Pesto Barley Salad

This was the first weekend in months that did not include a run. I hoped this day wouldn’t come, but I think my running days are over for this pregnancy. The last few runs I went on were really uncomfortable, and my back ended up absolutely killing me.

I can’t believe I ran a marathon 5 weeks ago and now I’m not running anymore, but I think it’s important to listen to my body, and right now my body is saying walks and yoga YES, running NO. And it absolutely makes me feel lazy and a little like I failed because SO MANY OTHER WOMEN run up until hours before giving birth, but I’m just not willing to put myself through the discomfort. So running shoes, I guess we’ll get back together in September. Tear.

Fortunately there were a lot of other good things happening this weekend. Dinner with friends…

Burma Superstar once again!

We finally made it to our local farmers market for the first time. I can’t believe we’ve lived here 10 months and it took us this long!
We did not hold back; Lettuce, potatoes, strawberries, broccoli, asparagus, carrots, and local grass-fed lamb for Mike

All this produce makes healthy eating so easy, which is good, because with the ridiculous appetite I’ve had lately, I need to make sure I’m sticking to the good stuff. This salad has so much going for it – walnut pesto, sundried tomatoes, pupmkin seeds for crunch, chewy scotch barley, and little ribbons of kale. It’s one of those things you can relish every bite of knowing that each ingredient is contributing great nutrition as well as great flavor. Win win!

(adapted from Color Me Vegan)

1 1/2 cups scotch Barley (or substitute pearl barley)
4 cups water
2 tbsp olive oil
1 16 oz block extra firm nigari tofu, cut into 1/2″ cubes
1 small bunch kale, thinly sliced into ribbons and cut into 1-2″ lengths
1/3 cup toasted pumpkin seeds
1/4 cup finely chopped sun-dried tomatoes (dried, not packed in oil)

1 1/2 cups (loosely packed) fresh basil
1/4 cup raw walnuts
3 Tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic
2-3 tsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp salt

To cook the barley, bring the water to a boil, then add the barley and cook for about 45 minutes, covered, until tender (shorter if using pearl barley – test after about 30 minutes). It should be slightly chewy but not firm.

Drain and set aside.

To make the pesto, combine all ingredients in a food processor and pulse until well mixed. Taste and add salt and lemon juice if needed.

Heat 1 tbsp of the oil in a wide skillet over medium high. Add the tofu cubes and cook, flipping occasionally, until golden on all sides. Transfer to a large bowl.

Heat the other tbsp of oil in the skillet and add the kale. Cook, stirring often, until slightly wilted and tender. Add to the bowl with the tofu, then toss with the remaining ingredients (barley, sundried tomatoes, pesto, and pumpkin seeds). Taste and adjust salt if necessary.


6 Responses to “Pesto Barley Salad”

  1. 1 janet May 23, 2011 at 9:16 pm

    wow- this looks great! I have Color Me Vegan but totally glossed over this recipe. Did you end up omitting the oil for the pesto or was that a typo?

    • 2 Cate May 24, 2011 at 6:46 am

      Aaaah! I’m trying to get better about proof reading but I didn’t catch that…thanks! There should be oil in the pesto!

  2. 3 Joanne May 24, 2011 at 8:59 am

    DEFINITELY listen to your body! I got an email from a girl about two months ago who ran through her whole pregnancy and ended up with pelvic stress fractures because of it. NO GOOD.

    Oh I so want to go back to Burma Superstar when in SF! And I so want this pesto barley salad also…delicious!

  3. 4 Kate May 24, 2011 at 9:36 am

    Even if you didn’t run this weekend you are still my idol.

  4. 5 ErinsFoodFiles May 25, 2011 at 10:50 am

    This salad looks really hearty & delicious. And don’t beat yourself up too much over not feeling comfortable running. (Seriously, my most recent post is all about not being too hard on yourself!) If you’re still doing yoga & walking you are definitely doing great.

  5. 6 Jen May 27, 2011 at 11:32 am

    cate – first of all, the salad looks fabulous, as does every single thing you blog about. i want to make it all.

    second, i think it’s incredible that you were able to run as long as you did…and that you ran the BOSTON MARATHON pregnant. you are an inspiration to all of us who aspire to have fit pregnancies!

    you are smart to listen to your body and do things that feel good for you. i can’t speak from experience but i have heard amazing things about prenatal yoga. keep it up!

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