bcmom's kitchen

bcmom's kitchen

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Curried Chicken and Barley Salad

It's time again for  Secret Recipe Club (Secret Recipe Club) reveal!  My blog assignment this month was Mellissa's blog A Fit & Spicy Life. Mellissa is originally from Wisconsin, and I lived there until a couple weeks ago, so we have that in common.  She also loves to try new recipes.  Oh, wow - Mellissa says she rarely makes the same thing twice, and with 1800+ posts on the blog, you can believe there are plenty of amazing recipes to choose from.

I kept thinking I had a recipe picked out, and then I kept looking - I could not stop - and kept finding more and more things I want to try.  Here's the short list:

I finally decided on this salad, which just happens to be Mellissa's latest recipe and the first one I saw when I visited her blog.

Curried Chicken and Barley Salad
adapted from A Fit & Spicy Life's Bombay Chicken Salad


  • 3/4 cup barley
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • 1/4 tsp sugar
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • Salt/Pepper
  • 1 lb boneless chicken breasts
  • 1 mango, diced (How to cut a mango)
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 4 green onions, sliced
  • 1/4 cup toasted sunflower seeds
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1/4 tsp curry powder
  • Salt/Pepper
  1. Cook barley according to package directions then rinse with cold water and pour into large bowl.
  2. Combine curry powder, sugar, salt/pepper,  and cumin.  Coat chicken with spices and grill until cooked through; 5-6 minutes each side. Allow to rest 5 minutes, and cut into bite sized pieces.
  3. Toss  mango, cranberries, green onions, and sunflower seeds with barley.  Add chicken.
  4. Whisk together lemon juice, honey, olive oil, curry powder, & salt/pepper. Pour over salad and mix lightly.  Adjust salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Refrigerate for at least an hour to let the flavors blend. 
Serves 4

Yum! So many awesome flavors here - the curry, the tanginess of the cranberries, the sweetness of the mango...  We really, really liked this salad.  It's perfect for a cool summer meal, and very filling.  Mellissa's recipe called for Trader Joe's Harvest Grains Blend, which looks really good, but I couldn't find anything like it in my grocery store, and I didn't have time to get it from Amazon.  So I went with the 'or any grain' part of the recipe and chose barley.  One of our friends brought a barley salad to a potluck a few weeks ago, and it was so good.  I had never had barley in a salad or even thought about using it - and would not have thought of it for this if she hadn't brought that salad.  It is really good.

The only change I really made to this recipe (besides using the barley) is that I added more green onions.  I started out with 2 - the recipe called for 1 - but then I decided it needed at least 4.  They add that extra touch of color to the salad and a fresh, bright flavor.  (Pictures were taken with 2 green onions; I added more later.)

I also made Mellissa's Salmon with Chickpeas and Spinach - because there were so many great-looking recipes to choose from, I couldn't pick just one, could I?  My husband and my brother both thought there was "too much green" in this, but I thought it was wonderful.  The flavor of the salmon?  Amazing!  (You'll have to click the link to get the recipe.)

Be sure to check out A Fit & Spicy Life.  I'm sure you'll find a few recipes you'll want to try!

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