This post is sponsored by Good In Every Grain. As always, anything contained within it reflects truly what we believe.
Well, happy almost summer. The official first day of summer is June 20th, but that’s just semantics because it sure as heck feels like summer over here. So I’m going with it.
It’s hard to believe we are into the summer season. I think the last time I was out of my house, and I mean really out of my house, running errands like we all used to, I was wearing a winter coat. Yet somehow, three months have flown by, my kids have grown so much and I have grown ever so tired. But it’s summer. The sun is shining, the birds are chirping and the weather is so very warm. So let’s focus on the positive.
Another bright spot today is this Barley Bowl with Tofu and Roasted Broccoli. Such simple ingredients, yet the result is delicious. You’ve also probably got everything you need already lurking in your pantry or fridge. Barley is a pantry staple here for many reasons. It’s hearty and satisfying – I’m a sucker for that chewiness. It’s also such a versatile grain. You can cook it up in soup, in a salad, use it instead of rice in risotto or go the sweet route and enjoy it for breakfast like you would oatmeal. And in this dish? It’s just delicious.
The first time I’m able to invite people over for dinner, I’m definitely cooking this for them. Why? It can be served up in so many different ways.
Plate it up
Feel like getting a little fancier? Having a dinner party? Or if you just want to treat yourself to a beautiful bowl of food, you be the artist and serve up all the components in these dressed up bowls. There is something about eating from a bowl that makes this meal a bit more fun and satisfying. The barley also adds to that satisfaction factor – it’s got a rich and nutty flavour and it’s loaded with fibre so it helps keep you full and you aren’t running for a snack ten minutes later. Which is a big thing for me these days as I feel like I’m serving up about five hundred snacks a day for my kids.
These pretty bowls are made even easier by the fact that every component can be prepared ahead of time. Cook up the barley, whip up the dressing, roast the tofu and broccoli and simply plate when you are ready to serve. I like these just as much at room temperature as I do warm.
A Perfect Summer Salad
If you’re serving this outside for a barbecue party of ten friends seated a safe 2 metres a part, just take the whole recipe, toss it in a bowl and you’ve got one heck of a summer salad. Just be sure to leave some extra dressing on the side and drizzle it on right before serving so the salad doesn’t get too dry. You could even add a handful or two of arugula or spinach to make it more salad-like. Make it a day or two ahead of time and just add the avocado right before serving.
A Family Friendly Do-It-Yourself Dinner
So this is by far my favourite way to serve this meal. We’ve said it many times before, but serving meals family style like this lets everyone have control over what they eat, super important for the little ones (and some big ones), and everyone gets to create their own customized bowl. You’re all eating the same thing, it just looks a little different. When serving meals this way I always ensure there’s at least one thing I know my kids like, so I’m being considerate to their tastes, without catering. In this case, my kids are huge fans of barley, tofu and roasted broccoli. I offered some plain soy sauce for them instead of the sauce. The “Make Your Own Barley Bowl” meal is now on regular rotation here.
Serve it up tossed together in a large bowl, plate it up a little fancier, or go the “choose-your-own-adventure-route.” You really can’t go wrong here.
Here’s to summer, beautiful sunny days, and barley bowls!