For Christmas 2005 my sweet husband got me a bunch of low fat cookbooks. So for my favorite has been a Canadian one called "125 Best Vegetarian Slow Cooker Recipes" by Judith Finlayson. This is an adaptation of a recipe from that cookbook that we enjoyed. If you desire some cheese can be sprinkled on the finished product, but we didn't think it needed it. For the record, I used an olive oil infused with garlic. Olive or vegetable would be good here.
- Chop your onions finely.
- Peel the sweet potato and chop into small pieces. I like to keep my chopped sweet potato in a bowl of water until I need it because I think it keeps it from changing color.
- Heat a large skillet over medium heat with the oil in it. When the oil gets hot add the onions and cook until softened, stirring frequently.
- Then add the garlic and rosemary and stir for about a minute.
- Stir in the barley and stir until the barley is combined well.
- Add the stock and bring to a boil.
- Drain the sweet potatoes (if they were in water) and place into a large crockpot.
- Pour the boiling stock mixture over top and stir well.
- Cook on low for 8 hours until the barley and sweet potato are cooked through. If possible open the crockpot about halfway through and stir well.
I felt like the flavors didn't blend well--I liked the sweet potatoes, I liked the barley, I liked the onion, I liked the spices, etc. and the texture of everything turned out very nicely, but the flavors just didn't seem to come together for me.
I also wanted to like this, but it just didn't work for me. The taste was really bland and flat. I am going to try to add some other spices to the leftovers (Warning: this makes a LOT!). On the flip side, the texture of the barley was wonderful and chewy -- not mushy like when I cook it on the stove.
I wanted to love this, but merely liked it.... I love the idea and may tweak the idea a little. It definately did need salt and pepper, as it was a little bland.