Grilled Vegetable Barley Bowls

Grilled Vegetable Barley Bowls

Grilling season – I’m all about it! I know that living in Florida means that I can grill pretty much year-round (oh, who am I kidding? I CAN grill year-round), but it seems like the perfect thing to do this time of the year. Of course, most people think about grilling steaks, burgers, hot dogs, and more…but with me it’s ALL about the vegetables! These grilled vegetable barley bowls are a simple, delicious, and healthy meal that is a go-to for me in the summer season!

barley

So I’m sure you’re thinking: barley?!?! What the heck? Isn’t that just a grain that shows up in soup? It doesn’t have to! I always like to switch up my grains to keep things interesting. I love a big bowl of quinoa or wild rice, but barley is a fun alternative to consider. To me, the consistency is a bit of a combination between al dente pasta and rice: it’s slightly chewy but has a nutty flavor. Why fall in love with it? A serving of barley contains about 20% of your daily dose of fiber, which is great for many reasons but most importantly it helps keep you full for longer! It is also a great source of niacin (vitamin B), which can help to reduce bad cholesterol and lower the risk of blood clots, among other things. Another plus: it’s low in calories. One serving will only run you about 100 calories: not bad at all!

Grilled Vegetable Barley Bowls

I’ll stop waxing poetic about barley, because it is only half of the magic in this meal. When it comes to grilled vegetables, your options really depend on what floats your boat. I like to get inspired by what is at the market. That currently is zucchini, yellow squash, and we happen to have bell peppers popping up in our garden! I also like to add onion, eggplant, asparagus, or mushrooms depending on what is available! You can really pick what inspires you and what suits your tastes.

Grilled Vegetable Barley Bowls

What I love is that this meal is almost TOO easy to put together. Simply slice up your veggies, drizzle them with a few tablespoons of olive oil, sprinkle with salt, pepper, and minced garlic and toss them on the grill for a few minutes on each side, turning half way through. One quick tip when it comes to grilling squash – cut the slices on a diagonal instead of horizontally or vertically through the squash. When you cut on a diagonal, you get more surface space that has the ability to meet the grill…and that yummy grill flavor is just what you want!

H3 Chardonnay

Oh, and of course…popping open a bottle of wine is also a great idea to go with these grilled vegetable barley bowls. I recently enjoyed a delicious H3 Chardonnay by Columbia Crest. It is medium in body with flavors of pear, apples, and honey, as well as hints of oak and vanilla. It went perfectly with our meal, and is also a choice that won’t break the bank (at around $15)!

Have you enjoyed barley before? What veggies would you include in your own grain bowl?

Grilled Vegetable Barley Bowls

Grilled Vegetable Barley Bowls
 
A healthy, filling, and flavorful meal of grilled vegetable barley bowls are a great option for summer grilling season!
Author:
Recipe type: Entree
Ingredients
  • 1 cup pearled barley
  • 3 medium zucchini squash
  • 3 medium yellow squash
  • 3 bell peppers (assorted colors)
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
Instructions
  1. First, preheat the grill. For our gas grill, we usually heat it to around 450 degrees F.
  2. Prepare barley according to package instructions. While the barley is cooking, clean and slice the vegetables for the grill in about ½ inch pieces (or wider, if desired).
  3. Place sliced vegetables in a casserole dish or shallow container. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with minced garlic, salt, and pepper. Toss to fully coat.
  4. Place vegetables on the grill and cook for about 3-4 minutes on one side, then flip and continue cooking on the other side for an additional 3-4 minutes (depending on thickness of vegetables - cook until tender).
  5. Remove vegetables from the grill and place sliced vegetables on a bed of barley. Serve with a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese, if desired. Enjoy!

 

Zucchini Bread Ice Cream Sandwiches with Frozen Custard

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #FlavorYourSummer #CollectiveBias

Zucchini Bread Frozen Custard Ice Cream Sandwiches

I know that summer doesn’t “officially” start until the middle of June, but the temperatures here in Florida are in the low 90s already, so I’m going to go ahead and announce that summer is here for me! There is something so wonderful about summertime – it seems celebratory. The sun is out, kids are out of school for a few weeks, people are heading to the beach and pool, and everything seems to be a little more relaxed. Quick and easy meals are always a plus, as I want to maximize my time with my friends and family. One of my favorite meals to put together is pizza: you can’t go wrong with a classic! And speaking of classics, finishing off a meal with some frozen custard…or more specifically: zucchini bread ice cream sandwiches with frozen custard is the perfect way to cap off dinner.

