Category Archives: barley

Kohlrabi and Yukina Savoy Sautee over Red Quinoa and Barley in Garlic Scape Tzatziki Sauce

As of late, I feel like the names of my meals have become more and more complicated.

I was so excited to come home and cook today.  I had a long, frustratingly unproductive day in the chemistry building after an AMAZING weekend with my best friend from college.  This meal came out better than I expected it to, and I absolutely attribute that to the sauce.  I had a few moments of trepidation about mixing the sauce with the grains and greens, being afraid to ruin the dish, but it came out so. great.

Before I talk about that dish, first I want to share the pasta salad I took to a picnic I had with my visiting friend (Dani) and two new friends, Matt and Matt.

We went to Oliver Winery, bought a bottle of Moscato, and sat outside to eat the food we each brought.  I had so many veggies to use up from the CSA that I thought mixing them with pasta would make a perfect picnic food.  I don’t have any pictures of it, but I do have a picture from our picnic!

Dani and me!

CSA Pasta Salad
boil a 1 lb bag of rigatoni with 1 cup (cooked) black beans.  When I’m making pasta salad I cook the noodles a little bit past al dente since they will be served cold
-while the pasta is cooking, toss 2 sliced beets, 8 chopped garlic scapes, and 2 chopped kohlrabi, including stems and greens in olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and salt.
-roast the veggies at 400 degrees for 20ish minutes
-add olive oil to the pasta and toss the veggies together
-add goat or another soft cheese and blend all together

This salad was so cheap.  I had bought the pasta for $1, the leftover black beans cost me about $0.20, and all in all the CSA veggies were probably $3.25.  That makes this salad about $4.50, but it lasted through the picnic and 3 more meals!

Anyway, onto the main meal I’m trying to blog about.  I’ve been really, really bad about posting what I’ve been getting in the CSA as of late.  This week I got Irish Cobbler potatoes (already gone, boiled them, then seasoned with olive oil, rosemary, salt, and parsley), Yukina Savoy, Kohlrabi, Cabbage, and a cucumber. When I came home, I went through the fridge and pulled out everything that *needed* to get used soon, along with some grains that had been sitting in my pantry for a while, and the tofu I opened last night.

tonight’s ingredients

Let me take you through my thought process:

1.  Jesus, Mary, and Joseph that’s a lot of garlic scapes.  I’m going to pickle those with the kohlrabi because I am getting sick of kohlrabi
2.  I have a cucumber, garlic, AND plain yogurt?  tzatziki- no brainer
3.  Does tzatziki go with quinoa?
4.  Does it matter?
5.  I’m sick of eating greens raw so I’m going to sautee them.
6.  I can add mint leaves to the tzatziki.
7.  Browned tofu sounds really good.
8.  I’m going to sautee the tofu/greens and serve them over the quinoa/barley, and mix in the sauce.

..and that is pretty much a look inside my brain at how meals are made.

If you’ve never heard of yukina savoy before, you’re not alone.  I never had, either, before the CSA.  If you’ve ever eaten in a Japanese restaurant before, though, you have probably had it, or something similar.  It’s what I consider to be hardy.  It sautees really well because it maintains some of its crunchy silkiness.  if that makes sense.

-chop tofu, kohlrabi greens, and yukina savoy
-coat a large pan with olive oil and add the veggies.  Season with salt, pepper, cumin, and zahtar
-sautee, but also let sit for 2-3 minutes at a time to allow tofu to brown
-combine quinoa and greens/tofu
-in a separate bowl, combine 1/4 cup plain yogurt, 1/4 finely chopped cucumber, 2 finely chopped garlic scapes, a couple dashes of salt, and 3 finely chopped mint leaves
-combine, add black sesame seeds, and toss together in a large bowl

Like I said, I was worried about adding the sauce and ruining the flavors.  The zahtar and black sesame seeds, however, went really well with the garlicy sauce.  Also, I’m not sure when I got so into tofu, but it’s most definitely thanks to Becca!

