I've decided to challenge myself to post one dinner per week. I may only get a picture of the finished meal sometimes, but the perfectionist in me will just have to try and look the other way on those days.
My plan is to post the weekly meal on Mondays. I even came up with a (hopefully) catchy title, "Monday Meals." I'm down for suggestions though if any readers have a better idea.
As I have mentioned in the past, I like to keep some kind of cooked grain on hand for throwing in salads, or as a last minute side dish. This also comes in handy when making a stir-fry; just toss the precooked grain right into the skillet when the stir-fry is nearly finished (or after it has been removed if serving separately) for a quick reheat without dirtying another pan.
This meal came together quickly because I already had the longer cooking ingredients in the fridge. The barley had previously been seasoned with a bit of kosher salt, lemon juice, and lemon zest. The pork loin was leftover from the previous night's dinner. This dish would also work well with a poached or fried egg instead of the pork, kale or spinach instead of the swiss chard, quinoa or brown rice instead of the barley, and another type of cheese you happen to have on hand.
1 bunch Swiss Chard (approximately 20 big leaves), stems set aside for another use and leaves chopped
3 cups cooked barley
1 lemon, zested and juiced
2/3 cup feta cheese (I used sheep's milk feta)
8 ounces mushrooms, sliced
1/2 pound shredded or chopped cooked pork
1 tablespoon olive or grapeseed oil
1 tablespoon butter
salt and pepper to taste
Heat oil and butter in a skillet over medium heat and add mushrooms. Stir after several minutes and continue to cook until mushrooms are browned, about 8 minutes. Add swiss chard and cook until wilted, 1-2 minutes. Add pork and barley and cook until warmed through. Remove from heat and stir in the feta and lemon juice and zest. Season with salt and pepper and serve immediately.