Leftover remake: barley with lamb and lemon yogurt sauce

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April 3, 2013 by E.

As you may have surmised from this blog, I am quite fond of cooking.  Some people, at the end of a long day, can’t bear the thought of having to come home and do more work in the kitchen to feed themselves.  I, on the other hand, can’t wait to get home and get in the kitchen.

At least 10% of my cognitive capacity is devoted, at all times, to food.  What I did eat, what I’m going to eat, what I can make with what’s at my house, what I might need to buy at the store.  Chopping vegetables relieves all of the day’s stress.  A gently simmering sauce is music to my ears.  Of course, a good portion of the restoration I experience in my kitchen could be due to the glass of wine that’s never far from my hand.  But let’s not allow ourselves to become bogged down by such petty details.

The point I’m making here is that my day isn’t complete without cooking in some form.  Tonight, A. was quite happy to eat a hodgepodge of things for dinner (seriously, hodgepodge: bagel with cheese, lamb, okra, asparagus, and yogurt.  That man is a garbage disposal.), but I opted to use some of those same ingredients to create and entirely new dish.

I present to you my newest leftover remake: barley bowl with lamb and lemon yogurt sauce.

Barley with spring vegetables, lamb, and lemon yogurt sauce

Barley with spring vegetables, lamb, and lemon yogurt sauce

Barley is, without a doubt, my new favorite grain.  It’s way bigger than quinoa, so it has more bite, and you actually have to chew it.  I’m pretty sure it’s healthy, although I haven’t researched it independently.  And, most importantly, it makes a great vessel for leftover remakes, because you can throw in whatever you want and it makes an entirely new dish.

This particular meal used up the rest of our leg of lamb from Easter Sunday, the roasted asparagus we served alongside, plus grape tomatoes and parsley that were starting to look a little scruffy in the vegetable drawer.  To bring it all together, I whipped up a quick sauce made of Greek yogurt, lemon juice, minced garlic, and basil, threw in a handful of thawed frozen peas, and topped it off with a sprinkle of feta cheese.

It made for a great weeknight meal that was cost-effective, easy, and healthy.  Happy Wednesday everyone!

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