Total Cost: $5.35

1/2 cup organic red quinoa: $0.88
-1/4 cup organic barley: $0.40
-1/2 package organic tofu: $1.00
-1/4 organic cucumber: $0.25
-greens from two organic kohlrabi: $1.00
-2 organic garlic scapes: $0.15
-1/4 cup organic plain yogurt: $0.42
-3 organic yukina savoy leaves: $1.00
-3 organic mint leaves: $0.25

Considering I had enough for 2 helpings, plus lunch tomorrow, I’d say this turned out pretty great 🙂


Beer Bread Pudding with Roasted Vegetables

Okay, so maybe this isn’t *really* bread pudding, but it tasted like it! (and you’ll probably be suprised when you see what the ingredients were!)

I always wonder how chefs and cookbook authors come up with recipes until I realized a few weeks ago that they probably do exactly what I do…just mix things together knowing that they’ll eat whatever it is regardless of what it tastes like.  I guess I’m just lucky that I’ve done this enough that now more often than not it turns out okay.

While looking through a blog I subscribe to the other day, I came across a good idea for stale bread.  I had 1/4 of a loaf of last week’s beer bread so I decided to give the advice a try and put it in soup.  I wasn’t really anticipating it to come out pudding-y, but it was delicious.  (albeit horribly unphotogenic).

I did the usual, started boiling barley and red lentils, and then once the liquid was almost completely gone I broke up the bread into crumbs and stirred them in the soup.  I wound up having to add ~1/2 cup more water and I let the bread soak that up while stirring constantly.  While this whole process was going on I was roasting potatoes, onion, and turnip.

Next time I can do without the turnip.  It didn’t add much to this dish.  The onion, on the other hand, went fantastically with the pudding.  Surprisingly, the beer flavor was really pronounced.  I mixed in a tablespoon of good, grainy mustard, too.  I think if I had added any more, though, I would have ruined it.  It was really difficult for me to stop eating this but I forced myself to save some for lunch tomorrow.

creamy, beer-y goodness

The whole time I was thinking that corn would have been great mixed in.  If I try this again I will probably add more vegetables to it.  I also think this could be great with pork.  The only thing I would do is add more salt!  For some reason it seemed as if no matter how much I added there wasn’t enough.

I swear it tastes better than it looks

Total Cost: $2.68

organic barley: $0.40
organic red lentils: $0.30
1 organic onion: $0.42
2 organic potatoes: $0.40
1/4 organic turnip: $0.17
1/4 loaf of beer bread: $0.99

OH, I also found $5 today!!! Karma for spending so little on food last month?

Breakfast Dilemma

If you’ve been following me all month you know that I ran out of grocery money a few weeks ago.  I’ve actually been doing pretty well with this, except that today I ran out of breakfast food.

Well, that’s not exactly true.

I have 5 boxes of cereal but no milk, yogurt, oatmeal, bread, etc.

After taking a quick look through the pantry I decided to turn this month’s standby, barley, into breakfast.

By pairing it with pumpkin and adding honey, brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg it turned out pretty great!  It doesn’t taste as sweet as it would if you added all the same ingredients to, say, oatmeal, but I’m okay with that.

current pantry inhabitants

I made enough for breakfast the next few days, so that will be especially nice to not have to prepare anything.

Sweet Pumpkin Barley

-boil 1 cup barley until it absorbs all the cooking water (I probably used 3 cups and this took ~20 minutes)

it's amazing how a little bit of pumpkin makes this look so much more appetizing

-once the water has been absorbed, add 1-1/4 cups canned pumpkin, 2 tablespoons brown sugar, 1 tablespoon honey, and cinnmaon and nutmeg to taste

this makes me wish it was fall


Total Cost: $2.78

organic pumpkin: $1.25
organic barley: $0.78
organic brown sugar, honey, spices: no clue (let’s say AT MOST $0.75 (and I feel like that’s just being overly cautious)

I ate ~1/3 of this and still have plenty for two more breakfasts

Roasted Root Vegetables and Tomato Barley

mmm, leftovers 🙂

refrigerator stragglers

As per usual, tonight’s meal was inspired by things in my refrigerator which need to be eaten soon.  From top left, I have tomato sauce, barley, sweet potato, celery root, turnip, and onion (which didn’t end up getting used).

