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Barley Salad with Corn, Capsicum, and Baby Spinach

27 Nov
Barley Salad

Barley Salad

Pearl barley for lunch once again! This time with corn, capsicum, and baby spinach, with lemon juice drizzled over the top. Yum! The pearl barley and corn were cooked in the rice cooker, and then other ingredients were added. This salad is super easy and fast and a great way to add a serving of whole grains into the day.

Cauliflower Mash

26 Nov
lamb chops with cauliflower mash and green salad

lamb chops with cauliflower mash and green salad

This recipe is amazzzing. It is a great substitute for mashed potatoes, and tastes even better than mashed potatoes! It’s super low in calories, it’s clean, it’s paleo, it’s low in carbs, it’s high in fibre, it’s basically a dieter’s dream side dish ❤

For extra flavour, you might add some chopped up herbs such as parsley or spring onion, or you could add butter or olive oil, or salt and pepper, or even garlic. Mmm.. garlic butter mashed cauliflower… Yummo!

Now for the recipe:

You will need:

  • Cauliflower
  • Water – enough to cover the cauliflower in the pot
  • Large pot
  • Mashing stick, or hand blender (the hand blender would be best as it would make the cauliflower extra creamy). If desperate, a fork should also work.

You will:

1: Boil the cauliflower in water, until the cauliflower is soft

Step1

Step1

2: Drain the water

Step 2

Step 2

3: Mash the cauliflower

Step 3

Step 3

4: Serve, adding optional flavourings (see suggestions above). I served mine with marinated lamb chops and a garden salad.

Health Benefits:

As a cruciferous vege, cauliflower has a tonne of healthy properties. It’s high in Vitamin C and contains a range of B vitamins. It’s also high in fibre, which is awesome because that aids healthy digestion. Cauliflower is very low in calories. By replacing standard mashed potatoes with mashed cauliflower, you’ll shave about three quarters of the calories off your side dish, without compromising flavour or volume.

Healthified Sausages and Tomato Sauce

26 Nov
Sausages with tomato and green salad

Sausages with tomato and green salad

Something about sausages just reminds me of summer. Maybe it’s because sausages are a barbecue staple. Maybe it’s because they’re easy and no one feels like doing much cooking during the warmer months. I’m not sure.

Sausages with tomato sauce are delicious, but they’re not that good for you. Sausages can be quite high in salt and fat, and commercial tomato sauce is super high in sugar. The back of the bottle listing the sugar content is quite ridiculous. Commercial tomato sauce is basically jam (jelly) made with tomatoes and watered down a little bit.

If you are craving sausages and tomato sauce, my first suggestion to you, is to use gluten free sausages. Although a bit more expensive, gluten free sausages don’t have quite as much added material and so are a little bit healthier than normal sausages. If you’re an extra smart shopper, you could probably also find sausages that had no added salts or preservatives and that are made from organic meat. Sausages themselves can be quite healthy, it’s usually the added ingredients that make them unhealthy.

My second suggestion is to replace the commercial tomato sauce with either homemade tomato sauce, or chopped up tomatoes. For the pictured meal here, I served my sausages with fresh sliced tomatoes and salad greens. It was simple, yet tasty. The tomatoes had all the flavour and sweetness I needed. Tomatoes are also easy to prepare – all you need to do is chop them up.

If you prefer sauce, there are plenty of recipes online for tomato sauce, and by manipulating the ingredients you can cut out a lot of the sugar content. If you’re in a hurry, another alternative is to just use a can of diced tomatoes as your sauce, or try salsa.

Related articles

Summer Barley Salad with Avocado, Apple, Baby Spinach, Capsicums and Cucumber

22 Nov Oh yeah! Barley Salad!
Oh yeah! Barley Salad!

Oh yeah! Barley Salad!

For lunch today we had a lovely barley salad. First, we cooked the pearl barley in the rice cooker in the exact same way you’d cook rice. Then we added the barley to baby spinach, chopped and peeled apples, chopped avocado slices, orange capsicum, and sliced cucumber. We chose those veges based on what we had to hand, and it would have tasted just as nice with other veges too. We mixed the whole thing up and drizzled some fresh lemon juice over it (we picked the lemons out of the garden, mmm so good). This salad was hearty but fresh and light. A great summer meal.

Koha loved it, including the spinach. Baby spinach is so good because it doesn’t have the bitter taste that spinach sometimes has, so it tastes more bland like lettuce, which makes it a lot easier to feed to those who are a little more picky.

If you are planning a summer barley salad, I’d recommend this one. Alternatively, it would be really tasty to have lettuce or spinach, with tomatoes, olives, cucumbers, and feta cheese with a balsamic dressing.

Pearl Barley

17 Jul
pearl barley

What to look for in the shop, usually near the soup – pearl barley

We’ve only recently started eating pearl barley as a low GI carb with loads of fiber. It’s cheap, it’s nutritious, and you can use it in loads of different meals. I like it because it is quite chewy and has more of its own flavour than rice does. It seems to work quite well as a rice substitute in stir-fries and as a side, for days when rice feels too boring. I like to cook it in vegetable stock, which I find gives the barley a really yummy flavour.

Pearl barley is also very cheap – another option for anyone doing the Live Below the Line challenge, or anyone who wants to save money.

pearl barley cooking in stock

pearl barley cooking in stock

To find pearl barley in the supermarket, look near the soups. That’s where I found my bag of barley, after first hunting around the supermarket’s bulk food section and rice section and feeling disappointed when I couldn’t find any.

Grilled Capsicums

14 Jul
grilled capsicum

grilled capsicum

I love barbecued vegetables. All you do, is chop ’em up & toss ’em on a hot plate or pan. Capsicums are particularly nice this way as it brings out their sweetness. I would serve this as a side dish with a main meal, or as a snack by itself.