Saturday, February 26, 2011

Vegetable Barley Casserole

Have you ever been so excited to go to a new restaurant just to get there and not enjoy the food? 

That's what happened to me last night.  I was so excited, all day, to go to a local sushi restaurant that I had been dying to try.  After waiting over half an hour to be seated, we ordered up a bunch a rolls and were so excited to dig in when the food finally came.  Usually I don't dip my rolls in soy sauce, but last night I had to DRENCH the rolls in soy sauce to try and make them taste better.  Not a wonderful food experience. 

After last night's let down, I was looking for a recipe that would perk up my palate. 

Surfing the net, I found a recipe on the Weight Watchers site that I had most of the ingredients for.  WAIT - WHAT??  I have all of these ingredients?  I can make this without going to the store?  Score!  That never happens to me.  I was so excited I decided to make it for lunch. 

Vegetable Barley Casserole

adaped from Weight Watchers


2 tsp. olive oil

1 small onion  - chopped (I used frozen - it was all I had)

1 clove garlic - minced

2 cups frozen corn - thawed and drained

3 cups fresh spinach - washed and roughly chopped

14 1/2 oz. canned diced tomatoes - drained

15 oz. canned black beans - rinsed and drained

2 cups cooked barley (follow cooking instructions on the package)

1/4 tsp. cumin (I added a pinch more after tasting)

1/4 tsp. dried oregano

1/2 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. black pepper

1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

cooking spray

Preheat oven to 350 degrees, spray a 2.5 to 3 quart casserole with non stick cooking spray.

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat.  Add: olive oil, garlic, onions, corn, and spinach.  Cook, stirring frequently until the onions are translucent and the spinach is tender (about 5 minutes).

Stir in the tomatoes, barley, black beans and spice.  Cook until heated through. (love that you can see the steam in this picture!!)

Spoon barley mixture into prepared casserole dish.  Sprinkle with cheese.  Bake until cheese melts and mixture is hot, about 20 minutes.  (I covered mine after a little bit to prevent the cheese from burning)

Remove from oven. Let stand for a few minutes before serving.  Enjoy!   This would be great along side fish or chicken, but I had it just as is for my lunch.  Mmmm Mmmmm delicious!

Now, I have a confession.  I am a messy cook.  When I cook, I usually spill something, drop something, and have dirty dishes everywhere.  My goal is to get better at cleaning up as I go, rather than waiting until the end.  Here is what my kitchen looked like when I was done cooking:

(Note the stain on the stove from when the barley water boiled over)

Now I am off to scrape the burnt water off the stove and pick up all the little pieces of cheese from the corners of the floor... Hopefully next time I can keep the food in the dish :-)


  1. Thanks for the recipe! As a vegetarian, I will definitely be trying it! I'm also a messy cook..something to work on I guess! :P

  2. Yea! I am so glad you liked it! Thanks for being my first comment!!