Butternut Squash, Barley & Cranberry Salad, 8 points+

by DanicasDaily on March 14, 2013

As you all know, I am a pretty big fan of butternut squash and love finding new ways to use it.  This healthy Roasted Butternut Squash, Barley and Cranberry Salad is incredibly easy to make and works great as a side or main course.  Start to finish takes about 30 minutes, however, I have provided a few time saving tips below to make this a Quick Cooking Butternut and Barley Salad.

I was originally going to make the butternut squash salad in the Weight Watchers Veg Power! cookbook, but, I ended up going in a completely different direction once I got into the kitchen.

The butternut squash caramelizes and gets sweeter when it is roasted.  It pairs so well with the nutty barley, crunch almonds and cranberries that plump up as soon as the balsamic vinegar and olive oil hit them.  The rosemary adds the perfect finishing touch by brightened the flavor and giving it and earthy finish.

ROSEMARY BUTTERNUT SQUASH, BARLEY & CRANBERRY SALAD (print it!)

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INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 lb. butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1 inch cubes (about 4 cups)
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
  • 1 cup quick cooking barley
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup green onions, diced
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh rosemary, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup white balsamic vinegar
  • 6 cups organic mixed greens
  • 1/4 cup almond slivers, toasted
  • sea salt and black pepper to taste

INSTRUCTIONS:

1.  Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Toss butternut squash with 1 Tbsp. olive oil, sea salt and black pepper.  Pour onto a cookie sheet and roast for about 20-25 minutes, turning half way through until slightly golden and soft.

2.  Meanwhile, prepare the barley according to the packaged instructions.  Drain, rinse and add to a large mixing bowl with the cooked butternut squash, cranberries, green onions and rosemary.

3.  Combine the remaining 1 Tbsp. olive oil with the balsamic and pour over the butternut barley mixture and gently toss.  Divide mixed greens into 4 plates and top each with 1 heaping scoop of the roasted butternut squash and barley salad plus 1 Tbsp. of toasted almonds.  Enjoy!

Makes 4 salads, points+ each, Simply Filling + 2 WPA for the almonds/cranberries

Nutritional information per serving calculated at caloriecount.com

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STEP – BY – STEP:

You can use any type of grain in this recipe including old fashioned barley that takes about 45 minutes to cook or you can save a little time by using a quick cooking variety like this Quick Cooking Barley I picked up at Trader Joe’s.

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There isn’t anything funny in there to make it cook quicker – all they have done is just par cooked it for you so it doesn’t take as long to cook.

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7 points+ per 1/2 cup and 100% Simply Filling.

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Prepare your barley according to the packaged instructions cooking similar to pasta.

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Preheat your oven to 425 degrees.  You can save even more time by buying pre-cut butternut squash as well.  Combine your cubed squash with 1 Tbsp. olive oil and a sprinkle of sea salt and pepper.  Then, roast in the oven for 20-25 minutes, turning half way through until slightly golden.

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Drain and rinse the barley, then add it to a large mixing bowl with the squash.

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Add the cranberries, green onions and diced rosemary.  I think thyme would be another delicious herb to use instead.  Definitely spend a little extra (or grow your own) to buy fresh herbs in this salad as they really brighten the flavor.

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To toast the almond slivers, I pour them into a nonstick pan and gently toss over medium heat for about 5 minutes until they start to brown.  It is faster than roasting them in the oven.

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Whisk together the remaining 1 Tbsp. olive oil and balsamic vinegar and pour over the salad mixture.  Gently toss everything together.

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You can enjoy this as is, however, I prefer to put my salad on salad as it is more satisfying and you get to check off some of your 5 a day veggies.

Take a heaping 1 cup of the Butternut & Barley Salad and place it on top of about 1-1/2 cups organic mixed greens, then, sprinkle the top with 1 Tbsp. of the toasted almonds – YUM!

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It really feels great to have a chance to get back into the kitchen this week.  I am looking forward to making up a few “Green” Veggie St. Patties day recipes this weekend too.

Have a fantastic day all ~ Just two more days…but, who is counting down?!

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Danicasdaily.com is not meant to be a substitute for any professional advice, guidance, or counseling. Any information contained on this site reflect Danica's experience and is not intended to take the place of medical advice from a physician. Weight Watchers® and PointsPlus® are registered trademarks of Weight Watchers International, Inc. The number of Points+ provided for food on this site was calculated by Danica based on published Weight Watchers information. This site does not imply sponsorship or endorsement by Weight Watchers International, Inc. Danica does not guarantee the Points+ information is correct. I am not associated with Weight Watchers and they have not endorsed this site. I highly recommend joining WW and attending regular meetings as a way to successfully lose weight.



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