For dinner this year, I cooked a new pasta dish I'd found on Pinterest (but I wasn't as excited about it as I thought I'd be, as the sauce turned out a little loose and the arugula in the dish kind of dominated the flavor). It wasn't bad, but it wasn't blogworthy.
So I turned my attention to dessert. Before making dinner, I'd cooked up some barley in preparation to make another recipe I'd seen on Pinterest -- a rice pudding-style pudding that used barley instead of rice. But as I started to gather the other ingredients, I realized the recipe had some flaws that rendered it unusable. So I peeked around at some other recipes and created one that I thought would work ... and it did!
The end result reminded me a lot of rice pudding -- but with the added bonus of knowing it had the nutritional value of the pearled barley (8 g of dietary fiber and 5 g of protein per 1/4 cup of the Arrowhead Mills barley I used).
RECIPE: BARLEY PUDDING
• 2 rounded cups cooked pearled barley
• 2 cups low-fat milk (I used 1%; you probably could also use non-dairy milk)
• 3 Tbsp light agave nectar
• 1.5 oz. (snack size) box raisins -- about 1/4 cup (optional)
• 1/2 to 1 tsp cinnamon (I like lots of cinnamon, so I used 1 tsp; it was very cinnamony)
• 1 Tbsp butter or butter substitute
• 1/2 tsp vanilla
• Combine barley, milk and agave in a pan; cook over low heat, stirring frequently
• After 15 minutes, add raisins; continue stirring frequently
• 15 minutes later, add cinnamon; continue stirring frequently
• 10 minutes later, add butter; continue stirring frequently
• Depending on your desired consistency, the total cook time will be 40 to 50 minutes; when pudding looks like it is within five minutes of being done, add vanilla
• Let cool slightly; serve warm (I'll find out in the morning whether it's also good cold!)
I actually think I like it better cold than warm ... so serve it either way, depending on your preference!