Lately I’ve been making more meals just for me. Nathan has had a funky schedule and the kids always have a weird eating schedule, so I’ve been eating solo more often than not. Which is actually fine by me because I can make meals that I love, like this simple, savory barley bowl.
I tend to like really simple meals. Especially after coming off of a month of travel and moving, the simpler I’m eating the happier my digestive system is.
And even though it’s still hot as the devil’s armpit here in sunny Florida, I’ve been craving kale and squash, 2 of my go-to comfort foods. These foods are starting to show up more at the farmer’s market because we’re edging closer and closer to autumn. (Cue a pile of colorful leaves, tossed in the air)
I love kale and squash together. A little bitter plus a little savory plus the sweetness of the barley is the trifecta of comfort to me. I’ve been eating this dish nearly every day for a week and I have no reason to stop yet so I won’t. I mix it up a little bit each time, sometimes adding mushrooms to the kale or tomatoes or cucumbers, which give a nice crunch. But the base stays the same.
Come up with your own add-ons to personalize this delicious, simple lunch.
Simple, Savory Barley Bowl
1 1/2 cups of squash (butternut, acorn, pink banana, delicata) peeled and sliced into 1 inch pieces
1 Tbs olive oil
2 big handfuls of kale, rinsed and torn up into bite size pieces
1 tsp coconut oil
2 Tbs sliced almonds
2 Tbs pumpkin seeds
1 tsp nutritional yeast
salt/pepper to taste
1/4 cup barley plus enough water to cook it
optional add ons: tomatoes, cucumber, peaches, brussel sprouts, mushrooms, olives…really, anything goes here!
Make your barley in advance. I usually make it in the morning so I don’t have to worry about it at lunchtime. Barley takes about 45 minutes to make. But it’s worth it because it’s thick and tasty, perfect for lunchtime!
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Toss the squash in a little oil and salt, then put them on a baking sheet. Place the baking sheet in the oven, cooking until the squash is soft. Remove from the oven when done and set aside.
While the squash is cooking, make your kale. Heat some coconut oil in a large pan, add in the kale and the seeds/nuts. Stir well, while the kale wilts. Then add in the nutritional yeast, salt, and pepper (if using). Kale should cook until wilted but still bright green.
Once everything is done, add it all into a big bowl. Then add any other fun “toppings” to personalize. Mix it all together and Eat up!