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Greek Barley Bake

Ok, so yesterday you got the Mississippi Mud Cake recipe and today I owe you something light and healthy in exchange for that decadence. This recipe qualifies because it’s basically one whole grain and a bunch of vegetables thrown together. It’s low in calorie but packed solid with protein, heart healthy fats, fiber, and enough nutritional merit to earn it a grade of an A on About’s Calorie Count website. That’s right, an A! The best part is it tastes amazing too.

 

I’m calling it a “Greek” barley bake only because it’s chock full of the classic Greek food flavors of feta cheese, spinach, and olives. And boy oh boy are those flavors out in full force in this dish. The smell alone makes your mouth water and putting away the leftovers requires superhuman abilities to not just keep eating right out of the serving pan.

The best part is that it took all of about 10 minutes to prep and the oven did the rest. Nothing needs to be cooked before it goes into the pan for the oven. I had considered using diced red onion in the dish, but then opted for scallions instead just so I wouldn’t need to cook anything ahead of time and it totally paid off. I chopped the veggies, Andy stirred the bowl, and in 10 minutes the whole darn thing was in the oven and I didn’t have to do anything else to get dinner ready. With the oven doing all the work all I had to do was wash 1 bowl, 1 knife, 1 cutting board and set the table. That’s my kind of meal.

 

Greek Barley Bake

Ingredients

  • 1 bag (6 oz) of baby spinach, chopped
  • 1 bunch scallions, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 5 vine ripe tomatoes, chopped
  • 1.25 cups chopped Kalamata olives
  • 8 oz + 4 oz feta cheese
  • 1.5 cups pearled barley
  • 4 cups stock or broth of your choice

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Chop the spinach and put it into a large mixing bowl.
  3. Add in the scallions, garlic, tomatoes, olives, 8 oz feta cheese, and barley and stir to combine.
  4. Pour in the stock over the mixture and stir to combine.
  5. With a paper towel and some olive oil lightly grease an 11 x 18 inch baking dish.
  6. Pour the mixture into the baking dish and cover tightly with tin foil.
  7. Bake for 45 minutes.
  8. Remove the tin foil and sprinkle with the remaining 4 oz of feta and continue baking for an additional 15 minutes uncovered.
  9. (This dish could easily be made vegan by simply omnitting the feta cheese.)

Cooking time (duration): 60

Diet type: Vegetarian

Number of servings (yield): 8

Meal type: dinner