This filling salad is a great choice for a satisfying lunch. Both barley and beans are low-glycaemic (GI) ‘superfoods’, creating a steady and slow increase in blood glucose levels that keeps you going between meals.
Put the stock and 2 1/2 cups water in a saucepan with the lemon zest and bay leaf. Bring to a rapid boil, add the leeks and cook for 2-3 minutes, until just tender. Remove, drain and briefly refresh in cold water. Cut the leeks on the diagonal into short lengths. Set aside.
Add the canola oil to the hot stock in the pan and bring back to a boil. Add the barley, then cover and simmer for 30-40 minutes, until tender. Spoon out and reserve 2 tablespoons of the stock. Discard the lemon zest and bay leaf. Drain the barley, transfer to a bowl and set aside to cool.
Add the leeks, canned peas or beans, tomato wedges, spinach and spring onions to the barley, and gently stir to combine.
Put the sun-dried tomatoes, oil, vinegar, garlic, mint, chervil and reserved stock in a screw-top jar. Shake well until combined. Season with freshly ground black pepper.
Drizzle the dressing over the barley and vegetables, and toss until well coated. Serve at room temperature, garnished with a fresh mint sprig.
Per serving: 379 calories, 12 g protein, 13 g fat (2 g saturated fat), 53 g carbohydrate (10 g sugars), 13 g fibre, 827 mg sodium