Since I have only been putting the turnip and celery root in soup, I really wanted to try roasting them.

Roasting vegetables is something I had never done, or even considered, before moving in with Becca.  The first few weeks we lived together she would rave every day about how roasted broccoli was her favorite dessert.  I’m not going to lie, I thought that was a little strange…but I went along with it.  The first time she roasted broccoli for me, though, I was absolutely smitten.  Becca’s pretty big on getting the vegetables charred (I don’t have the patience for it) but it makes such an amazing difference.  It’s so easy, too!  Anyway, I decided to try roasting these to see how the flavor changed.

I was absolutely not disappointed.  The subtle flavor of the celery root seemed to become a little bit stronger, in a good way.  Likewise, the flavor of the turnip became sweeter and lost some of its pungent bite.  Most definitely worth doing again.

Also, I have to go on an aside about these sweet potatoes.  Best. Sweet Potatoes.  Ever.  Bloomingfood’s had them on sale for $0.99/lb, so I grabbed a couple.  The first thing I noticed is that they are much more vibrant than other sweet potatoes I have bought.  The color is much more red than orange.  Becca and I aren’t sure if it’s a different variety, or if it has something to do with being organic.  The flavor is also remarkably better.  Like the color, the flavor seems to “pop” more than a normal sweet potato.  The only reason I am mystified by this is because when it comes to pesticide residue on vegetables, sweet potatoes are one of few vegetables where it doesn’t matter if you buy organic or conventional.  They are found to have the lowest pesticide rating.  This would lead me to believe there isn’t much difference in flavor.  When I’m not so crunched for money I would like to try comparing organic and conventional fruits and vegetables and see if I can detect any differences.

But I digress.

Back to dinner.  Easiest. Meal. Ever.

Roasted Root Vegetables and Tomato Barley

-in a small pan, bring water and barley to a boil.  stir occasionally
-dice 1/2 a turnip, 1/2 a sweet potato, 1/2 a celery root and toss in salt and olive oil
-place in oven at 400 degrees C for ~15 minutes (or until veggies are soft)
-once barley has absorbed all the liquid (~20 minutes), mix in leftover tomato sauce.

-remove vegetables from oven

is there really anything better than roasted vegetables?

-combine vegetables and barley


So, I initially thought parmesan cheese would be good grated over the top of this.  Don’t bother.  It wasn’t all that good.

The crazy thing about roasted vegetables is that no matter how much you make, you never have leftovers.  Becca and I could make 10 pounds of broccoli and honestly eat all of it in one sitting.  I suppose there are worst things, but it’s kind of frustrating when you’re banking on having enough for lunch the next day.  🙂

Total Cost: $2.15

organic barley: $0.60
organic tomato sauce: $0.32
1/2 organic turnip: $0.25
1/2 organic celery root: $0.58
1/2 organic sweet potato: $0.40

I have enough left over for lunch tomorrow, too!!

“Creamy” Root Vegetable Soup with Turkey Meatballs

I don’t know what it is with me and making creamy soup without creamy ingredients, but I really like it.

finished product 🙂

I wish I had taken a picture of all the ingredients used because it ended up being quite a few.  This was definitely a night for slow cooking 🙂

The last time I went to B-foods, I bought quite a few new ingredients that I’ve been wanting to try.  Mainly, I wanted tonight’s meal to involve red lentils and celery root.

celery root - one of the ugliest vegetables known to man

I also had barley, potatoes, onion, and turnip so I thought soup would be great.  I’ve been thawing ground turkey so I wanted to incorporate that, too.

This soup turned out to be amazing.  (My boyfriend wants me to include that he’s pickky and he thought it was great).  Interestingly, the red lentils disappeared.  I had anticipated them to become pretty soft, but I didn’t think they would completely lose their color and disintegrate.  I’m not positive, but I’m pretty sure this is why the soup became so creamy.  It had the consistency of cream of celery.

The soup used little seasoning, and could very easily carry itself without the meatballs if you’re vegetarian.

