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Mexicali Barley Salad                      Print Friendly Version

1 cup pearl barley (if using whole grain barley, see directions below)
3 cups water
1 can (15 ounces) kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (15 ounces) black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (11 ounces) Mexicorn or regular canned corn, drained
3/4 cup chopped red onion
1/4 to 1/2 cup sliced jalapeno peppers
2/3 cup prepared barbecue sauce
3 tablespoons prepared Italian salad dressing
Green cabbage leaves, optional
2 cups (8 ounces) shredded Cheddar cheese
1 cup crumbled tortilla chips

Combine barley and water in medium saucepan.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to low, cover and cook 45 minutes or until barley is tender and liquid is absorbed*.  Cool.  In large bowl, combine cooled barley, beans, corn, red onion and jalapeno peppers.  In small bowl, combine barbecue sauce and salad dressing.  Pour dressing over barley-bean mixture and toss to coat.  Line a serving bowl with cabbage leaves, if desired.  Spoon barley salad into bowl and top with shredded cheese and crumbled tortilla chips.  Makes 8 servings.

Per serving: calories 387, protein 17g, carbohydrates 54g, fiber 13g, fat 14g, cholesterol 30mg, sodium 924mg.

*NOTE:  If using hulled (whole grain) barley, extend the cooking time to 50-55 minutes.  Because hulled barley absorbs less liquid than pearl barley, it may be necessary to drain off any unabsorbed liquid after 50-55 minutes of cooking.  If using hulless (whole grain) barley, increase barley to 1-1/2 cups and water to 4-1/2 cups.  Cook hulless barley 50-55 minutes.  Because hulless barley absorbs less liquid than pearl barley, it may be necessary to drain off any unabsorbed liquid after 50-55 minutes of cooking.  Cooked hulled or hulless barley tends to be chewier than cooked pearl barley and exhibits a more robust flavor.