DIGIORNO® pizzeria!™ Thin Crust Pizza

Thankfully, there are options to keep meals quick and easy in the summertime. Being able to pop a pizza into the oven and have it ready in a short amount of time alongside a fresh garden salad is fantastic, and my friends and family definitely enjoyed slices of DIGIORNO® pizzeria!™ Thin Crust Pizza – Supreme Speciale, as well as the Spinach & Mushroom variety. The crust is crispy on the outside but soft and airy on the inside, which is the perfect combination in my opinion.

DIGIORNO® pizzeria!™ Thin Crust Pizza

I appreciate that they do not use any artificial flavors as well. It is going to be a much faster process to pop one of these pizzas in the oven instead of ordering out, plus it is going to be much more affordable. Win-win! It’s a great option to consider to feed a group, and with a few different flavor varieties to choose from, everyone will be satisfied! I am able to continue on with my summer fun without worrying about slaving away in the kitchen. Although I love doing that at times, it just isn’t practical every single day!

Zucchini Bread Frozen Custard Ice Cream Sandwiches

As much as I’d love to chow down on pizza alone, I have to save room for dessert as well. A frozen treat is just what you need on a hot summer day. Today I’m turning a fresh baked chocolate chip zucchini bread into a scrumptious ice cream sandwich. Oh yes.

Walmart

I was able to easily find my DIGIORNO® pizzeria!™ Thin Crust Pizza and my EDY’S® Frozen Custard at Walmart in the frozen foods section. One quick trip was all I needed to acquire everything for my table.

Zucchini Bread Frozen Custard Ice Cream SandwichesZucchini Bread Frozen Custard Ice Cream Sandwiches

I love zucchini bread all on its own. It’s great for breakfast or for a sweet snack. But it gets taken to another level when you sandwich a creamy, delicious scoop of EDY’S® Frozen Custard in Old Fashioned Vanilla between two slices. Their new frozen custard is ice cream’s creamier cousin, is made with fresh milk, and contains no artificial colors or flavors. This stuff is dreamy, I’m telling you! I am such a sucker for anything that brings back memories of living in Wisconsin and enjoying frozen custard. I am happy to enjoy it all on its own, but enhancing it takes it up another notch. The Old Fashioned Vanilla is seriously scrumptious when it’s paired with fresh baked zucchini bread – I’m telling you!

Zucchini Bread Frozen Custard Ice Cream SandwichesZucchini Bread Frozen Custard Ice Cream Sandwiches

My suggestion is to make a big batch of zucchini bread muffins – use some of them for ice cream sandwiches, and then enjoy the rest for breakfast another day. At least, that’s what I would do! Of course, that requires you to have leftovers…and if everyone enjoys them as much as I do, you might be left with an empty plate!

5.0 from 1 reviews
Zucchini Bread Frozen Custard Ice Cream Sandwiches
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 2 cups flour
  • ¾ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ¼ cup butter, softened
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups shredded zucchini (about 2 large or 3 medium squash)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350° F.
  2. Combine flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon in a bowl. Stir together to mix. Set aside.
  3. In another large bowl, combine sugar and butter. Beat with a mixer on medium speed until softened butter and sugar are incorporated. Add the eggs one at a time, then mix well. Then, add the shredded zucchini and vanilla and beat until fully combined.
  4. Turn your mixer to low speed, then begin adding the flour mixture by heaping spoonful to the wet mixture. Continue adding scoops of the flour gradually until all is used and the batter is thick.
  5. Turn off the mixer and gently stir in chocolate chips.
  6. Pour batter into muffin pans (either with cupcake liners or a pan coated with cooking spray), then bake for 15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean. Remove muffins from oven and allow to cool. When cool, use a serrated knife to slice open a muffin through the middle (separate the top from the bottom). Add a scoop of vanilla frozen custard to the bottom of the muffin, then add the muffin top back on to complete the sandwich. Enjoy!

