Chicken, Broccoli and Barley Salad

Chicken, Broccoli and Barley Salad

Whenever someone asks me what is the quintessential perfect dish, I have to sort amongst the many dishes that are super easy to prepare, take little time, are inexpensive AND are perfect for most age groups. Well, this one totally fits the bill. It’s really healthy and for the adults — packed with protein, veggies — plus it has a naturally sweet zip from the cranberries and orange juice for the kids.

Barley is one of my favorite grains, but you rarely see it used in recipes other then vegetable soup. It’s a nutrient dense food rich in fiber, vitamin B and folic acid as well as having a yummy chewy texture. The barley I used cost 33 cents for the entire recipe which also makes it quite affordable.
Serving Size  : 6    
   2 1/2  cups    Water
   1      tsp           Kosher or Sea Salt divided
   1      cup          Barley
   2                       Chicken Breast, skinless boneless
   2      cup          Broccoli Florets (you could also use frozen)
   1/2  cup         Dried Cranberries
   2T.                   Orange Juice
   2T.                   Olive Oil

1. Bring water to a boil and 1/2 tsp salt.

2. Add barley, return to a boil, reduce to simmer, cover and cook for 35 minutes.

3. Place the chicken breasts of top of the barley, without stirring. Cover and cook another 5 minutes.

4. Add the broccoli and cook another 5 minutes until chicken and barley are cooked through, for a total cooking time of 45 minutes.

5. The barley should be tender but still chewy.

6. Remove the chicken and broccoli and chop into bite size pieces.

7. Combine the chicken, barley, broccoli, dried cranberries, orange juice, oil, and 1/2 tsp of the remaining salt in a bowl.

8. Serve warm or chilled.

This recipe is from a great website called Weelicious.  I find her recipes simple and mostly healthy.  I did very little substitutions…I always use vegetable or chicken broth instead of water to make the grains have a bigger nutritional pop and to add more flavor.  Kosher salt is still refined salt and so definitely use unrefined sea salt.  I love Redmond Real Salt.  It is inexpensive and boasts 50 trace minerals.  I skipped the dried cranberries, I did not think it sounded good and most are sweetened with nasty sugars.realsalt_pouch

The grains take a while to cook, but the cooking method is simple and requires very little hands on work.  If you like the recipe, experiment with different grains. I used wheat berry.

Check out my website for a Whole Grain Cooking Guide.

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