Walnut-crusted chicken breasts

Even though the chicken is sauteed, a serving of this walnut-crusted chicken has only 331 calories. (Susan Tusa/Detroit Free Press/MCT)

Spring barley risotto

Serves: 4 (as a main dish)
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Total time: 45 minutes

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 cup pearled barley

2 leeks, white and light-green parts only, thinly sliced

1/2 cup dry white wine or water

2 cups water

Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper

1 can (14 1/2 ounces) vegetable broth

1 bunch asparagus (about 1 pound), trimmed and cut on bias into 2-inch pieces

1 box (10 ounces) frozen peas, defrosted

1/4 to 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1/4 cup thinly sliced mint leaves, plus small leaves for garnish

In a large saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Add barley and leeks; cook until leeks begin to soften, 5 to 7 minutes. Add wine; cook until evaporated, about 5 minutes. Add 2 cups water; bring to a boil and season with salt and pepper. Reduce heat; simmer until liquid is absorbed, about 10 minutes.

Add broth and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until barley is tender and creamy, about 10 minutes. Add asparagus; cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in peas until heated through. Add Parmesan and mint; season with salt and pepper. Garnish with mint leaves.

Adapted from "Power Foods" by the editors of Whole Living Magazine (Clarkson Potter, $24.99).

Tested by Susan M. Selasky for the Free Press Test Kitchen. Analysis includes 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese.

388 calories (24 percent from fat), 10 grams fat (2 grams sat. fat), 58 grams carbohydrates, 15 grams protein, 563 mg sodium, 6 mg cholesterol, 16 grams fiber.


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