Putting pearl barley in our regular diet at home has been my aim lately. It's rich in fibers which is important for us, especially for the kids. They do get fibers from the bowls of cornflakes that they keep munching on throughout the day. I say munch because they eat them like chips. Dry, no milk, no yogurt. It's strange I know. I eat cornflakes exactly the same way they do. I know that I am not guilty of teaching them the improper way to eat them. Oh well, like mother, like kids.
So, barley. I have already created a number of recipes with them. I love using them in salads and orzotto. Orzotto is like risotto but uses barley instead. Orzo is the Italian term for barley, thus the name. I actually prefer them from rice and pasta (please don't tell my husband I said that) because they are al dente and has just the perfect mild nutty taste. And they are also so versatile that they go with everything. This salad is already a good healthy meal with the chicken and chickpeas providing the protein and the tomatoes having lycopene which is a kind of powerful antioxidant.
It is a simple, rustic dish with a good combination of flavors and nutrients. I created this Warm Barley, Chickpea and Tomato Salad with Grilled Chicken recipe for Skinny Ms., a site dedicated to giving healthy lifestyle tips, skinny eating recipes and lots more.