After Thanksgiving and plenty of bacon and smoked salmon, let’s get back to basics.

This simple recipe is healthy and easy. I love these few (less than 10) ingredient dishes.

The nutty barley and creamy squash are drizzled with a tangy orange ginger sauce. What’s great is the barley takes about the same amount of time to cook as the squash (about 45-50 minutes) so this tasty dinner is on the table inĀ  less than an hour with only about 10 minutes hands-on time.

Here’s a tip. If you have one, use your rice cooker! They work great for whole grains not just rice.

Barley and Butternut with Orange Ginger sauce

1 cup barley
1 medium butternut squash (or pumpkin)
1 teaspoon olive oil
Pinch of salt
Grind of pepper

For Orange Ginger sauce
2 Tablespoons honey
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
1 teaspoon grated orange zest
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup orange juice


  1. Preheat oven to 400F
  2. Prepare the barley according to directions. For my machine it was 1 cup barley and 3 cups water.
  3. DSC05729

  4. Peel and cube the squash, toss with olive oil and pinch of salt. Place on baking sheet and put into oven for 45 minutes.
  5. DSC05728
    About 10 minutes before barley and squash are done make the sauce.

  6. In a small pan over medium heat combine water, honey, ginger, and orange zest and bring to a boil.
  7. While water honey mixture heats, stir cornstarch into orange juice.
  8. When water honey mixture boils, add the orange juice and cornstarch. Stir and cook for 2 minutes until it thickens.
  9. When barley is done, scoop into bowl, top with hot squash, and drizzle with orange sauce.


It’s chewy, tangy and filling. Inexpensive whole grain goodness!

Until next time, Eat Well & Keep Digging!