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Barley, Vegetables and Candied Nuts Salad

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    Barley, Vegetables and Candied Nuts Salad

    2 yellow or red beets
    1/2 cup (125 mL) pearl barley
    2 1/2 cups (625 mL) chicken or vegetable stock 
    1/4 cup (60 mL) dark brown sugar (or Sucanat)
    1/2 cup (125 mL) walnuts, coarsely chopped
    1 - 18 oz (500 g) bag mixed mesclun greens
    1 medium yellow zucchini
    1/2 small red onion
    1/3 cup (80 mL) extra-virgin olive oil
    2 Tbsp (30 mL) fig balsamic vinegar
    1/2 cup (125 mL) crumbled goat cheese

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    Place unpeeled beets in pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to medium, and gently boil until tender when pierced with a fork, about 30 to 45 minutes. Drain and cool. Peel and cut into small dice. Set aside.

    Combine barley and stock in saucepan. Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to medium, and gently boil until barley is tender to the bite, about 30 to 40 minutes. Be careful not to cook barley dry. When barley is tender, place in a sieve and rinse under cold running water until brought to room temperature. Drain well and place in small bowl. Set aside.

    Spray a baking sheet with oil. Set aside. Place sugar in a small, heavy-bottomed saucepan. Heat over high heat, stirring with a wooden spoon until melted. Sugar will turn into a golden syrup. Remove from heat and quickly stir in walnuts until evenly coated with syrup. Continue to work quickly and spread nuts out on baking sheet. Place aside to cool.

    Wash and spin-dry lettuce greens. Place on a large, shallow platter. Using vegetable peeler, thinly slice zucchini lengthwise into ribbons. Thinly slice onion and cut into halves. Scatter zucchini and onion over greens, along with diced beets and cooked barley. Break up candied nuts and scatter over top.

    Whisk oil and vinegar together in small bowl to blend. Drizzle over salad and gently toss together. Sprinkle with cheese and serve.

    Serves 6.

    Each serving contains: 355 g calories; 10 g protein; 25 g fat (6 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 24 g carbohydrates; 3 g fibre; 273 g sodium

    source: "Whole Grains = Smart Foods", alive #331, May 2010

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    Barley, Vegetables and Candied Nuts Salad

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