How about a little barley with those sweet potatoes?


When my wife told me we were going to have a meal with barley in it for dinner, I gave her one of those confused looks.
I had heard of and eaten dishes that had barley as an ingredient, but never as the main part of a dish. So, it’s safe to say, I learned something again by being vegan. Here is a quick barley 101 lesson for you. It is part of the grass family. Barley is a cereal grain that has a chewy pasta like consistency. You can usually find it next to the grains in your grocery store. Barley is very high in fiber and protein. It takes maybe 10-15 minutes to cook after you boil some water.
The other ingredients in this dish are just as healthy. Avocados and sweet potatoes have lots of fiber and vitamin C. Talk about health benefits. The barley and veggies are good, but what makes this dish is the sauce. The coconut cream, mint, coriander and lemon mixed together will almost tempt you to just eat the sauce. Don’t do it. Drizzle it on the barley and veggies and it creates quite a unique taste.

We have had sweet potato barley bowls several times and it’s almost worth making this a monthly meal. Barley, it’s what’s for dinner! You will love it and enjoy that vegan thing, even the kids.


1 cup pearl barley

3 sweet potatoes

2 carrots

1 avocado

Extra virgin olive oil to cook


6 tbs coconut cream

1 small handful coriander

1 small handful of fresh mint

Juice and rind of 1 lemon

Salt and pepper to taste


Heat oven to 400 degrees. Chop the sweet potatoes and carrots into small pieces. In a bowl, toss them with a generous amount of olive oil and salt and pepper. Lay them on a baking tray and roast them for about 20 minutes, until cooked through. In the meantime, cook your barley according to instructions on box. It is 1 part barley to 2 parts water. Prepare your sauce by pouring coconut cream in a bowl along with lemon rind and juice. Sprinkle in coriander and finely cut mint and stir. Add some salt and pepper to taste and set aside. Cut the avocado and finely dice. To assemble, dish out the barley into bowls, topping with spoonfuls of roasted sweet potatoes and carrots on one side and avocado on the other. Drizzle with the sauce. Best eaten warm.

Jeff Peterson

About Jeff Peterson

Jeff Peterson anchors Good Day Maine on CBS 13 from 4:30-7:00a.m and on FOX 23 from 7:00-8:00am. Back in 2012, he decided to become vegan. Jeff has lost over 50 pounds and his cholesterol has dropped dramatically. Besides having kids, It's the best decision he's ever made.