Zucchini Bread Frozen Custard Ice Cream Sandwiches

You can get a coupon for $1.00 off ONE (1) EDY’S® Frozen Custard by clicking HERE. You can find EDY’s® on Facebook and Pinterest, and DIGIORNO® on Twitter and Facebook.

Do you have any go-to meals and desserts you like to put together in the summertime? Which variety of pizza would you choose to make at home?

 

Onion Ring Fried Eggs with Arugula Salad

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #SpringIntoFlavor #CollectiveBias

Onion Ring Fried Eggs with Arugula Salad

There is something about the spring season that has me craving salads constantly. The warmer weather arriving in my neck of the woods probably contributes a great deal toward this situation. The great thing is that there are so many different combinations, flavors, and textures to create with salad. It just so happens that these Alexia Onion Ring Fried Eggs with an Arugula Salad is seriously one of my new favorite dishes to create in my kitchen!

Onion Ring Fried Eggs with Arugula Salad

I have recently become somewhat obsessed with creating a spring inspired salad for lunch (or even for dinner sometimes) – a bed of fresh arugula, shaved Parmesan cheese, fresh cracked pepper, lemon or honey lime vinaigrette, all topped with a fried egg. The mixture of ingredients is seriously fantastic, and the egg takes it over the top.

Onion Ring Fried Eggs with Arugula SaladAlexia Onion Rings

But how about taking it up a notch? I did just that with Alexia Onion Rings as my inspiration. Don’t you just love a crispy, crunchy onion ring? I certainly do, and I appreciate that Alexia products are made with all natural ingredients. All of their items are great quality and are versatile, which can really help you to get creative in the kitchen. I am not joking when I say that I pretty much always have a bag of Alexia potatoes or onion rings in some shape or form in my freezer at any given moment. They are a great item to have on hand to help out with creating delicious and quick meals.

Alexia products

I am really loving Alexia’s new Rosemary and Sea Salt Fries – what a great flavor option! The Sweet Potato Fries (regular OR spicy) are also a favorite in our household. You can find them easily in Walmart in the frozen foods aisle with the potato products.

This arugula salad is fantastic because it is fun and a healthy option for your dining table. There is something so yummy about the peppery flavor of the arugula (but you could always substitute fresh spring mix or spinach if preferred): it is my favorite green to use in salads! The citrus vinaigrette is a beautiful accompaniment.

Onion Ring Fried Eggs with Arugula Salad

And can we talk about the beauty of a perfectly cooked, oozy fried egg on top of your salad? It is a dreamy thing to cut into a fried egg and see an oozy, perfect yolk spill out to coat your salad greens. If you haven’t tried this yet, you absolutely should. Immediately. But with the help of the Alexia Onion Rings, it goes absolutely over the top. The idea was pretty genius, if you ask me. After baking my Alexia Onion Rings to a perfect, golden crisp, I selected a few of the larger rings and added them to a frying pan over medium high heat. Then, I cracked an egg inside each of the onion rings. The onion rings served as an egg mold of delicious perfection. After cooking for about 3 minutes on one side, I flipped the eggs over and finished them for an additional minute or so, until the yolk was still soft but not extremely runny (I do a light touch test on the yolk to feel – oh….the art of cooking eggs…).

All in all, this salad is upscale yet very quick to put together: it’s a fun recipe twist for sure! Do you have any favorite upscale spring recipes of your own? What dish makes you think of the spring season?

Onion Ring Fried Eggs with Arugula Salad

Onion Ring Fried Eggs with Arugula Salad
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
This simple yet upscale arugula salad is topped with fried eggs cooked inside onion rings!
Author:
Serves: 1
Ingredients
  • 2 Alexia Onion Rings (plus more on the side if desired)
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups fresh arugula
  • 1 tablespoon fresh shaved Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon lemon or honey lime vinaigrette (plus more if desired)
  • Fresh cracked pepper
Instructions
  1. First, prepare Alexia onion rings according to package instructions.
  2. When onion rings are almost fully baked, preheat a frying pan to medium high heat. Coat with cooking spray or a small dollop of butter or olive oil to grease the pan.
  3. Place an onion ring in the pan, then crack one of the eggs into the center of the onion ring. Salt and pepper to taste. Cook for approximately 3 minutes on the first side, then carefully flip the onion ring/egg over and continue cooking for an additional minute or two (until the yolk is cooked to desired texture).
  4. Remove the onion ring/egg from the frying pan and place it on top of a bed of fresh arugula. Lightly dress the salad with lemon or honey lime vinaigrette, top with shaved Parmesan cheese, and add fresh cracked pepper, if desired. Enjoy!

