Valentine’s Day Recap – Greek Tomato Barley

Happy Presidents Day!  Today I am switching up my normal workout routine and am going to try running in the afternoon.  I love getting my workout in first thing in the morning, but lately I’ve been feeling like I don’t have enough energy for my runs, so a little schedule experimenting is in order.  I also finally caved into everyone’s advice and ventured to the local running store to get properly fitted running shoes. Ever since I started running, I’ve been getting shin splints on my inner right shin and have tried everything except getting fitted for running shoes.  When I went to the store, they asked me a lot of questions, had me bend my legs and run around the store in every pair of shoes that I tried on.  I came back with a pair of Asics GT 2170’s and the knowledge that I over-pronate and have high arches.  I’ll let everyone know if these expensive shoes make any difference!

Last night, we went out for sushi, so I thought today would be a great day to give everyone a recap of our delicious homemade Valentine’s Day dinner!  We cooked up a variety of greek-inspired tapas including greek tomato barley, crispy brussels afelia, grilled haloumi cheese, and whole wheat pita bread with spicy feta red pepper dip.

And Teddy enjoyed a delicious heart shaped cookie from Scalawags that we got on our trip to Kennebunkport on Valentine’s Day weekend.

After dinner, we had some of the delicious chocolate covered strawberries that Luke gave me – yum!

As we made quite a few tapas, I thought I’d share the recipes individually, starting with the Greek Tomato Barley.  When we lived in D.C., one of my favorite restaurants was Zaytinya.  My favorite dish there was a greek tomato orzo dish called “KOTOPOULO YOUVETSI”.  I decided to experiment and make my own healthier version of this dish by using barley instead of orzo, and it came out great!  Barley is a whole grain and a great source of fiber, vitamins, and antioxidants.

Give this delicious dish a try – here’s the recipe:

Greek Tomato Barley for two


  • 1/2 cup uncooked barley
  • 1 1/4 cup water or chicken broth
  • 1 small can diced tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp canola oil
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup of feta cheese (use more or less to you liking)
  • salt and pepper to taste


1) Bring barley and water to a boil in a saucepan.  Reduce to simmer and cook for 25-30 minutes, or until liquid is absorbed and barley is tender (add more liquid if necessary).

2) Dice your onion and add to sauté pan with canola oil.  Cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes, or until soft.

3) Add your minced garlic to the onion and cook for an additional minute.

4) Add onions and garlic, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, and cinnamon to your cooked barley and stir to combine.

5) Cook over medium low heat for 10 minutes.

6) Add salt and pepper to taste.

7) Serve with crumbled feta cheese on top and enjoy!

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3 Responses to Valentine’s Day Recap – Greek Tomato Barley

  1. Those chocolate covered strawberries look amazing!! Looks like you had a great night 🙂

  2. Pingback: Snack Attack and Fitness Routine « After Dinner Dance

  3. Pingback: 8 Lessons from a Second Half Marathon |

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