Thursday, June 12, 2008

Barley Salad with Fresh Herbs and Blackened Tofu Steaks

You can certainly make this salad with or without the barley...I just wanted to combine our grain with a salad last night. The original recipe came from Whole Foods website, but I changed it by using the veggies I had on tomatoes and limas in place of red bell pepper.
"Whole Paycheck" suggests serving the salad in an avocado or papaya half...

Barley Salad with Fresh Herbs:
(Adapted from Whole Foods recipe)

1 cup pearled barley
3 cups+ water
~3/4 lb frozen baby lima beans
~1/2 cup sliced green onions
2 medium tomatoes, chopped
~1/3 cup chopped fresh basil
~1/3 cup chopped Italian parsley
~2 Tbs chopped fresh mint
1 clove garlic, minced
kosher salt to taste
fresh ground pepper to taste
lemon juice (I think I used 1.5-2 lemons worth)
~1-2 Tbs? canola oil

Add barley to water in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for ~35-40 min.
Test to see if its done to your liking before that...

While the barley is cooking:

Bring another pot of water to the boil.

In a large bowl, mix the garlic, lemon, salt and pepper, and canola oil (next time I might add a little mustard too). Set this aside.

When your water has come to a boil, salt the water well, then add your limas. Cook limas as per package instructions.

Drain the cooked limas and then add to the dressing in the large bowl. Stir to coat.
Add all of your other veggies and herbs at this point.

When the barley is done, drain it well then add some of it to the salad.

I didn't use all of it, since I wanted more green and less grain. Save the rest for a soup or to use in place of rice in something else.
Adjust seasonings at this point.

I just set it on the counter until the rest of dinner was done so I could serve at room temp.
We ate this over a bed of baby spinach that had been dressed with a little more lemon juice, a drizzle of olive oil, salt and pepper.

Blackened Tofu Steaks:

1 pkg of organic extra-firm tofu (I like White Wave if you can get it)
Creole seasoning rub
canola oil

Cut the tofu block into 6 slabs. Press as much of the water out as you can. I end up using a lot of paper towels for this.
Need an alternative to that method...maybe some new tea towels are in order.
Once you've gotten the tofu fairly dry, sprinkle with seasoning mix and rub in a little on both sides.
Now brush each side with some canola oil and cook in a non-stick skillet on high heat for about 5 minutes a side, or until done to your liking. That's it.

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