Pesto Barley with Chicken Sausage and Cherry Tomatoes

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As I have mentioned before, I love pasta.  I am always trying to find healthier ways to fix my pasta craving.  Lately, I have been enjoying barley.  It has a chewy, pasta-like consistency but it’s much healthier.

Barley is a cereal grain with a nutty flavor, and it is about the same size as brown rice.  It is also an excellent source of fiber and is said to reduce heart disease and lower cholesterol.  There are a few types of barley: dehulled barley and pearled barley.  Dehulled barley is unprocessed and takes longer to cook, while pearled barley has been processed but is just as healthy and takes 10 minutes to cook!

I found this barley at Trader Joe’s.

TJ Barley

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Most of my recipes start with a craving and I was craving pasta the other night, so I decided to make pesto barley.  I also threw in some cooked sausage and sautéed cherry tomatoes.

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5.0 from 2 reviews

Pesto Barley with Chicken Sausage and Cherry Tomatoes
 

Ingredients
  • 1 bag of Trader Joe’s 10 Minute Barley
  • 4 organic chicken sausages, sliced into bite size peices (remove for vegan option)
  • ½ cup cherry tomatoes, sliced
  • 1 cups fresh basil leaves
  • ¼ cup nutritional yeast
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup pistachios
  • 2 medium sized garlic cloves
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Instructions
  1. Bring a pot of water to a boil. Add barley and cook for 10 minutes.
  2. While waiting for the barely to cook, saute the sliced chicken sausage for 7 minutes
  3. Meanwhile, combine the basil leaves, nutritional yeast, olive oil, pistachios, and garlic in a food processor or blender. Process until smooth.
  4. Add the sliced cherry tomatoes and pesto to the sauteed sausage. Cook for 3 minutes.
  5. Drain the barley and add to the pesto-sausage mixture until combined.

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I like to create pesto with pistachios instead of pine nuts because pistachios are the skinny nut.  Thirty pistachios have just 100 calories.  Compared to 14 almonds and 11 cashews for the same calorie count, pistachios make quite a good snack.  I also decided to substitute parmesan cheese with nutritional yeast in the pesto and it turned out yummy.  The Bear didn’t even notice the difference!

What are you having for dinner tonight?

8 thoughts on “Pesto Barley with Chicken Sausage and Cherry Tomatoes

  1. That sounds and looks so good. Going to give this a try too! I think I can make it! You are making some fantastic dishes. :-)

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