The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations General Assembly has declared 2016 the International Year of Pulses in recognition of their potential to improve diets and global food security. As part of the international marketing campaign, consumers are being urged to make meals and snacks with beans, lentils, chickpeas (also called garbanzo beans) and peas.
Barley and pulses are high-quality plant-based foods, which are vital to add to your overall dietary pattern. Research has shown that both barley and pulses are important in reducing the risk and managing chronic conditions such as diabetes and heart disease.
To celebrate, let’s explore three delicious GoBarley recipes featuring beans, lentils, chickpeas, and of course, barley!

Black Bean Barley Salad

This colourful combination of barley, black beans and cheese makes a delicious vegetarian main dish salad. It’s full of plant-based protein and has extra immune health antioxidants from the yellow pepper and tomatoes. Sautéing the barley before cooking brings out its rich nutty flavour. The dressing is a simple, but delicious mixture of limejuice and olive oil. Serve the salad immediately or let it marinate a few hours in the refrigerator. It’s beautiful served over lettuce and topped with shredded cheese.

Jane’s Meal Planning Tip
Cooking, cooling and refrigerating the barley the day before, will reduce the preparation time by 35 minutes the day of final prep. I recommend watching the recipe video for more easy tips.

Sausage, Lentil and Barley Soup

Italian sausages, green lentils, barley and celery are the key ingredients in this easy to make soup. This recipe is a one-pot meal because the barley and lentils cook at the same time. Lentils have a high amount of protein and are a good source of fibre, which supports immune and digestive health. The soup is just 170 calories per serving. It’s perfect to enjoy with a spinach salad and a piece of sourdough bread on a cold winter’s evening.

Jane’s Meal Planning Tip  

Cook extra soup and freeze it, so you have a meal option on a busy week night or a ready to go lunch for the office.

Barley Falafels

Chickpeas, cooked barley and barley flour make these falafels a delicious vegetarian addition to a pita, salad or as an appetizer with tzatziki dip. This two-step preparation uses a food processor and then a mixing bowl. The carrots, green onions, and parsley add a punch of colour and texture plus extra nutritional benefits to these baked falafels. I add the sesame seeds for the extra crunch on the outside to contrast the moist interior.

Jane’s Meal Planning Tip
This recipe makes 30 falafels and they can be frozen for up to a month. Freeze half the falafels for ready to reheat tasty snacks.

Final Thought
Now that you have three International Year of Pulses GoBarley recipes for your collection, be inspired and combine barley with beans, lentils, chickpeas and peas to make other scrumptious and nutritious meals and snacks. Let me know what you create!