Toasted Barley Pilaf with Squash, Salsa and Feta Cheese


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Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 4
Calories: 258 per serving
Percent from Fat: 26%
Cusine: Vegetarian, American
Course: Dinner, Sides
Diet: Vegetarian
Food as MedicineSM Ingredient: Black Tea

Food as MedicineSM Tip

Using black tea instead of water adds theaflavins which may just have activity against ovarian, liver and stomach cancer and leukemia cells!

Culinary Taste Tip

Garnishing with feta cheese gives this dish a salty tang and gives your eye a pleasing white contrast in the middle of the plate.

Culinary Technique Tip

Toasting the barley is quick in a dry pan, and gives you an extra nuttiness in flavor: however, do not walk away from the pan while you toast!


1 cup quick cooking barley
2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
1 cup coarsely chopped sweet or yellow onion
2 cups brewed black tea such as lapsang or oolong
1-1/2 teaspoons black tea leaves (from a bag or crushed loose tea)
2 medium zucchini squash (green or yellow or 1 of each), halved lengthwise, cut into 1/4 inch slices
1/2 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
1/2 cup jalapeno or guajillo salsa, such as Frontera brand
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
2 tablespoons flax seeds or sesame seeds


Toast barley in a dry medium saucepan over medium heat 3 minutes or until fragrant, stirring occasionally. Add oil and onion; saute 3 minutes or until barley is golden brown. Add brewed tea and tea leaves; bring to a boil over high heat. Stir in squash. Reduce heat; simmer uncovered 10 minutes or until liquid is absorbed (barely will be al dente or firm). Stir in salt, then salsa. Let stand 5 minutes for flavors to blend. Top with cheese and flax or sesame seeds.

Nutritional Analysis

Total fat (g): 8.16 - Fat calories (kc): 72.42 - Cholesterol (mg): 16.69 - Trans fatty acids (g): 0.0 - Saturated fat (g): 3.21 - Polyunsaturated fat (g): 0.57 - Monounsaturated fat (g): 2.56 - Fiber (g): 7.24 - Carbohydrates (g): 40.94 - Sugar (g): 6.26 - Protein (g): 9.6 - Sodium (mg): 592 - Calcium (mg) 130.786.

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