Sunday, February 15, 2009

Bring a healthy appetite

After I finished reading "Food Matters" by Mark Bittman last week, I've had a renewed interest in eating even healthier by adding more vegetables and grains to our diet. "Let's come up with ways to add more greens to our diet", said hubby just a couple days. "Funny you should say that. That's exactly what I'm thinking." Needless to say, I highly recommend reading this book.

So here's my first start. I bought mustard greens and green beans. With a recently discovered appreciation for barley, I just had to create something that involved at least all three. I've never cooked mustard greens before so I took a peek at Mark Bittman's "How to cook everything" to see if it requires special preparation. It became clear to me that I could cook it the same way I would other leafy greens such as spinach.

Unlike baking, when I cook, I eyeball most of my ingredients. Below I've tried to estimate the amounts I've used. I'd like to hear from you if you decide to try this recipe :o)

Mustard Greens with Barley and Oven-Roasted Veggies
My original recipe

Ingredients and instructions:
• 1.5-2 cups pearled barley, rinsed
• 1/4 tsp salt, or to taste
• enough water to cover barley 1 inch
Cook barley in partially covered pan until cooked to your liking. This will take approximately 45 minutes. If the water has evaporated but the grains aren't fully cooked yet, add a little bit of hot water. You should not need to drain the barley.

Mustard Greens
• 1 onion, finely chopped
• 2 tbsp canola oil
• 1 tsp ginger paste
• 1/2 tsp ground cumin
• 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
• 1/2 tsp turmeric
• 3-4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
• 1 bunch mustard greens, washed, chopped (stems removed)
• 1/2 lb uncooked shrimp (optional)
• salt and pepper to taste
Fry the onion in the oil until soft and caramelized. Add ginger paste and garlic. Stir until fragrant. Add spices and stir. Add mustard greens in 2 batches. Add second batch after the first batch is wilted. Cover pan and lower heat. In the meantime, clean the shrimp. When the greens are tender, add the shrimp.

Oven-Roasted Veggies
• 1 pound green beans, washed, ends cut
• 4 carrots, peeled, cut on the bias
• 2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
• 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
• 1/2 tsp ginger paste
• 2-3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
• 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
• salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Mix everything together in a big bowl. Cover large baking sheet with aluminum foil, preferably non-stick aluminum foil (otherwise spray it with cooking spray). Pick up the (marinated) veggies from the bowl and place on the baking sheet. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the veggies are fork tender.

Wash the barley with cold water to wash away some of the starch and separate the grains. Add the cooked barley to the cooked mustard greens (and shrimp, if using). Stir to reheat the barley. Serve the oven-roasted veggies with a nice portion of the barley-mustard greens. Bon appetit!

This recipe has been sent to Original Recipes @ Culinarty for Lore's event.


  1. What a great new take on mustard greens Hanaa. I love the whole idea & the sides too. How yum & how healthy!!

  2. Thanks Deeba. It was a big hit with hubby :o)

  3. Well it would definitely be a big hit with me too. Tasty and healthy, you can't ask for more than that!! Thanks for sharing your delish recipe with the Original Recipes Round-Up :)

  4. Thank you for stopping by Lore and your kind comments :o)

  5. It looks delicious and healthy, Hanaa! I love barley a lot :)

  6. Thanks Vera. Mixing barley with mustard greens turned out to be a great combination.

  7. On behalf of my Scottish brethren and, uh, sisthren, I compliment you on your prominent usage of barley in this delicious recipe. May your recently discovered appreciation for this queen of grains continue to bloom and grow, bloom and grow. Can your recipe for Scotch broth be far behind?

  8. I tried your dressing with with mix vegetables, some almonds and walnuts and they looked beautiful and tasted awsum. Thanks for a quick and tasty recipe.

  9. Mac: thanks for stopping by. I learned that Scotch broth is a hearty soup of beef, barley and vegetables. Coincidently I have made a hearty soup with barley and vegetables last weekend which I hope to post soon. No beef though. Does that count? :o)

    Anu: thanks for your feedback. I'm glad you had a chance to try one of my recipes. I appreciate you stopping by to let me know how it turned out. Your addition of nuts sounds great. Very creative! :o)

  10. Does that count? Well, that's tricky. Without admitting that there is a substitute for Scotch broth, I welcome hearty vegetable soups featuring barley. So, apparently, do others:


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