Pearl Barley & Kale Salad

Pearl barley and kale salad brings together great textures, wonderful flavors and healthy ingredients into the perfect dish. Prepare your own pearl barley and kale salad with help from a nutrition expert, ‘delicious’ food educator, and co-founder of Nutritious America in this free video clip.

Part of the Video Series: Kale Obsession

Video Transcript

Hi, I'm Abra Pappa for NutritiousAmerica.com and this is my kale obsession. Today, I'm making a pearl barley and kale salad. So, I've already prepared the pearl barley, and here's how I did it: I sauteed one onion in olive oil, added one cup of barley, which looks like this - the pearl barley - before it's cooked. I added one cup, and toasted it a little bit in the olive oil and the onion, added two cups of water, and two aromatics - a full cinnamon stick, and a whole star anise. This is going to give it this really warm, luscious flavor. Two cups of water, and I let it cook for 25 minutes until it was perfectly done. Just going to add the pearl barley to my kale, which has been washed and torn from its stems. Pearl barley, it's a whole grain. It's a little bit more refined than whole hulled barley, but it's still jam-packed with fiber, tons and tons of fiber and barley. So, this is a real powerhouse of a dish, the barley and the kale together. I'm going to add just about one full cup of barley, and I'm just eyeballing it. You can really smell the barley, can smell the cinnamon and the star anise. It's just imparted such a beautiful flavor. Going to mix that together, and I'm going to add olive oil to this just to help break down the kale leaves a little bit and continue to flavor that barley, and just moisten it up a little bit. Two tablespoons - I'm going to eyeball it - extra virgin olive oil. And, I'm going to salt it as well. This is also going to help to break down those kale leaves. That was a pinch of salt. A pinch, to me, is about a quarter of a teaspoon of sea salt, please. We're going to mix that together, and you really want to let this one sit. You're going to want to let this one sit for a few minutes, just to get those leaves broken down just enough. Okay, here's where the magic really happens with this salad. I'm going to add a couple of awesome ingredients and I want to talk to you a little bit about it. So, I have one whole chopped organic apple. Apples are one of the highest-sprayed fruits and vegetables in the country. So, they have tons of pesticides and chemicals on them. If there's anything that you buy organic, apples are one of them that you should always opt for, and because you're eating the skin, so you're going to get the pesticides. I have a quarter of a cup of pomegranate seeds. Look at these gorgeous jeweled beauties. My grandpa used to bring a pomegranate home every Christmas, and he would cut it open, we would all share the seeds. So, this is a real great sense memory for me. And then, I have a quarter of a cup of chopped pistachios, and this is just a textural element. It also goes really well with the warm spices that I cooked the barley in. And, for a color profile, it's pretty gorgeous. So, you just simply add these things to your salad. I'm going to give you a little lesson in antioxidants as I'm adding these to the salad. So, I chopped this apple a little bit earlier, and in order for it not to turn brown, I squeeze some lemon juice on it, right? Stops the apple from turning brown. Great trick. But, do you know why it stops the apple from turning brown? Because, the Vitamin C in lemon juice is an antioxidant, and apples turn brown once their surface reaches the air because it's been oxidized, and it starts to break down the cells, and basically age the apple. So, when you hear nutritionists and doctors talk about eating antioxidants or antioxidant-rich foods, it's the same effect. We want to ingest the antioxidants to stop that oxidation process within our cells. So, pomegranate seeds are jam-packed with antioxidant. Look at the colors. So, we're getting a major antioxidant-rich meal here, oh gosh, and it's so beautiful! I'm going to save a couple just to sprinkle on top. And then, my pistachios. Okay. We're going to toss this together, and I'm going to add a vinegar. The vinegar that I've chosen for this dish is a pomegranate balsamic that I found at my natural food store. It's just balsamic vinegar that's infused with some concentrated pomegranate juice. So, it works well with the pomegranate, and it's delicious. It's one and a half tablespoons of pomegranate balsamic. Mix that together. I mean, if this just isn't the most beautiful salad you've ever seen. The winter barley, apples pomegranate seeds - this is an absolute holiday meal. There you are. I'm Abra Pappa from NutritiousAmerica.com. Eat your greens, and have a delicious day!

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