Barley is a versatile whole grain with several health benefits. It can be enjoyed as a breakfast cereal, in soups, stews, casseroles and even desserts.

Makes 6 servings
Cooking time: N/A


4 cups (1 L) sodium reduced vegetable broth

2 tbsp (30 mL) canola oil

1 onion, finely chopped

1 tbsp (15 mL) finely chopped fresh thyme

1 tbsp (15 mL) finely chopped fresh rosemary

4 cups (1 L) assorted mixed mushrooms, such as cremini, shiitake and oyster, sliced

1½ cups (375 mL) barley

2 cloves garlic, minced

½ tsp (2 mL) each salt and pepper

2 cups (500 mL) chopped asparagus, blanched

¼ cup (60 mL) chopped fresh parsley

6 eggs


  1. Pour broth into saucepan set over medium heat; bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low to maintain heat. Heat oil in Dutch oven set over medium heat. Add onion, mushrooms, thyme and rosemary. Cook for 7 to 10 minutes or until browned. Add barley, garlic, salt and pepper. Cook for 2 minutes or until well coated and fragrant.
  2. Ladle in 1 cup (250 mL) broth. Cook, stirring constantly, until almost all the liquid is absorbed. Continue to add all but ½ cup (125 mL) of broth, 1 cup (250 mL) at a time and stirring constantly, for 20 to 25 minutes or until barley is tender but still slightly toothsome in the centre. Stir in asparagus, reserved  ½ cup (125 mL) broth and parsley. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes or until heated through. Adjust salt and pepper to taste, if desired.
  3. Meanwhile, fill saucepan with about 3 inches (8 cm) of water. Heat until water simmers gently. Break cold egg into small dish or saucer. Holding dish just above simmering water, gently slip egg into water. Repeat for remaining eggs. Cook in barely simmering water for 3 to 5 minutes or until white is set and yolk is cooked to desired level of doneness. Remove eggs with slotted spoon. Drain well on paper towel. Place over each portion of barley.


Serving size
1 cup (250 mL) pilaf with 1 egg

Recipe courtesy of Egg Farmers of Canada, featured in the Canadian Diabetes Association’s 2015 Healthy Living Calendar. To download the latest recipes, visit

Nutritional Information

Per Serving
Calories 342
Fat 11.5 g
Saturated Fat 2.5 g
Trans Fat 0 g
Sodium 260 mg
Sugars 2.5 g
Protein 17 g
Fibre 10 g
Carbohydrate 45 g
Barley contains vitamins and minerals, and soluble fibre, which can help to lower cholesterol – important for people with diabetes. Cooked barley has a low glycemic index (GI), which raises your blood sugar levels slowly. – Sharlene Clarke, registered dietitian, Whitehorse, Yukon

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