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By Jan Bilton

Over the last few weeks my family’s ‘Meatless Mondays’ have been extended to Tuesdays and sometimes even Sundays. I used yummy, long shelf-life, meat-free goodies from the pantry — all of which make wholesome meals when combined with vegetables from the garden or freezer.

Barley is one. I love its chewy texture and nutty flavour. It’s packed with fibre, folate, potassium and vitamin B6, and also helps lower blood cholesterol, thus decreasing the risk of heart disease. Economical barley is excellent in soups, stews, salads and breads.

ROASTED VEG WITH BARLEY

Can be served hot or at room temperature.

Roasted Veg with Barley

1 cup pearl barley

2 1/2 cups water

1 cup peeled and diced butterkin or pumpkin

1 each: red and yellow capsicums, seeded and diced

1 medium onion, diced

1/2 teaspoon chili flakes

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 clove garlic, crushed

1/4 cup chopped parsley

2 tablespoons lemon juice

100g feta cheese

toasted pine nuts

Preheat the oven to 200°C.

Wash the barley and drain. Place in a medium saucepan. Add the water and bring to a simmer. Cover and cook for about 40 minutes, until the barley is tender.

Meanwhile, place the butterkin, capsicums and onion in a large roasting pan. Dust with the spices and drizzle with the oil. Toss until well coated. Roast until tender about 25 minutes, stirring once or twice during cooking.

Drain the barley, season with salt and pepper, and add the garlic, parsley and lemon juice. Add to the roasted veg. Serve topped with the feta cheese and pine nuts. Serves 6.

  • Jan Bilton is an award-winning, professional food writer. For more of her recipes visit her website here.

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