 

Loaded Guacamole

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #PutItOnARitz #CollectiveBias

Loaded GuacamoleEnter for a chance to win one of forty $100 Walmart e-Gift Cards (10 per week) by uploading an Instagram photo of your RITZ®-topped creation with #putitonaritzcontest. Purchase of RITZ® is not required.

Ritz Snackify Challenge Instagram Contest

Snacking: how I adore snacking! I am going to be completely honest: there are days when I would be perfectly happy with simply chowing down on snacks/small plates instead of a full meal. Hors d’oeuvres and small bites are a staple in our household for entertaining as well as for every day! When it comes to snacking, my all time favorite dip absolutely needs to be involved. Today, I am bringing you an oh so delicious loaded guacamole to enjoy!

Loaded Guacamole

What I love about this loaded guacamole is that I almost always have the ingredients on hand in my pantry/kitchen. Black beans, corn, salsa…they are always in an easy to grab place for me! Adding avocado into the mix leads to something oh so delicious that I sometimes have a hard time sharing. I mean, I’ll share with Justin if I have to…because I’m nice. Guacamole is probably hands down our favorite snack item to create in our kitchen. What I always have to laugh about is that as a kid I wouldn’t touch guacamole or avocados with a 10 foot pole. Oh, how things change! Nowadays, if avocado or guacamole is involved in a dish, I absolutely MUST have it!

Loaded Guacamole

Typically when you think of guacamole, your mind goes to tortilla chips to scoop up the dip. But what about something a little different? Today, I’m scooping my loaded guacamole on top of RITZ® Roasted Vegetable crackers. Thinking outside of the box can be fun sometimes – so why not?

RITZ® crackers

I picked up a box of these yummy crackers at Walmart, and there were so many other flavor options to choose from as well. I mean, look at that shelf full of choices! In the end, adding the loaded guacamole to the top of the crackers created a slightly more sophisticated snack, and it tastes great to boot! The flavor of the RITZ® Roasted Vegetable crackers compliments the guacamole nicely. You can whip up a batch of this loaded guacamole, add a spoon, and allow your friends and family to scoop dollops of creamy goodness on top of their RITZ® Roasted Vegetable crackers. It’s the perfect snack!!!

And can we talk about how making a loaded up version of guacamole really makes your dip go the distance? Adding black beans and corn made the final yield of guacamole larger, and I am not upset about that whatsoever. The more guacamole, the merrier!

So – how do you make this loaded guacamole, you ask? Here’s the easy to make recipe so you can replicate my Snackify creation!

Loaded Guacamole

Loaded Guacamole
 
Delicious, loaded guacamole filled with corn and black beans. It's easy to put together, and is a crowd pleasing topper for crackers!
Author:
Recipe type: Appetizer
Ingredients
  • 2 ripe Haas avocados
  • ¼ cup onion, diced
  • 2 tablespoons salsa
  • Juice from ¼ of a lime
  • Generous pinch of salt
  • ¼ cup black beans (rinsed and drained)
  • ¼ cup corn kernels
Instructions
  1. First, slice the Haas avocados in half and remove the pits. Scoop the avocado flesh out of the skins, then add to a small bowl.
  2. Add the onion, salsa, lime juice, and a generous pinch of salt to the bowl with the avocado. Use the tines of a fork to mash the avocado and blend everything together to desired consistency (I like mine with some chunks still!).
  3. Gently fold in the black beans and corn kernels.
  4. Scoop the loaded guacamole onto crackers, and enjoy!

 

Speaking of topping RITZ® crackers, it just so happens there is a RITZ® Snackify Challenge Instagram Contest going on, and you are able to enter your own creations into the mix! All you need to do to enter for a chance to win one of forty $100 Walmart e-Gift Cards (10 per week) is upload an Instagram photo of your RITZ®-topped creation with #putitonaritzcontest. Purchase of RITZ® is not required.

Loaded Guacamole

What snack creation would you make?

Click HERE to enter the Snackify Challenge with your own RITZ®-topped creation for a chance to win a $100 Gift Card!