Mushroom and Pea Barley Salad

Winter break is finally over for me, and I .  My past few weeks were filled with fun with family and lots of baking and cooking, but I am feeling ready to get back into my old routine and get back to work.  I’m sure this won’t last too long, and within a few weeks, I will again be yearning for vacation.One highlight from the break was that a recipe of mine was featured on The Chew!  The Chew is one of the many shows I set my DVR up to record, and I love to catch up on episodes while cooking dinner.  One day during the break I was cleaning up in the kitchen while my mom was eating lunch with the TV show in the background.  Thank goodness she was paying attention and happened to hear my name, or I would have missed it.  They were talking about healthy recipes, and my Strawberry Chicken Poppy Seed Salad was featured! (Excuse my poor phone video quality, I was just too excited!)

I know lots of people are looking for healthy recipes this time of year, and after a few good weeks of indulging over the holidays (I knew there was a reason I don’t keep a huge tub of Nutella in my apartment), I am returning back to regularly scheduled programming here on Cinnamon Freud with some lighter meals.  Desserts are wonderful, but we have to eat our veggies before we get to eat our sweets, right?  This salad is a simple, warm, and filling dinner.  Barley is personally a favorite, but feel free to substitute any type of rice or grain.


1/2 cup dried pearled barley
1 1/4 cup water
2 cubes chicken bouillon
1/2 onion, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 tablespoon olive oil
12 cremini mushrooms, sliced
1 cup peas
1-2 ounces Fontina, grated
1 teaspoon dried dill
Salt and pepper, to taste


In a small saucepan combine barley, water, and chicken bouillon over medium heat.  Bring to a boil and lower heat, simmering until almost all of the liquid is absorbed, about 20-30 minutes.  Set aside.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet melt butter and olive oil.  Add onion, seasoning with salt and pepper.  Cook over low to medium heat until caramelized, about 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally   Add mushrooms, adding more butter if needed, and cook for 4-7 minutes.  Add peas and cook an additional 2 minutes.  Stir in barley and remaining liquid, cooking 3-4 minutes until all liquid is absorbed.  Remove from heat and stir in Fontina and dill.

Serves 2.

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