Barley Balance: A Barley Valentine’s Day Dinner

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Barley Balance: A Barley Valentine’s Day Dinner

Jane Dummer RD HSG 2014 (427x640)By Jane Dummer RD

Have you ever made a home-cooked romantic meal for your sweetheart on Valentine’s Day? It’s a great way to avoid the restaurant rush and enjoy a cosy dinner at home.

Also, cooking and baking for the people you love remains one of the oldest and best ways to convey your admiration for them. It’s a homemade gift that you can both take pleasure in. Let’s explore some handpicked barley recipes for that special menu to share with your Valentine.

To Start

recipes 04.15.14-30I picked the Barley Salad with Strawberries, Jicama and Lime-Mint Dressing recipe because I love the festive red-and-white colour blend, and nothing says Valentine’s Day like heart-shaped strawberries! The jicama is a crispy, sweet tuber that resembles a turnip and is a new food for most of us. It’s a nice complement to the juicy, red strawberries and tender, chewy barley. And the pumpkin seeds give another punch of flavour and texture. The tangy lime-and-mint dressing adds a delicious, refreshing zing perfect to start the evening.

 Jane’s Meal-Planning Tip

  • This recipe can be made the day of and refrigerated up to 24 hours. This perfect Valentine’s Day salad recipe makes eight half-cup (125 ml) servings; enjoy the leftovers the next day at lunch. 

The Main Course

recipes 04.15.14-90

Get warm and cosy with juicy short ribs and velvety barley simmered together for your main course. I chose the Korean-Style Beef Ribs and Barley recipe because I believe the sweet and salty flavour combination is an example of how a range of tastes can harmonize in one dish. And for some, switching up a traditional rib recipe on Valentine’s Day may be just the bold and spicy move you’ve been looking for! I recommend a side of steamed broccoli or sautéed bok choy.

Jane’s Meal-Planning Tip

  • This recipe can be made the day of in a slow cooker (three hours) or just ahead of your evening in the oven (1.5 hours). It makes five servings of two to three ribs each. Leftovers are always a tasty next-day option.

Ready for Dessert?

recipes 04.15.14-20We all know it’s what’s inside that counts, especially when it comes to crepes! I selected the Chocolate Barley Crepes for that special end to the barley-inspired Valentine’s Day menu. Fill the crepes with your sweetheart’s favourites. If you need inspiration, I recommend vanilla ice cream with sliced strawberries and blueberries, then dusting the crepe with cocoa powder and drizzling it with chocolate sauce. With the same chocolate sauce, you can scrawl a sweet, personal message to your love on the dishware.

Jane’s Meal-Planning Tip

  • The recipe makes eight servings of two crepes each. The crepes can be prepared ahead of time, divided with parchment paper and stored in plastic wrap or sandwich bags; they’ll keep in the refrigerator for up to three days or in the freezer for up to three months.

Now, for the final ingredient to set the Valentine’s Day mood, I recommend a bottle of your favourite red wine and decorating with simple candles in your preferred shades of red and pink.

Wishing you a very special barley-inspired Valentine’s Day!