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  • Writer's pictureLeigh

Tired of Cooking? Make a Cheap, Quick, and Nutritious Barley Skillet Meal

Are you tired of cooking and also tired of eating the same old stuff (again!). This is a recipe I've made periodically and posted about before. I decided to post it again because the recipe is so easy to make as well as being nutritious and good--perfect if you are tired of cooking and eating the same old, same old. The skillet meal includes mild Italian turkey sausage, which boosts the protein but keeps the dish low in fat. Mushrooms complement the earthy flavor of the barley, and plenty of onions, carrots, and celery further boost the vegetable content of the dish. Sour cream lends creaminess and contrasts well with the nutty and slightly chewy barley, and a little shredded Parmesan provides a salty-savory-nutty flavor. This is an economical recipe that's quick to put together on a busy weeknight, incredibly tasty and comforting, and that makes great leftovers for lunches. Don't know how to cook barley? See the instructions below.

Barley Bounty:  Italian Sausages Vegetables

Barley Skillet Meal (Barley, Mushrooms, and Vegetables in a Creamy Parmesan Sauce) -- Serves 6+

16 ounces of mild Italian turkey sausage, casings removed

8 ounces of sliced mushrooms

8 ounces of chopped carrots (about 1 1/2 cups)

2 stalks of celery chopped

1 small onion, chopped

1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon of lemon pepper

2 teaspoons of minced dried parsley

1/2 teaspoon of salt

3 cups of cooked barley*

1 cup of light sour cream

1/2 - 1 cup of low-fat milk

1 cup of shredded Parmesan cheese, plus and extra 1/2 cup (optional)

1/4 cup of green onions, chopped

Heat a large non-stick skillet or chef's pan over medium heat and coat it with olive or canola oil spray. Crumble the turkey sausage into the pan and saute it and the onion together until the sausage is cooked through and the onion softens. Add the mushrooms, carrots, and celery and saute everything until the mushrooms release their moisture and the carrots and celery have softened. Stir in the garlic powder, lemon pepper, parsley, and salt. Add the cooked barley and stir everything together. Reduce the heat to low and stir in the sour cream and 1/2 cup of milk. If the mixture seems too dry, add the remaining milk, a little at a time. Stir in the Parmesan cheese and the green onions. If you'd like, sprinkle the extra 1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese on top of the barley before serving it.

* How to Cook Pearl Barley: If you don't have cooked barley, here's how to make it. Bring 2 quarts of water to a boil in a pot with 1/2 -1 teaspoon of salt. Add 1 cup of PEARL barley. Stir and return the pot to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-high and boil the barley, uncovered, until soft, 25–30 minutes. Drain off cooking water, then use in the recipe/serve.

Barley Bounty:  Barley, Mushrooms, and Vegetables in a Creamy Parmesan Sauce

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