Easy Pantry Dinner: Italian Broccoli, Barley and Beans

When I first saw the theme for this month’s Recipe Redux challenge, I was pretty excited. I love educating my clients and audiences on how make a quick “emergency” meal with pantry and freezer staples. The theme is

“Spring Clean Your Kitchen”

Use at least 3 ingredients that are actually in your refrigerator or pantry right now. Try not to go to the store to buy anything new…”

The way this challenge panned out for me couldn’t have been any more perfect. I completely forgot about it and I am typing this up a half hour after coming up with my idea, cooking it, loving it, and packing it for Tim for lunch tomorrow!

What do you need to have on hand to build a healthy meal? I always tell my clients to keep whole grains, legumes, and frozen veggies around. Ideally, you’d cook the beans from dry to keep sodium and cost down, but I like to have a few cans of beans, too for these “emergency” meal situations. While farro is my go-to grain, I had barley on hand and thought between that, beans, and my favorite frozen veggie, broccoli, a BBB meal would be fun!

I originally grabbed for my trader joe’s green dragon sauce, but decided to go Italiano with the basil olive oil I got in a set with several others  while we were there in January {PS Second post is set to go out Thursday!}. Paired with some dried herbs I always have on hand, it provided a much more fresh taste than the sauce would and was no harder to put together.

If you’re often finding yourself without time to head to the grocery store, you’re in luck because you’ll have close to 100 or more other reduxers posting pantry meals today and tomorrow. Check out the link at the end of the post and add your favorites to your grocery list so you’re never left without a healthy meal minutes away!

Broccoli, Barley & Bean Salad

Serves: 4
Prep Time: 2-3 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes

  • 1 bag quick cook barley
  • 1 medium-large shallot
  • 2 tablespoons basil infused olive oil (or regular olive oil plus 1/2 tbsp dried basil)
  • 1 16 ounce bag frozen broccoli
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 can great northern (or other white) bean, rinsed and drained
  • Optional: 1/3 cup hemp seeds, freshly grated parmesan, or cashew parm
  • Optional: poached egg or 1/4 cup crumbled tofu (recommended for athletes)
  • Add barley and 1.5 cups water to a medium stockpot and bring to a boil
  • Once boiling, reduce to a simmer and let cook 10 minutes, or according to package
  • While barley is cooking, heat half of the oil in a cast iron or similar pan over medium heat
  • Halve and finely slice the shallot, and add to the oil, stirring and letting cook for 1-2 minutes
  • Add the broccoli florets to the pan along with all seasonings and stir and cover for about 7-8 minutes, stirring 1-2 times
  • Add the drained beans, stir well, and cook an additional 1-2 minutes
  • Mix all ingredients in a large bowl along with the remainder of the oil
  • Top with optional ingredients or even an egg for extra protein!




12 thoughts on “Easy Pantry Dinner: Italian Broccoli, Barley and Beans

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    • Of course! I’d recommend a heartier grain like farro or bulgur. They, like barley, have more fiber and protein to help with satiety. A mix of quinoa & rice could work too though!

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