Barley Eggplant Bake
The trick here is cooking the barley ahead of time so that all you have to do is assemble the dish and pop in the microwave.
- 3 cups cooked pearl barley (cook in chicken broth for color and flavor)
- 3/4 sweet or yellow onion, thinly sliced
- 1 small eggplant, cut into ¼-inch thick slices
- 3 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil (flavored olive oil works well)
- 1 1/2 teaspoon Garlic & Herb Mrs. Dash® (salt-free herb seasoning blend)
- Black pepper to taste
- 3 ounces reduced-fat cheddar cheese (about 3/4 cup shredded or 4 thin slices)
- Spoon cooked barley evenly into the bottom of a microwave-safe, 9-inch deep-dish pie plate (or similar casserole dish). Spread half of the onion slices evenly over the barley. Layer the eggplant slices to cover the barley completely.
- Drizzle eggplant & rice mixture with the olive oil, then sprinkle the Garlic & Herb blend over the top. Spread the remaining onion slices over the top of the eggplant. Cover with a microwave-safe cover and cook on HIGH about 12 minutes (the eggplant should be soft and cooked throughout).
- Layer the sliced or shredded cheese over the top and cook on HIGH, covered or uncovered, for exactly 1 minute longer (just until cheese is nicely melted).
Per serving: 341 calories, 13 g protein, 52 g carbohydrate, 10 g fat, 3.8 g saturated fat, 15 mg cholesterol, 10 g fiber, 157 mg sodium. Calories from fat: 26%.
© 2006 Elaine Magee
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