Sorry it has been a couple of weeks since there were some recipes posted. It has been a very busy time. The good news is that I have received a few amazing cookbooks and have had the time to check out some recipes.

Among the new books is “The Passionate Vegetable” Health Inspired Recipes to Revitalize Your Life for Vegetarians or Meat Lovers! By Suzanne Landry (Health Inspired Publishing). The soft cover book is just beautiful and filled with glorious photographs that look good enough to eat. It is not a kosher book, however, most of the chapters are just about vegetables. Meat recipes can also be adapted.

I had such a hard time choosing recipes for yummy salads… there are just too many. I actually asked Jerry, our resident graphic artist/chef extraordinaire to pick a second one.

So, for your summer or anytime pleasure, here you are:

Barley Confetti Salad with Fresh Dill

Serves 4

With its lighter dill flavor, this is a delicious and refreshing summertime salad for picnics and family gatherings.

Ingredients:

3 cups precooked hulled barley or 1 cup uncooked
1/2 cup fresh or frozen corn, blanched
1 cup precooked kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup celery, chopped (2 stalks)
3/4 cup red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1/2 cup scallions, sliced (4 scallions)
1/2 cup fresh dill, minced or 2 tablespoons dried dill
Dressing:
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons sea salt

To cook barley, add 1 cup uncooked barley to a large pot with 3 cups of water, cover, and bring to boil. Decrease heat to medium and cook for 1 hour without stirring. It is best to precook barley ahead and keep refrigerated up to 3-5 days. You can substitute precooked rice for barley in this recipe.

In a medium pot, bring water to boil and blanch corn for 2 minutes. Remove, drain, and rinse with cold water.

Prepare vegetables and add them to the barley with the beans. Mix in corn, scallions, and dill.

Combine dressing ingredients and toss with salad. Let salad stand for 30 minutes before serving.

Bites of Insight: Hulled barley is the natural unpolished whole grain. It’s a little chewier and more flavorful than pearled barley. It contains protein, vitamins, and minerals. Pearled barley is polished and has had the bran/fiber and the germ removed which results in an 80% nutrition loss. Pearled barley is like white rice and hulled barley is like brown rice..big difference!

Thai Coconut Chickpeas

Serves 4

Ingredients:

2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
1 medium sweet potato or yam, peeled and cut into ½-inch pieces
1 cup bean juice from cooking, or vegetable broth, or water
1 tablespoon curry seasoning
2 cups precooked chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
1 15-ounce can light coconut milk
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped

In a medium-sized frying pan, sauté garlic in oil for 2-3 minutes on medium heat. Add sweet potato, juice or broth, and curry. Cover and simmer for 5-8 minutes or until potato is almost tender.

Add chickpeas, coconut milk, and salt. Cover and simmer on medium-low for 5 minutes. Add cilantro and basil and simmer again for another 2 minutes, just long enough to wilt herbs.

Serving suggestion: Serve with a whole grain such as brown basmati rice or Naan bread-an Indian flat bread similar to a pita. Always serve a green vegetable with a wholesome meal. There is plenty of protein, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, and some good quality fat in this dish. Serving a light salad or steamed broccoli will finish it off nicely.

Makeover: Leftovers can be made into a quick soup by blending some of the beans into a paste and adding additional brother and curry.