Healthy and delicious, this salad is a perfect low GI meal as it uses naked barley, sweet potato and grapes. The lower a food's glycemic index or glycemic load, the less it affects blood sugar and insulin levels.
Naked barley, aka hulless barley, is a low glycemic food that is not just good as part of a diabetic-friendly diet, It also helps to fight diabetes. Its soluble fiber slows the absorption of sugar and reduces the risk for developing Type 2 diabetes. It has a chewy texture and more fiber and nutritional value than pearl barley, which has been processed to remove the hull and bran. You can use naked barley everywhere that you formerly used rice.
- Rinse barley under cold running water and drain. In a medium saucepan, bring water with salt to a boil. Add barley and bring back to boil, then reduce to low heat and cook, covered, for 50 minutes or until barley is tender. Drain and rinse with cold water. Transfer to a bowl.
- Meanwhile, preheat oven to 200C/400F. Line a baking tray with baking paper. Peel sweet potatoes and cut into 3cm cubes. Toss the cubed sweet potatoes with maple syrup and olive oil, then arrange them on a baking tray in a single layer. Season with salt and pepper and roast for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.
- In a small bowl, combine white balsamic vinegar, garlic, and mustard. Whisk in olive oil, salt and pepper to taste.
- Combine barley, sweet potatoes, grapes, red onion, carrot and spring onions in a large salad bowl. Pour the dressing over the barley mixture and toss. Spoon the salad over the Romaine lettuce halves and serve.