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These Roasted Vegetable and Barley Bowls Prove Healthy Food Doesn't Need to Be Bland

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Photo: Linda Pugliese

One of the best ways to make healthy eating more exciting? Fill a bowl with wholesome ingredients, then add interesting spices and sauces. If you're low on inspo, we have just the recipe to get you started.

This roasted vegetable and barley bowl from Heathyish, by Lindsay Maitland Hunt, transforms humble ingredients into something ~magical.~ Just assemble roasted veggies (like beets, carrots, and green beans), crisp lettuce, barley, and goat cheese, then pour on a cider-Dijon vinaigrette.

The combo featured here is a home run, but Hunt encourages taking liberties with the recipe. She suggests adding avocado, chicken, tuna, or egg for more protein, or green olives, poppy seeds, nuts, or sesame seeds for added texture.

And there are benefits beyond just the flavor: Beets contain nutrients that aid muscle function, barley keeps you full, and goat cheese provides protein and calcium. (Here are six more nutrient-rich power bowl recipes.)

Roasted Vegetable and Barley Bowls

Makes: 4 servings

Ingredients

For the vegetables:

  • 3 large beets, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch wedges

  • 5 large carrots, cut diagonally into 3/4-inch pieces

  • 1 pound green beans, stems trimmed

  • 3 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil

  • 5 garlic cloves

  • 3 fresh rosemary sprigs

  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano

  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the bowls:

  • 5 ounces tender lettuce, such as red leaf, butter lettuce, or Bibb (about 5 cups)
  • 3 cups cooked pearl barley (recipe follows)
  • 4 ounces fresh goat cheese, crumbled
  • 1/3 cup Cidery Dijon Vinaigrette (recipe follows)

Directions

  1. Preheat your oven to 425ºF (220°C), with racks positioned in the top and bottom thirds of the oven.

  2. Toss the beets, carrots, and beans with the oil, garlic, rosemary, oregano, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper in a large bowl. Divide between two rimmed baking sheets and roast, tossing once, until you can easily pierce a beet with a fork, 25 to 30 minutes.

  3. To serve, layer the lettuce, barley, vegetables, and cheese in large, shallow bowls, dividing them equally. Drizzle with the vinaigrette and season with additional salt and pepper.

Pearl Barley

Makes: 2 1/4 cups

Ingredients

  • 5 cups water
  • 1 cup pearl barley, rinsed
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

Directions

  1. Bring the water to a boil in a large pot. Add the barley and salt and cover. As soon as the water returns to a boil, reduce to a strong simmer. Cook, covered, until the barley is tender, 20 to 25 minutes. (It's okay if the grains are still a bit chewy; you want them to stay this way!) Drain any extra liquid and cool to room temperature. Fluff with a fork and transfer to an airtight container. Refrigerate the barley for up to 5 days or freeze for up to 2 months.

Cidery Dijon Vinaigrette

Makes: 1 cup

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup Dijon mustard
  • 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup olive oil

Directions

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the mustard, vinegar, salt, and pepper. Slowly drizzle in the oil, whisking constantly. Transfer to a jar or use immediately. Refrigerate the dressing in an airtight container for up to 1 month.

 

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