The biggest struggle with my love with food is maintaining a slim waistline. I love healthy foods but I also love my fatty, greasy, heart-attack foods. I’ll start the week motivated to eat clean with plenty of vegetables and protein but I always find myself ending the week with a more indulgent meal. Does it still count as dieting if I get 2 or sometimes 3 cheat days? Well, this butternut squash and barley salad is one of those meals I enjoy during the beginning of the week. With a healthy whole grain like barley, beautiful roasted squash, fresh arugula and sweet cranberries, this salad is light yet satisfying. Not to forget the creamy poached egg to round out this tasty meal!
- 1 cup barley
- 2 1/2 cups water
- 1 small butternut squash, peeled and cut into large chunks
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- pinch of nutmeg
- 1 tbsp olive oil.
- salt and pepper
- 3 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 1/2 tbsp maple syrup
- 6 tbsp olive oil
- salt and pepper
- 4 cups arugula
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- 4 eggs, poached
- 2 oz shaved Parmesan
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Combine barley and water in a medium pot. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce to a simmer, cover and cook until tender and the water is absorbed, about 45 minutes.
- Toss cut butternut squash with cinnamon, nutmeg, olive oil and salt and pepper. Spread on a baking sheet and roast for 30 minutes or until tender.
- Prepare vinaigrette by whisking together vinegar with maple syrup and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.
- Toss together barley with roasted squash, arugula, and dried arugula with vinaigrette. Divide onto 4 plates. Top with poached egg and shaved parmesan. Serve.
**Helpful tips and common mistakes
When preparing salads, especially vegetarian salads, I like to add a whole-grain to fill me up. I find that if the salad is composed of almost all vegetable, I get hungry within 2 hours. Adding barley eliminates that issue while still keeping the salad on the healthy side.
I admit, this salad is more appropriate during the fall and winter because of the apple cider vinaigrette and squash, but I enjoy this year-round. The bitter arugula with the sweet cranberries, hearty barley and roasted squash all work perfectly together. Finish it with a runny yolk and shaved parmesan and I’m in heaven!
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