I officially survived my month of 5 days of cardio and 3 days of weights a week. I feel great, but I wonder why I still get sore every single time I do any kind of exercise. You’d think my body would adjust by now! It must be an aging thing. I’ve got Advil, so I’m going to just keep on truckin’. Even though my month commitment is up, I’m continuing on this path because my health is important to me, and I know its really a life-long commitment. Maybe going forward I’ll do 4 days of cardio and no weights, or 3 days of cardio and 4 days of weights……whatever it may be, I’m just planning to keep on moving. I think that’s really the key to being healthy; anything is better than nothing. Just do a little every day.
Of course the other part of a healthy lifestyle is eating well. I’ve always been a big advocate of making a big salad on Sunday and eating it the whole week for lunch. I think people are more apt to eat well if its easily accessible. For this week’s lunch salad I wanted to change it up a bit. Lettuce has been boring me. I found this great looking recipe in Fine Cooking magazine, and was interested to try a new ingredient: barley. It sounds gross, but its just like quinoa or anything similar: tastes like rice.
Barley and Black-Eyed Pea Salad recipe from Fine Cooking
1/4 cup fresh lime or lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon grated lime or lemon zest
< 1/4 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons finely minced cilantro
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon honey
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/2 cup pearled barley **found this in the bulk bins at Henry’s
1 1/2 cups rich vegetable stock
1 cup frozen or canned black-eyed peas **I used dried beans. Soaking was a pain
1 large yellow bell pepper, roasted, peeled and diced **I used red pepper
1 cup seeded and diced ripe tomato
3/4 to 1 cup diagonally sliced scallions (white and green parts)
1 cup cooked fresh (or thawed, frozen) corn kernels **I used fresh and grilled the corn
Green- and red-leaf lettuce leaves (optional)
To make the vinaigrette: In a small bowl, whisk together the lime (or lemon) juice, zest, garlic, cumin, cilantro, oil and honey; add salt and pepper to taste.
To make the salad: In a dry saucepan, lightly toast the barley over moderate heat until fragrant, about 5 minutes, stirring to prevent burning.
Add the stock, bring to a boil, reduce the heat, cover and simmer gently until the liquid is absorbed and the barley is tender, about 40 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand, partially uncovered, until cooled to room temperature before stirring.
Meanwhile, cook the peas in lightly salted boiling water until just tender but not mushy, about 15 minutes. Drain, cool and set aside. If using canned peas, don’t cook them, just rinse them well. In a large (preferably glass) bowl, layer the barley, peas, roasted pepper, tomato, scallions and corn. Drizzle the vinaigrette over the salad and toss before serving. If you like, arrange the greens (if using) on serving plates and top with the salad.
Ok, so corn isn’t the star of this dish, but it still is Seasonal Potluck friendly! This salad has convinced me to look for other barley recipes! TRY NEW THINGS PEOPLE! I can’t stress it enough. There is so many awesome foodstuffs out there that we don’t even know about. Your favorite food may be something you’ve never even had before. Plus, as my mom always says, “if you don’t like it, there’s always popcorn”