- 1 cup instant pearl barley
- 4 cups water
- 2 whole bay leaves
- 3 medium onions
- 2 small celery stalks
- 1 cup diced green, red, yellow, or orange bell pepper
- 2 medium cloves garlic
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 4 ounces ground turkey
- 2 (14.5-oz) cans diced tomato (no salt added)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
- 1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- In a colander, rinse barley under cold water.
- In a medium pot over high heat, bring barley, water, and bay leaves to a boil. Reduce heat to low and cover. Cook barley until tender and water is absorbed, about 20-30 minutes.
- In a colander, drain barley. Set aside.
- Peel, rinse, and dice onions. Rinse and dice celery and pepper. Peel and mince garlic.
- In a large pot over medium-high heat, heat oil.
- Add onions, celery, pepper, and garlic to pot. Mix well. Cook until veggies are soft, about 5 minutes.
- Add ground turkey. Cook until internal temperature registers 165 °F on a food thermometer, about 5 minutes more.
- Add tomatoes and their juices. Bring to a simmer.
- Add spices. Stir to combine. Cover and reduce heat. Cook at a low simmer for 15 minutes.
- Add cooked barley to the mixture. Stir to combine. Add more water or broth, if needed. Cook over low heat to bled flavors, about 5-10 minutes more.
- Remove bay leaves and serve.
- To save time, cook barley up to 2 days in advance. Refrigerate until ready to use. Add to pot in step 7 above. Or, use another whole grain you have made in advance, like brown rice.
- When doubling this recipe, do not double cayenne pepper unless you prefer a very spicy dish.
- For a vegetarian option, use cooked or canned pinto or black beans, rinsed and drained, in place of meat.
Materials: You will need a can opener, colander, cutting board, large pot with lid, measuring spoons, medium pot with lid, mixing spoon, and a sharp knife.
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