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Friday, May 13, 2016

Craving Mac and Cheese?

 Ok, so who doesn't love Mac and Cheese? But the popular boxed brand is nasty stuff, full of white flour macaroni and not much there, plus the "cheese" mixture is full of salt, artificial orange coloring and other ingredients that are not too compatible with healthy eating.

So here is my solution for that soul comfy food.

Ingredients are simple:

Barley (pearl barley is the most common grain found in your local grocery store) Of course, you could use a different grain but this one I absolutely love! I make up a batch in my rice cooker and add it to my dog's food as well as my go to grain instead of rice. (one part barley to 3.5 parts water)
I add a little salt (optional) and a small amount of olive oil ( teaspoon I would say, i dont measure it). Stir the barley and oil to coat the grains. Why? Barley releases starch when it cooks and can cause boil over. The oil seems to break that up so seems to make a difference.

Want to add seasoning? You can or leave it plain. In the batch, I added a generous amount of organic Italian seasoning.

Cook till water is absorbed and the grain is not crunchy, about 40 mins or if you have a rice cooker, just set and walk away.

Spoon some fresh hot barley into a bowl and sprinkle on cheese of your choice. Some would prefer Cheddar but for this batch, I choose shredded Parmesan/Romano cheese. Stir and enjoy!

Barley is a wonderful alternate to rice in my opinion. I store cooked barley in my fridge and add it to my dog's meals and it wonderful cold on top of your salad too!

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