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Barley Vegetable Stew – And 4 Variations! Savory Soups, Mexican Flavors, Nori Wraps!!

And Serve with These Creative Salads!

When I make a meal I always cook extra for another day.

Barley Vegetable Stew

During the “social distancing”  for the Corona virus, I entertained myself with seeing how many variations I could make on one simple stew.  For the basic stew I gathered frozen veggies from last summer’s “harvest” and also some frozen barley from one day when hubby cooked a whole box for some reason.


  • Several Carrots – chopped

  • One onion – slivered

  • Turmeric several shakes, cardamon several shakes,

  •  Chopped Green Peppers – 3/4 cup

  • Frozen corn (or fresh) – 2 cups

  • Barley – 3 cups cooked

  • Vegetable Stock 2 cups (I keep mine frozen in 2 cup containers, as well as in cubes)   (Read how to make veggie stock)


  1. Heat a nonstick pan to high

  2. Toss on the carrots and onion- turn heat to medium high

  3. Stir constantly, when it starts to brown, add the frozen stock

  4. Add the spices, keep stirring as the stock thaws

  5. Add the remaining veggies and cook until it starts to simmer.

A fruit topped salad rounded out the meal.

During my day I often ask have I eaten from all the colors of the rainbow?

And have I had a good balance of all the four food groups – fruits, veggies, legumes and whole grains?  That inspired me to make this berries on kale and spring greens salad.  I broke the kale into small pieces and massaged it with lime juice (can also use lemon)  to reduce the toughness and get rid of any bitterness

Variation #1 – Chunky Tomato Veggie Soup with Portabellos

Oh so Simple Directions!

Cook chopped tomatoes and  Portabellos in a low sodium pasta sauce and add in a cup of your barley/vegetable mixture to create a hearty soup.

And serve with a different salad!  Oranges add zing to the flavor, and vitamin C.  Artichokes hearts are a fun addition.

Ingredients for Variation #2 with Savory spices, kale, artichoke hearts – in front on right, marinated tofu and protabella

 Variation #2 A Savory Soup with Artichoke Hearts & Kale

  • Place 1-2 cups of vegetable broth in a pan (if frozen, heat until it starts to thaw)

  • Add a cup  of your Barley Vegetable  Stew artichoke  amount per your preference, sliced portabellos, cubed marinated tofu (read about easy tofu prep to freeze and have on hand)  and some lime massaged kale pieces.  

  • Season generously with Basil and Thyme.

  • Heat and simmer 10 minutes.

With the kale and all the veggies , barley and tofu, this could be a full meal.  But I do enjoy salads!

For Salad:  spring mix, black berries, orange

Variation #3 – Go Mexican:

Start with your simple barley/corn stew and add black beans, chopped tomatoes and heat, adding onion powder, garlic, chili powder, red pepper flakes, chopped jalapeño…… taste as you cook, adding  your spices and amount depending on how “hot” you like it.  Serve on tacos or corn tortillas!  Possible toppings –  chopped lettuce, salsa, cilantro.

Variation #4 – It’s a wrap!

*Use Nori wraps (seaweed is a good source of iodine, omega 3 and B12!) to roll up some of your simple stew!  

*Add a thin layer of wasabi toward the end of wrapping to help it stay shut.  

*Thinly cut strips of cooked sweet potato could be lain in as you roll for a tasty and pretty effect when sliced.  

*Serve with soy sauce, pickled ginger,  Edamame (you can buy it frozen, easy to steam) and seaweed salad or a simple cabbage slaw with vinaigrette.  (Read about Chard and Nori Wraps)

Enjoy creating your own leftover variations!

Don’t be timid with your experimentation…… if you love the outcome, take some notes on how you did it ….. if you don’t give it rave reviews,  oh well, chefs are forever trying new things…… some work, some don’t!



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