Chef Scott For Meatless Monday: Mushrooms and Wilted Spinach With Barley.
Whenever I think of barley, I tend to think of it as being in a soup. Am I alone in this?
It’s just got that comforting, soupy kind of thing going on.
Well, this month in my Healthy Habits Club, we are expanding our repertoire of whole grains. We’re finding new ways to prepare them, and making an effort to incorporate more of them into our lives.
Even if you haven’t yet joined us in the Club (whatcha waitin’ for?), you can still join in for this delicious and nutritious barley recipe!
Barley is a whole grain that can help lower your cholesterol, lower your blood pressure, and control your blood sugar. It also does a really good job of helping you feel full and satisfied - so you may eat a little less later on!
Nice, right? Enjoy….
Take It away, Chef Scott…..
Salty, sweet, sour, bitter, and…umami?
Yep. There’s a fifth taste out there. Umami is that deliciously savory taste usually found in meat and seafood.
However, many vegetables are filled with umami. Tomatoes, celery, cabbages, mushrooms, and spinach are rich in umami flavor, as are soy sauce and green tea.
So if you are looking for something that satisfies your savory urges without eating anything with a face, try incorporating these flavors into your food. (My favorite new trick: grating dried porcini mushrooms into vegetable soups and stews before adding the liquid and using soy sauce instead of salt.)
So try this quick umami-licious recipe!
Mushrooms and Wilted Spinach with Barley
I felt like a rock star when I discovered Trader Joe’s has a quick-cooking barley! Ten(-ish) minutes and you have something satisfying on a cold Chicago night. It’s been raining all day, so I needed the savory comfort of umami.
8 oz baby bella mushrooms, sliced
8 oz oyster mushrooms, stemmed and sliced
8 oz button mushrooms, sliced
1 large onion, chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
12 oz. baby spinach
2 tsp olive oil
2 Tbl balsamic vinegar
pinch of crushed red pepper
1 tsp fresh thyme, chopped
2 tsp fresh rosemary, chopped
2 Tbl fresh parsley, chopped
3 cups cooked barley, divided.
In a large skillet, heat oil until it shimmers. Add onions, season with salt and crushed red pepper, and saute until tender (about five to seven minutes). Add mushrooms and saute until browned, roughly 10 minutes. Stir in garlic, rosemary, and thyme, and cook for two minutes. Deglaze pan with the vinegar, and add spinach, parsley, and 1 1/2 cups of barley. Remove from heat and toss to wilt the spinach. Divide remaining barley onto four plates, and spoon mixture on top. Serve immediately.
Note: You can use only one kind of mushroom. I just like the subtleties the variety provides. This also turns into one heck of a soup. Just add all of the barley with 4 cups vegetable stock or water, bring to a boil and simmer for ten minutes. Add spinach at the very end.