Roasted Butternut Squash and Kale Barley Salad {Vegetarian}

It’s funny that during my pregnancy, I did not want to cook at. all.  Like none.  Never.

It’s not that I didn’t want to eat.  I just wanted someone to cook it for me or take me out to get it. Or, I was perfectly content to eat random things I found in the refrigerator, like popsicle after popsicle.

But as a new mom, I’m loving cooking again.  I’ve been taking a lot of pleasure in cooking almost every night.

Sometime it goes smoothly.  Elliott will chill out in his swing or bouncy seat (without the bouncing turned on because he hates that) while I cook.  Other nights I start dinner, get about a quarter of the way through and then the witching hour begins.  Elliott will scream his little head off until he turns purple in the face and I spend the next hour or so bouncing him up and down in the backyard or nursing, even though he just ate 15 minutes ago.

At some point Brad comes home and I hand him off so I can finish dinner. That’s what happened the night I made this dish.  We ate it with a slices of spicy honey pork tenderloin.

Well, I ate it, while Brad held E, then we switched off.  My little baby boy can be a handful sometimes but he’s just so stinking cute.  I will gladly put up with it.

Elliott at 5 weeks

I mean, how could I ever get mad at that face?  Even if this photo was taken at 3 am…

Now, here’s the recipe for the salad.

Roasted Butternut Squash and Kale Barley Salad
(Serves 4 as an entree, 6 as a side)
A warm grain salad with so many different yummy flavors and textures!
1 cup uncooked pearled barley
2 cups vegetable broth
1 1/2 cups butternut squash, cubed into bite-size pieces
1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
3 cups kale, chopped
2 oz. goat cheese, crumbled
1/4 cup walnut pieces
Sea Salt

Bring vegetable broth to a boil in a covered pot. Add barley to the pot, cover, reduce heat to a simmer, and cook for 40-45 minutes or until barley is tender.

Fill a pot with a couple of inches of water. Place kale place in a steamer basket fitted in the pot. Cover pot and bring water to a boil. Reduce heat to low and steam kale for approximately 10 minutes, or until tender.

Toss butternut squash with oil and salt. Roast on 500 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until tender and beginning to brown around the edges.

Combine barley with steamed kale, roasted butternut squash, goat cheese, and walnut pieces. Add sea salt to taste. Serve warm.


As an alternate cooking method, I use the Large Micro-Cooker from Pampered Chef to steam vegetables and cook grains.