Barley Jambalaya

This recipe is a favorite in my Cooking Matters for Adults class. Everyone tells me their whole family loves it. Try replacing the ground turkey with black or pinto beans. You won’t miss the meat!

Family cooking Note: This is a great recipe to make with kids, there is a lot to add to the pot!

1 cup instant pearl barley
4 cups water
2 whole bay leaves
3 medium onions
4 small celery stalks
1 cup diced green, red, yellow, or orange bell pepper
2 medium cloves garlic
1 tablespoon canola oil
4 ounces ground turkey or 8 oz. black or pinto beans
2 (14.5-oz) cans diced tomato
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon ground black pepper

1. In a colander, rinse barley under cold water.
2. In a medium pot over high heat, bring barley, water, and bay leaves to a boil. Reduce heat to low and cover. Cook barley until tender and water is absorbed, about 20-30 minutes.
3. In a colander, drain barley. Set aside.
4. Peel, rinse, and dice onions. Rinse and dice celery and pepper. Peel and mince garlic.
5. In a large pot over medium-high heat, heat oil.
6. Add onions, celery, pepper, and garlic to pot. Mix well. Cook until veggies are soft, about 5 minutes. 7. Add ground turkey. Cook until internal temperature registers 165 °F on a food thermometer, about 5 minutes more.
8. Add tomatoes and their juices. Bring to a simmer.
9. Add spices. Stir to combine. Cover and reduce heat. Cook at a low simmer for 15 minutes.
10. Add cooked barley to the mixture. Stir to combine. Add more water or broth, if needed. Cook over low heat to bled flavors, about 5-10 minutes more.
11. Remove bay leaves and serve.

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