A life uncomplicated, that is the way to live. Tonight’s dinner was a perfect example of simplicity and elegance. At least I see it that way. Colorful, tasty and extremely satisfying, this is a wonderful complete meal including lots of protein from the beans & barley, as well as tons of fiber. The butternut squash with its sweet roasted flavor gives life and warmth to the dish while adding its benefits of iron, potassium and vitamin C. Add spinach, avocado, a touch of thyme and this has rounded out nicely without breaking the bank. These simple easy dishes are so many times overlooked. Let’s embrace them more often!
The barley in this recipe does a while to cook but it will give you time to bring everything else together. If you’re following a gluten free diet, I suggest using quinoa or brown rice. As for the beans you can use your favorite. You may opt to replace the spinach with baby kale or chopped lacinato. Other herbs that would be great here with the butternut squash are rosemary and sage.
This recipe is brought forward from the archives, it was first posted in July 2012. I’ve also updated this Farmer’s Market Shephard’s Pie if you’re craving a good ol’ homestyle meal. It’s a definite keeper!
ROASTED BUTTERNUT SQUASH + BEANS & BARLEY BOWL
- 1 cup dried pearl barley
- 2 3/4 cups water or vegetable broth
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1 small butternut squash (about 2 1/2 cups), diced
- 1/2 small onion, sliced
- 1 can (15oz.) great northern or cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
- 2 – 3 handfuls baby spinach
- dash or two garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon thyme
- mineral salt & fresh cracked pepper, to taste
- avocado, to serve
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
In a medium size pot add barley, a pinch of salt and water, bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat to low and simmer for 45 minutes. Remove cover and let set 5 – 10 minutes, fluff with a fork.
While your barley is simmering, prepare your butternut squash by cubing into 1 inch pieces. Place on roasting pan lined with parchment paper, a silpat or lightly greased. Toss the squash with 1 tablespoon olive oil and sprinkle with the thyme and salt. Place on middle rake for 25 – 30 min, stirring once. Squash is ready when fork pierces easily.
In a medium size pan, heat the remaining olive oil over medium heat, add onions and cook about 5 minutes. Add spinach and cook until wilted (using a cover will help wilt the spinach faster), add beans and a dash or two of garlic powder, cook until heated through.
Serve with avocado and season to taste with salt & pepper.
To make this gluten free use brown rice or quinoa.
Just about any bean will work here, use your favorite or what you have on hand.
Other herbs to use are rosemary or sage.