Thanksgiving is all about the side dishes and when you incorporate whole grains it makes it a healthy alternative. You can use any squash for this recipe but I have used Delicata, it has a thinner skin which means you don't need to peel it first like you would with a butternut squash.
This recipe is part of the #plasticfreefoodie movement started by a lovely women in New York who is raising awareness of the effect our everyday packaging decisions make on our environment, specifically the ocean. She put together an e-book of recipes from 60 fellow bloggers from around the world. All proceeds from this book go to Plastic Ocean and Oceans Conservancy. Small changes can make a big difference and once you become more aware of the bulk offerings at the store you can find out how easy these changes can be. I keep lunch bags in my re-usuable shopping bag for dry items like potatoes, fruits and bulk goods.
This recipe is an example of a plastic free recipe with squash, shallots, onion from the farmers' market, barley from the bulk section of the grocery store that I put in a lunch bag I brought from home. The Swiss chard and rosemary is from our garden.
Barley with Squash and Swiss Chard
by Inspired by the Seasons
- 1 c diced onion
- 3 T diced shallot
- 2 1/2 c squash cut into 1/2" pieces
- 1 sprig fresh rosemary
- 2 T olive oil, divided
- 1 c pearled barley
- 4 Swiss chard stems, stalk chopped, leaves cut into 1/2" ribbons
- Salt and freshly cracked pepper to taste
In a saucepan with a lid add barley, pinch of salt and 3 cups of water (or broth) and bring to a boil. Turn the heat down to a simmer and cover. Cook for 20 minutes and give it a stir and make sure there is liquid in the pan add more if necessary. Cover again and continue to simmer for 15 minutes until the barley had doubled in size and is soft and chewy. The liquid should have cooked off by now if not, drain and set aside.
In a 12" skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil and add onions, chard stalks, rosemary and shallot. Cook over medium heat for 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and take out rosemary sprig.
In separate 10" skillet, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil and add the squash so it is in an even layer. Cook on medium heat for 4 minutes. Stir and cook an additional 4 minutes. Check to see if the squash has softened. If not, cover and cook an additional 3 minutes or more until it has cooked through but not mushy.
Add the cooked barley to the pan with the onions, add pepper and salt to taste. Stir together and add in the chard leaves. Cook until the chard is wilted. Stir in the squash and serve immediately. Makes 6 servings.