This recipe is a delicious and easy way to incorporate vegetables into dinner. Canola oil is used to sauté and toast the barley to bring out its great flavour.

Cooking time: N/A


  • 2 tbsp (30 mL) canola oil, divided
  • ¾ cup (175 mL) pearl barley
  • 4 cups (1 L) low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 red pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 package (8 oz./250 g) sliced mushrooms
  • 1 large clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 zucchini, halved lengthwise, and cut into
  • thin strips
  • 3 tbsp (45 mL) balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) brown sugar
  • ¼ tsp (1 mL) pepper


  1. In saucepan, heat 1 tbsp canola oil over medium-high heat. Add barley and toast 3 to 4 minutes.
  2. Add broth to barley. Bring to boil, then reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, until barley is tender, about 40-45 minutes. Drain off excess broth. Cover to keep barley warm.
  3. Meanwhile, in large frying pan, heat remaining 1 tbsp canola oil. Add onion and sauté about 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add red pepper, mushrooms and garlic and sauté 3 to 4 minutes.
  4. Add zucchini, balsamic vinegar and brown sugar and continue to cook about 4 to 5 minutes longer. Season with pepper. Serve over barley.


Serving Size
½ cup (125 mL)

Recipe courtesy of, featured in The Canadian Diabetes Association’s 2017 Healthy Living Calendar. To download the latest recipes, visit

Nutritional Information

Per Serving
Calories 90
Total fat 3.5 g
Saturated fat 0 gq
Cholesterol 0 mg
Sodium 150 mg
Carbohydrates 12 g
Fiber 2 g
Protein 2 g
Sugars 5 g
The Glycemic Index (GI) ranks foods according to their effect on blood sugar levels. The lower the GI, the less effect it has. Barley has a low GI, which means it helps to reduce the rise in blood sugars after a meal. – Meghana Chansarkar, registered dietitian, Brampton, Ont.

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