Friday, January 5, 2018

Beef, Barley, and Veggie Stew: BMI = 29.4

This stew is a nutritious, filling, and balanced meal that also qualifies as comfort food. Be careful portioning this out because this is the first balanced meal I’ve found that could drive me back to overeating. I’ve designed this recipe to make one balanced portion, so you can multiply for the number of people you are feeding. Seriously, don’t make a big batch of this or you’ll find yourself overeating.

1/3 cup barley

1 cup low-sodium beef broth

Season to taste

I start with hulled barley or pot barley. Hulled is the best for fiber with pot barley running a close second. Pearl barley is like white rice – too much fiber has been removed. Bring the barley and broth to a boil then cover and let simmer for 20 minutes. I only seasoned this with Mrs. Dash and pepper but feel free to add some thyme and a bay leaf for extra flavour.

1/2 cup diced carrot

1/2 cup peas or some other green veggie, chopped if needed

60 grams of lean roast beef

While the barley simmers, prepare some veggies and lean meat to add to the stew. Carrot is ideal for this dish and the Canada Food Guide recommends having at least one serving a day of an orange vegetable. Butternut squash could be substituted. For the other serving of veggie in this meal, go for a dark green veggie. I think a half cup of chopped up Brussels sprouts would be even more nutritious than the peas I used. Go easy on the meat – I used 60 grams of ready cooked roast beef, but you could go as high as 75 grams and still call this a balanced meal.

After the barley is almost chewable, add the rest of the ingredients and continue cooking for another 20 to 30 minutes. I let my stew finish in my steamer, but you could just continue in the pot on the stovetop. Bring the mixture back to a boil and then drop down to a simmer. As soon as the barley is soft, the stew is ready to serve.

This was a perfect meal on a cold winter day. It gave me 2 servings of whole grain, 2 servings of veggie, one serving of beef, and a very full tummy. I won’t lie, though – had I made a double batch, I probably would have eaten it all.

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