Tag Archives: barley

Why you should eat more beans if you have high cholesterol … Tufts

Nicola McKeown, PhD, associate professor at the Friedman School, answers: “Beans (and other foods high in viscous soluble fiber, such as apples and barley) can be helpful for lowering blood cholesterol levels. This type of fiber thickens and forms a gel-like substance in the digestive tract. The gel traps bile acids which are needed for the digestion and absorption of fats and fat-soluble vitamins in the small intestine. The trapped bile acids are eliminated from our bodies via our feces. Once bile acids are excreted, this signals our liver to make more bile acids, which requires cholesterol, thus leaving less circulating cholesterol available to be incorporated into unhealthy low-density lipoproteins (LDL cholesterol).

red apple fruit with black background

Photo by Juan C. Palacios on Pexels.com

“In addition to beans, many plant foods are good sources of soluble fibers, including apples, pears, plums, and citrus fruits, oats and oat-based products, barley, shitake mushrooms, and seaweed. Another viscous soluble fiber, psyllium is added to various foods such as ready-to-eat cereals and is also available in concentrated form as an isolated fiber in over-the-counter products such as Metamucil (which should only be taken under the direction of your physician). A diet rich in a variety of beans, nuts, seeds, fruits, vegetables, and whole grains will deliver a wide array of cholesterol-lowering soluble fibers.”


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Filed under cholesterol, high cholesterol, soluble fiber

How to Make the World’s Thinnest Soup From Scratch

I haven’t done anything by Mr. Lazy Cook in a while and I thought you might enjoy this very tasty soup.


Wellness Secrets of a SuperAger

Mr. Lazy Cook is at it again. What to do with left over white meat from a delicious Costco rotisserie chicken? Also, it is the middle of a heat wave over much of the country, and certainly here in Chicago. That isn’t conducive to spending a lot of time preparing meals.

It happens that I have on hand a large amount of previously cooked barley. I have mentioned in previous lazy cookery posts that I like to work ahead by precooking several day’s to a week’s worth of one dish that I can then mix and match to create simple and fast meals.

When I precook the barley, I don’t use plain water any more. I use chicken broth that comes in cartons. This also happens to be a Costco ingredient. Six quart cartons cost less than $10. The bottom line is that the barley is quite tasty cooked this…

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Filed under barley, fat, lazy cook

Mr. Lazy Cook Combines Whole Grains

I have written a number of items on simple little techniques to create nutritious meals with minimal effort.

Here is another one. I like to cook up a pot of whole grains, such as brown rice, barley, farro, etc. Although it takes over 30 minutes to cook up, it produces a major element in a half dozen meals.

For my latest experiment, I cooked up 2/3 cup of raw medium grain brown rice and 2/3 cup of barley together in organic chicken broth that I get from Costco by the quart.

Tasty barley-brown rice combo …

As you can see from the photo it cooks up into a lovely moist and tasty batch.

Later this week I will be making soup with cut up chicken from the rotisserie chicken I bought at Costco. Obviously, this latest combo of whole grains fits perfectly with that.

There are also nice cold salads you can put together based on this mixture of whole grains.

Here is the nutritional breakdown for each:

Barley: Serving Size 1 cup, Calories 193, Carbohydrates 44 grams, no Cholesterol, Fat  1 gram, Sodium 4.7 mg, Fiber 6 grams and Protein 3.6 grams

Medium grain Brown Rice: Serving Size 1 cup, Calories 218, carbohydrates 46 grams, no cholesterol, Fat 1.6 grams, Sodium 2.0 mg, Fiber 4.5 grams, and Protein 4.5 grams

Please do feel free to write in suggestions of meals you made with this.

A quick final note. I just had a side dish of this barley-brown rice pilaf for dinner and the combination had a lovely taste and texture.


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Filed under Fiber, lazy cook, Weight, whole grains

Mr. Lazy Cook Makes a Filling Barley-Spinach Salad

I am a firm believer in eating fresh when possible. In the summer time I do it more because there are more fresh ingredients around.

Today, I happened upon a really nice combination that actually left me feeling pleasantly full, a rare feeling after eating a salad. I mostly feel like salad is a lovely starter, but the real food is the main course. So, today’s lunch salad was a pleasant surprise to me.

Chicago has been having some really cold, for May, weather. We had 30s and 40sF some mornings last week. Because of that I had cooked up some barley and was using it with a soup I made up in my slow cooker. Well, all of a sudden the weather has shot past late May into July and August as we have mid to high 80sF here.

This is what cooked cold barley looks like

The good news is that I had eaten the last of my slow cooker soup on the weekend. The bad news (on first glance) is that I still had a lot of barley left over. What to do with it? mid-summerlike weather is no setting for a hot soup.

So, I tried to concoct a salad appropriate for the weather.

I got some baby spinach from my grocery store. That would be the basis for the salad.


To a couple of handfuls of baby spinach, I added a carrot cut into thin coins, a handful of walnuts cut into small pieces ( I always like to have a protein source in a salad ), a handful of fresh blueberries for a sweet accent, a couple of mushrooms cut up and finally, about 1//2 to 3/4 cup of the cold already-cooked barley from the fridge.

The salad oil I used was Newman’s Light Balsamic Vinegar because I think it has a great ‘spark-up’ taste in a salad.

Mix it all up well and dig in.

My little impromptu salad turned out to be a great success. The barley added enough ‘weight’ to the ingredients to fill me up very well. I definitely did not find myself looking around for something to eat when I finished.

The 2/3 cup of barley yielded 129 calories 0.5 grams fat, no cholesterol, 3.1 mg sodium, 29.6 grams of carbohydrates, 4 grams of fiber and 2.4 grams of protein. The Balsamic vinegar showed 2 tablespoons as 45 calories, 4.0 grams of fat, no cholesterol, 470 mg of sodium, 2 grams of carbohydrates, no fiber or protein.

This was definitely a low calorie high nutrition meal. As with all salads, the amount of salad oil you use will add to the calorie total, so at least pay attention to how much you use. Each to his own.

As you can see, this simple piece of Lazy Cookery fell together in a matter of minutes. Check it out and always feel free to add or subtract any ingredients that you might like more, or just happen to have in the fridge left over.

You too can be a lazy cook.


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Filed under healthy eating, lazy cook, portion size, protein, recipes, Weight