Our Co-Host for today reminds me a lot of myself a woman who balances it all!! Trish is the Mommy, Cook and career woman behind her blog In Fine Balance. She consideres herself to be a professional accountant. Mother. Wife. Family nutritionist. Student. She, like any other mother out their, finds herself asking the same questions we all do about taking care of ourselves and our families. What Trish has learnt about Nutrition is that  food is not just about dinner. Food nurtures our bodies, our souls and our families.  Food is about tradition as much as it is about taste. Simply said, and simply true!!! You have to check out some of her awesome recipes, I drooled when reading her recipe for Apple Fritter Muffins!! Trish, like me, also write about her family and life, when I read her post about her daugther turning 8 it made me look at my precious baby and treasure that very second I had with her. Join me in welcoming Trish as our Co-Host for the day and be sure to stop over and tell her this Momma sent you! I chose to make an awesome recipe that made me want to reach out and eat the computer screen!! Thanks so much Trish!!

Broccoli and Barley Salad W/Avocado & Sundried Tomatoes

Ingredients: (Pay no attention to the Turkey Bacon, I was making two recipes this day and I slid that in their by mistake….whoopsy!!)

  • 1 cup barley + 3 cups water, cooked in rice cooker (35-40 minutes)
  • pinch of salt
  • 4 cups broccoli florets, broken in bite sized pieces
  • 1-1/2 cups blanched broccoli
  • 1 avocado
  • 1/2 cup sun-dried tomato
  • 1/3 cup sunflower seeds
  • zest of half of lemon, plus juice of half
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • cayenne pepper, a pinch
  • 2 cloves garlic

 Cook 1 cup in 3 cups of water using the same method as you would brown rice (that is, bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover and simmer until water is absorbed, 35-40 minutes).

Make sure you rinse the barley well before cooking, it can be dusty, and pick out any pebbles etc., that may have found their way into the bag.  Allow the barley to cool completely before using to the salad by running under cold water. Drain completely.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Cook broccoli until bright green and just slightly tender…. about 2 minutes. You want  it still to be crunchy. Run under cooled running water to cool and stop the cooking. (I cheated and used frozen broccoli so I just microwaved it.)

For the dressing… in a food processor, add sun-dried tomatoes and garlic.

Add the lemon zest and lemon juice.

Add the avocado next.

Add half the broccoli and cayenne pepper last.

Pulse until creamy, scraping down sides as needed.  Taste for seasonings, add salt and pepper as needed. I actually really did this step, I kept tasting it and adjusting the salt and pepper until I got the best taste, af first it was too lemony but once I did that, it was awesome! (great tip)

Mix barley, broccoli and dressing in a large bowl.

Serve. Eat. Love. It. Barley is my new favorite side dish!!

I had it for leftovers for lunch three days in a row! But no, I didn’t like it. Oh I see you wondering about the pecans, I didn’t add sunflower seeds because I almost passed out when I saw how much they cost at the store, so sprinkled pecans on top since I had them!!

So there you have it! Another success in the kitchen thanks to our Co-Host Trish from In Fine Balance. Go check out her blog and tell her that this Momma sent you!!