You’ll ‘barley’ be in the kitchen with this recipe

With all of the extra time I seem to spend in the kitchen this time of year, I seem to feel more and more uninspired about what to make for dinner and less and less excited about spending even more of my days in front of the stove preparing food.

If you find yourself in the same boat, this week’s recipe is a good one to have on hand. All you have to do is dump some ingredients in the crockpot, give it a stir and wait for it to cook.

Plus, it’s a vegetarian recipe, which makes it a nice respite from a lot of the high-fat recipes that seem to be thrust in your face all of the time this time of year.

It would be super easy to add in some browned ground beef or grilled chicken, too, though, if you’re feeding extreme carnivores.

I found this recipe on the website “In Fine Balance Food Blog.” You can find the original at I changed some of the amounts of the spices, and I also left out a couple ingredients.

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2 cups vegetable broth

1 cup pearl barley, uncooked

1 cup frozen corn

1 tablespoon lime juice

3 teaspoons cumin

2 teaspoons chili powder

1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper

19 ounces black beans, rinsed and drained

15 ounces diced tomatoes, undrained

4 ounces diced green chiles, undrained

2 garlic cloves, minced

salt and pepper to taste


Dump all the ingredients into your crock pot and stir to combine. Cook on low heat for about four hours or until the barley is soft and there’s very little liquid left.

Serve using a slotted spoon with your favorite toppings—anything from shredded cheese to onions to sour cream. You can eat this over tortilla chips, in corn or flour tortillas or just on a bed of lettuce or spinach, too.

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This reheats and freezes well, which is something I always appreciate about a recipe. If I can get some solid leftovers out of very little effort, I’m all about it. Plus, it’s really easy to customize. We ate this over chips and tossed some fresh spinach on top, but it would also be delicious in taco shells or as a burrito as the original author intended.

And if it at least gives you a few moments out of the kitchen so you can enjoy all of the Christmas festivities going on, that’s even better.

Lindsey Young is managing editor of The Clarion, the Kansas Publishing Ventures newspaper in Andale. She can be reached at

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