Gallo Pinto means painted rooster in Spanish, and is a traditional dish in Costa Rica. In this recipe, barley replaces white rice for a colourful, fibre-rich substitute for breakfast hash browns or as a side dish for poultry or fish.


  • 2 tsp (10 mL) canola oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 stalks celery, thinly sliced
  • 1 medium yellow onion, coarsely chopped
  • 1 sweet pepper, diced
  • 2 cups (500 mL) cooked pearl or pot barley
  • 1 19-oz (540 mL) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 tsp (10 mL) Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp (2 mL) chili powder
  • ¼ cup (60 mL) chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish
  • 1 lime, cut into 6 wedges, for garnish

In a large, heavy-bottomed skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add garlic, celery, onion and sweet pepper. Sauté for 5 minutes, until onion is transparent. Stir in cooked barley, black beans, Worcestershire sauce, cumin and chili powder. Heat through, stirring often, until mixture has a slightly dry texture, about 10 minutes.

Garnish with chopped cilantro and lime wedges, if desired.

Makes 4 servings (1 cup/250 mL each).

Nutritional Information (per serving): Calories: 342; Protein: 16 g; Carbohydrate: 63 g; Fibre: 14 g; Sugars: 4 g; Fat: 4.5 g; Saturated Fat: 0.4 g; Trans Fat: 0 g; Cholesterol: 0 mg; Sodium: 705 mg; Potassium: 244 mg