Cookbooks · cooking · Dinner

Barley and Red Beans

Barley and red beans? Oh yes! So where did I come across this recipe? I had picked up a copy of Kim Barnouin’s newest cookbook,Skinny Bitch: Ultimate Everyday Cookbook: Crazy Delicious Recipes that Are Good to the Earth and Great for Your Bod.

Kim is half of the Skinny Bitch mini-empire, which has put out a number of potty mouthed books in the past 6 or so years – see the list of SB Books here. Anyhow, while the SB books had some points they also were pretty…er…preachy to say the least. Mostly due to “meat is murder, sits in your gut” chapter after chapter. We eat little meat for dietary reasons, not because we hate meat – I just want tasty recipes, not a manifesto of why I should go vegan that involves graphic descriptions of why the food is bad. So I wondered hesitantly if I would like Kim’s new cookbook. My thoughts are that this book is completely different from her earlier works. For one it is a full size book (the SB ones were pocket-sized) and is full of gorgeous food porn photography. But beyond that the heavy preaching just isn’t there. Which I appreciate! OK, there is some but it is easier to read and easy to ignore and get to the real goods: The recipes! Of which said book is chock full of and all of them are vegan. Yay!

So in flipping through I came to the barley recipe and it struck me as not only EASY to make but that it sounded good. More so I had everything in the cupboards. I did change the recipe a bit, to make up for what I had on hand (frozen bell peppers for example are cheaper than fresh, yet taste great!) While she called for fresh garlic and parsley, using fresh supplies of dried works just fine in the dish. This filling dish is great both warm or cold. If you have never liked barley you will love this.

Barley and Red Beans


3 cups lower sodium vegetable or chicken broth

1 cup uncooked pearl barley

14 ounce can red kidney beans, rinsed and drained

1 cup frozen bell peppers, chopped and left to thaw

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce (vegan version if following vegan diet)

1/4 tsp granulated garlic

2 tsp dried parsley

1/4 tsp ground black pepper

Kosher salt to taste


Spread the barley out on a piece of white paper or new paper towel, spread out and check for any debris or shrunken pieces of barley. In a medium heavy saucepan bring the broth to a boil. Add in the barley, turn down to low and cover tightly. Let cook for 40 minutes.When done mix with the peppers and beans in a large bowl.

Meanwhile whisk the dressing together. Toss the hot barley mixture with the dressing, taste for salt and add if desired.

Serves 4.


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