Creamy Root Vegetable Soup with Turkey Meatballs

bring 8 cups of water to a boil, add 3/4 cups barley and 3/4 cups lentils (I’m going to be completley honest- these are estimates, I just poured them in)
-add 2 diced potatoes, 1/2 a diced celery root, 2 diced carrots, 1/2 a diced onion, 1/4 diced turnip
-add a bay leaf and salt, pepper, and sage to taste.  (I honestly probably used at least 2 teaspoons salt)

While the soup is simmering, make the meatballs.
-in a bowl combine 3/4 cups ground turkey, 1 egg, 1 chopped garlic clove, salt, pepper, parsley, fennel, crushed red pepper, and 1/4 cup parmesan cheese.
-mix with your hands, form into balls, and place onto a frying pan with vegetable oil.
-brown on all sides, then place in the oven at 380 degrees for 8 minutes, or until cooked all the way through

fresh out of the oven

-Add the meatballs to the soup and let simmer for 5 more minutes

The meatballs went nicely with the soup.  As I said earlier, I would compare the soup to a cream of celery – light, yet filling and refreshing.  The meatballs add a little extra, but aren’t necessary.  The parmesan cheese really came through in these meatballs and complemented the soup well.

I was pleasantly surprised with the celery root.  It had a nice flavor, somewhat between a potato and celery.  Picky boyfriend Dave says he wold have enjoyed it if it had been chopped more.  He claims it was a little overwhelming.  I claim it was delicious and should have been chopped less.

I’m glad I saved the other half of the celery root (instead of using it all in the soup) because I’m looking forward to experimenting with it.

Total Cost: $5.54

-organic pearled barley: $0.36
-organic red lentils: $0.67
– 2 organic potatoes: $0.40
-1/2 organic onion: $0.21
-1/2 organic celery root: $0.59
-1/4 organic turnip: $0.12
-2 carrots: free! (borrowed from awesome roommate Becca)
-3/4 lb organic ground turkey: $1.92
-1/4 cup parmesan cheese: $1.00
-1 clove  organic garlic: $0.10
-1 egg: $0.17

This soup was enough for Dave and I to each have two bowls plus there are a couple bowls left over.  Definitely a good deal 🙂

When All Else Fails, Make Soup

today's ingredients


Today’s meal was a bit of a comedy of errors.

I came home very excited to make pumpkin barley with thick chunks of potato, chick peas, and onions stirred in.

I somehow ended up with this:

not what I had expected

What I ended up with was a pumpkin heavy stew that NEEDED those chickpeas and onions I roasted.  Fortunately, it tasted pretty good.

As I said, I really wanted barley.  I failed, miserably, at making that work.  I added far too much water, added the potatoes too early, and everything turned into mush.  I then thought that I could maybe make this into mashed potatoes and barley.  yeah, no.  Way too much water for that, and at this point I didn’t see an easy way to drain it.  I added the left over sauce from the pumpkin pasta in an attempt to thicken this up.  It did thicken a little bit, but not nearly enough to be anything other than thin mush.  As a last resort, I stirred in the pumpkin to see what would happen.  To my amazement, a thick stew formed.  I tasted it, though, and it needed something.  It frankly tasted lifeless.  I added chipotle chili powder and nutmeg.  This helped a ton, but still not enough.

needs a little green, huh?

While making the barley, I had put one of my favorite stand bys in the oven- chickpeas coated in olive oil, salt, pepper, cumin, garlic, and crushed red pepper flakes.  For a little bit more flavor, i placed onion slices on top of the chick peas.

hummus bites

I let these roast at 400 degrees F for 15 minutes, stirring them about 10 minutes in.

As I was pondering what my soup needed, I tried a bite of the two together.  It reminded me of this quirky cookie I made for my German class in high school that no one liked.  It was pumpkin and onion filled and delcious.

Behold, my dinner had been made.  Not at all what I expected, but sometimes that’s okay 🙂

I’m not sure I can come up with a price on this meal, since it’s all bits and pieces of previous meals.  My estimation is less than $3.00 total, which is nice considering I have enough left over for 3+ meals.