Why I Am Posting These Recipes

I believe that it is healthier for an individual and for the planet to reduce the consumption of animal products in the human diet. However, I love to eat all kinds of delicious food, and find it really, really difficult to go totally vegetarian. Also, my family protests if I serve too many vegetarian meals in a row. So I am committed to making an effort to move towards a vegetarian diet without wholly doing so. I will post recipes several times a week that represent my philosophy of eating well, eating healthy, eating local. Most recipes will be easy to prepare, as I have a busy life. So I expect my followers to be people who love to cook and eat well, want to try to help the planet through their eating (by eating local foods and trying to reduce the use of meat in our diets), and have many other things to do each day besides cook.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Fennel, Orange, Barley and Avocado Salad

I still had 1/2 a fennel bulb left over from the salad I posted on March 10, so I decided to make another salad with it.  Some of the ingredients are the same as that one, some are different.  I cooked some barley to use in the salad, demonstrating the easy use of grains as a salad ingredient to make a heartier and more wholesome dish.  Using whole grains in salads is a great way to reduce the amount of meat you eat in a meal, if that is a goal you aspire to, because the grains will fill you up more.  I used the same dressing as I used on March 10; I happened to have some left over.  I copied it on the bottom in case you need to make a fresh batch.

½ cup uncooked barley
1 cup water
salt to taste
½ fennel bulb, chopped
4 radishes, sliced thin and then halved
2 navel oranges, broken into sections and then sections cut into thirds
½ yellow pepper, diced
bunch parsley, chopped (about ½ cup)
bunch cilantro, chopped (about ½ cup)
6 Romaine lettuce leaves, chopped
1 avocado, diced
¼ cup dried cranberries
salt and pepper to taste

Combine uncooked barley andsalted water in sauce pan and bring to a boil over high heat, covered.  Once boiling, reduce heat to simmer and cook for about 20 minutes, or until water is absorbed and barley is tender.  Remove from heat and cool in pan.  Meanwhile, combine chopped fennel, radishes, oranges, yellow pepper, parsley and cilantro in bowl and let sit so that flavors can come together. When approaching serving time, add barley, chopped Romaine, avocado, and dressing to bowl and mix with other salad ingredients.  Add dried cranberries and stir to combine.  Sprinkle salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.  

Dijon Mustard Dressing:

1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 TBS Dijon mustard
2 TBS sherry vinegar
Combine in jar and shake to mix it up.

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