The prospect of eating more plants and fewer animal products can hint at a reduced set of ingredients and flavors, compared to what society considers full spectrum, including animal products. But it turns out, the hint is not the truth.
This rainbow chard over barley with oil-free lemon dressing combines the citrussy and spicy flavors of mustard, garlic and hot sauce in a simple recipe.
There is a near infinite amount of flavors, nutrients and recipes you can make on a vegan, low-fat diet. I often use rice, white or brown. This recipe replaces it with barley. Barley gives a change from rice, and according to the friends at whfoods.com, it contains plenty of molybdenum, manganese, and fiber which can help develop “friendly” gut microbiome.
But when it comes to nutrition, what enthused me the most was the very low glycemic index of barley: 28. In comparison, whole wheat scores 74, potatoes 78, and brown rice 68. When it comes to glycemic index, lower is believed to be better, meaning the conversion of food into sugar during digestion is slow and gentle to organs and to cells.
Likewise for vegetables, there are so many options to pick from at your local store: kale, lettuce, arugula, beets and their greens, cabbage, cauliflower, or: rainbow chard. This fresh chard came from the local farm, and the variety of colors made a positive impression about the diversity of antioxidants. Chard is also rich in nitrates, and combined with barley, can make for a great pre-workout meal.
The oil-free lemon dressing is super simple: crush some garlic, combine with lemon as well as French mustard. I added no salt, in my opinion the dressing including the mustard and lemon give plenty of spice and acidity, such as I don’t think salt is needed. Sodium aficionados can easily add it before serving.
What made this recipe simple was that we prepared barley in advance. It takes time to cook, but if you make a large batch and refrigerate it, boiling the chard for just a few minutes and making the dressing will be even more of a breeze.
Rainbow chard over barley with oil-free lemon dressing
- 20 oz chard
- 2 cups cooked barley
- oil-free French lemon dressing
- Cook the barley (estimated: 60 minutes). Check recommended time on your packaging.
- In the meantime, rinse the chard and cut off the bottom pieces, then make mid-size slices and reserve.
- Boil the chard for 3-5 minutes, just to get it tender but without overcooking it. Rinse with cold water after straining, in the same spirit.
- Prepare the oil-free French lemon dressing.
- In a plate, put one cup of the cooked barley, add the chard on top and sprinkle with the lemon dressing. For an even spicier taste, put a bit of hot sauce as well.
- Serve immediately.