley Salad....And My Flowers!

 I'm joining my Sister's Blog Linky Party again, "Foodie Friends Friday Linky Party.  Go check out her blog,  Walking on Sunshine.   I'm sharing a couple of my favorite recipes, along with many other foodie bloggers. So please head on over to Walking on Sunshine, and join the fun!

What a hot week it surely was here in good old New Jersey!  The thermometer read 99 degrees yesterday at 12 noon.  Then the thunderstorms starting rolling through, and I mean ROLLING!!!  One after the other, the house shook, and the rain poured.  The flowers and grass outside are so happy and well watered, and I'm glad since it's been so very dry around here.

I love to garden, and take really good care of my flowers.  Here are some pictures of my flowers, this is not all of them, I need to take more pictures of the rest of my gardens. 

The picture above is our new outside light we just put up, and a really pretty planter I planted.....I just love this look!

One of my flower pots on the deck!

More flower pots......

My Hosta Garden!
My Herb Pot!
A new flower garden my Hubby made for me this year!
Our Perennial flower garden off the deck!

I love Barley.  Have you ever tried it?  My Mom use to make a delicious "Beef and Barley Soup", when I was growing up, and I loved it.  I have found a new love for Barley, you can cook it just like pasta in boiling hot water, but for about 40 minutes, instead of like 7 minutes for pasta.  Barley is a grain and needs to cook longer, but when it's done, it's so delicious, so tender, and perfect for a Summer salad, or better yet a Summer Bean and Barley Salad.

Doesn't this look DELICIOUS!!!

Barley is very how on the glycemic index, you know foods that are low in carbs, and won't raise your blood sugar.  This is perfect for me.  I like to substitute Barley for rice in dishes and you know, I do not miss the rice at all.

Try this salad, you will love it, and start eating Barley!

Summer Bean and Barley Salad

2 stalks of celery chopped small
1/2 red onion minced
1 whole cucumber peeled and chopped small
1 can Red Kidney Beans drained and rinsed
1 can Garbanzo Beans (Chick Peas) drained and rinsed
1/2 cup grape tomatoes quartered
3 TBS chopped fresh Parsley
1 cup cooked Barley

In a stock pot bring water to boil, salt it and add the uncooked Barley just like you were cooking pasta, cook for about 1/2 hour stirring once in a while.  After 20 minutes test the barley taste one, and see how soft it is, does it have to cook longer, or is it soft.  Barley should be soft, but not mushy.

Cooked Barley!

Drain the water and rinse the barley in cold water, you do not want it hot at this point. 

In a big bowl, add all the chopped veggies, beans, parsley, and add the barley. 

I usually make my own Italian Dressing, but I also use Good Season's Italian Dressing the kind in the packets where you add the oil, vinegar and water, it's really good!

Homemade Italian Dressing

1 cup of olive oil or canola oil
1/4 cup cider vinegar or balsamic vinegar
1 tsp, oregano
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground pepper
1 TBS sugar
1 TBS spicy brown mustard (yes it makes the dressing!)

Mix all the ingredients together with a whisk, or put in a jar and shake really well. Now taste it, what does it need, more salt, pepper, or sugar?  Add it, always taste your food!

Toss the Bean Salad with about 1/4 cup of the Italian Dressing, chill for about 1 hour.  Enjoy!



Angie said...

I am going to pin this, because this will be awesome for my new eating habits. Thanks for sharing this recipe.

Liz said...

thanks Angie, it's really good since you wanted to start eating less carbs....hardly any in this recipe, only healthy carbs :)

Walking on Sunshine... said...

Looks good Liz! Thanks for sharing on Foodie Friends Friday!

Blondee said...

I found you through Lois' food party, I posted there, too. :)

I love easy recipes and this sure does sound good!

Your flowers are lovely.

Jeremy Beauregard said...

That's what I like about summer: flowers that continuously blooming in a garden. I'm glad that you take care of your garden despite the hot weather. As for your Barley Salad, it is surely a nutritious meal!