Here's a great example of how to cook a healthy dish in minutes--simply cook the bacon in the same pan as the barley to enrich the flavor, add some purchased cooked shrimp, a few aromatic vegetables, and you've got dinner (or a hearty potluck dish) in no time flat.

EatingWell Test Kitchen
Source: EatingWell Magazine, June/July 2005


Recipe Summary

40 mins


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Cook bacon in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring often, until crispy, about 4 minutes. Drain on paper towel; discard fat.

  • Add water and salt to the pan and bring to a boil. Add barley and return to a simmer. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer until all the liquid is absorbed, 10 to 12 minutes.

  • Combine shrimp and lime juice in a large bowl. Add the cooked barley; toss to coat. Let stand for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, to allow the barley to absorb some of the lime juice. Add tomatoes, onion, cilantro and the bacon; toss to coat. Add oil and pepper and toss again. Stir in avocado and serve.


Make Ahead Tip: Prepare without avocado, cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days. Stir in the avocado just before serving.

Nutrition Facts

417 calories; protein 34.7g; carbohydrates 29.6g; dietary fiber 7.3g; sugars 3.5g; fat 19.1g; saturated fat 2.7g; cholesterol 234.7mg; vitamin a iu 1111.5IU; vitamin c 26.5mg; folate 59mcg; calcium 106.6mg; iron 3.1mg; magnesium 29.4mg; potassium 872.3mg; sodium 708mg; thiamin 0.1mg.

Reviews (4)

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5 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 2
  • 4 star values: 3
  • 3 star values: 0
  • 2 star values: 0
  • 1 star values: 0
Rating: 5 stars
Great for Lunch This was the first recipe I made from the Eating Well "Healthy in a Hurry" cookbook. It was satisfying in every way. I made this recipe exactly as instructed and it was perfect. I wanted this as a lunch dish (it's classified as a "dinner salad" in the cookbook) so to make the serving a lunch-appropriate portion I cut the serving size from 1-3/4 cups to 1 cup. I made everything the night before and stored the salad in a cup-sized container reserving the bacon on the side until I was ready to eat it so that the bacon would stay crisp. I also diced and added the avocado just before eating to ensure freshness (avocado goes bad so quickly!) but I'm sure the lime juice would help to preserve it if you needed to add the avocado several hours before eating. I calculated a few of the nutritional values for the reduced (1 cup) serving size for those that are interested: 208 calories 10g fat 3.71g fiber. I'm pretty sure those are right but feel free to check my calculations. I would definitely make this recipe again. Pros: flavorful satisfying Read More
Rating: 4 stars
Good food! Mom wanted more lime flavor and to cook the shrimp in butter so we'll skip the bacon next time. We also ate it alongside some salad greens so got some more roughage as well! Read More
Rating: 5 stars
Delicious and Nutritious I used real bacon bits and added a little bacon drippings to the pan before preparing the barley. It was really delicious refreshing and very filling. I definitely will make this again and would love to serve it to guests. Perfect for a nice summer meal.. Read More
Rating: 4 stars
We thought this was delish. I didn't make any substitutions (unusual for me) and would make it again. If feeling decadent add one more piece of bacon. Thought it would be great for a summer party or a dish to take tailgating. Read More
Rating: 4 stars
This was really tasty! I had to use pearl barley because I couldn't find quick-cooking so I just cooked it according to package directions. Only bummer is that it takes about twice as long to cook. I also used bay shrimp (those tiny pre-cooked ones) because they are local where I live and I also didn't have to cut them up. Both subs worked just fine. Read More