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Barley-and-Spinach Salad with Tofu Dressing

The Good News This salad is incredibly satisfying, thanks to the fiber-rich barley Lee Anne Wong tosses with spinach and mushrooms. Crumbled firm tofu in the sherry vinegar dressing adds extra protein.

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  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 6

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  • 1 cup pearl barley (7 1/2 ounces)
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 4 thyme sprigs
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • Salt
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 10 ounces cremini mushrooms, quartered (4 cups)
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 2 shallots, thinly sliced
  • 7 ounces baby spinach (8 cups)
  • 1/4 cup basil leaves, torn
  • 3 tablespoons chopped mint
  • 1/4 cup sherry vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
  • 7 ounces firm tofu, drained and crumbled


  1. In a medium saucepan, combine the barley, stock, thyme and half of the garlic. Add a generous pinch of salt and bring to a boil. Cover and cook over moderately low heat until the barley is tender, 25 minutes. Discard the thyme. Drain the barley and transfer to a large bowl; cover and keep warm.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil. Add the mushrooms, season with salt and pepper and cook over high heat, stirring, until lightly browned, 5 minutes. Add the shallots and cook, stirring, until softened, 3 minutes longer. Scrape the mushrooms into the barley and toss. Add the spinach, basil and mint, but do not stir.
  3. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil in the skillet. Add the remaining garlic and cook over moderate heat until softened. Add the vinegar, lemon juice and brown sugar and bring to a boil. Cook until slightly thickened, 1 minute. Add the tomatoes and cook until heated through. Stir in the tofu and season with salt and pepper. Scrape the dressing over the salad and toss. Serve warm.


One Serving 308 cal, 9 gm fat, 1.4 gm sat fat, 47 gm carb, 8.3 gm fiber.

Contributed By Photo © Hallie Burton Published June 2009

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