Change a little this, change a little that…

So I finally got the pot-luck barley recipe that I told you about a couple of weeks ago.  Made it tonight for dinner–YUMMY!  Madeleine even asked for seconds (please take out any mushrooms Mom…)

As I was getting ready to prepare this delicious (and so good for you!) dish, I read through the recipe and decided to change a few things.  It occurred to me how often I do this–use a recipe as a “guideline” and change the amount of an ingredient, add something, take away something or substitute an item.

This was one of those recipes…not that the original (that I had at the potluck) wasn’t good–because it was!  But because I try to stick to as much fresh and or as “close to natural as possible” ingredients.  Substituting fresh over processed items in a recipe not only make the recipe healthier for your family, they most often make it taste better too!  …with NO difference in the time to prepare!

How many recipes do you have that you can change, add or substitute–to make it healthier and tastier?

I’m going to give you both recipes, the original, and my adapted recipe.

Mushroom and Barley Casserole (original–this copy says it came from Jackie McMann in 1995…) 

1 cup pearl barley
3 onions chopped
3 cans sliced mushrooms
1/2 pound butter
3 cups beef or chicken boullion (4 oxo cubes in 3 cups water)
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 tsp garlic powder
2tsp worchestershire sauce
1tsp soy sauce
dash hot sauce

Saute onions and mushrooms in butter.  Add barley, broth and spices and let simmer with lid on till barley is cooked (about 40 minutes). 

…can you say sodium overload?? 🙂

Mushroom and Barley Casserole (Bonnie Style)
1 cup pearl barley
3 onions chopped
15-20 button mushrooms sliced
2 tbsp butter, 1 tbsp olive oil
2 cups chicken stock (this is why I keep homemade in the freezer frozen in 2 cup containers!)
1 cup water
1/2 tsp cracked pepper
1 clove garlic minced
2 tsp worchestershire sauce
1 tsp soy sauce
1/2 tsp hot sauce 

Saute onions and mushrooms in butter/oil combo.  Add barley, broth and spices and let simmer with the lid on until barley is cooked (about 40 min).

Tip:  Madeleine liked hers mixed with peas–I don’t see why you couldn’t add the frozen peas about 1-2 minutes before serving–just enough time to heat them up…
Enjoy!

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