This is a healthy alternative to the traditional pasta salad.

2/3 cup pearled barley 4 cups water 1 can (15 ounces) black beans, drained and rinsed 1/2 cup chopped green onions 1/4 cup chopped parsley 1/2 medium red pepper, thinly sliced 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese 6 ounces extra lean ham steak, diced

Dressing

1/4 cup red wine vinegar 1/4 cup olive oil 1/2 teaspoon cumin 1 clove garlic, minced 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard salt and pepper to taste

In a large saucepan, bring water to a boil. Add barley, cover pan and continue to boil gently for 45 - 60 minutes or until tender and water has been absorbed. Remove from heat and spread barley out on a baking sheet to cool. In a large bowl, combine cooled barley, black beans, onions, parsley, red pepper, parmesan cheese, and ham. Stir to mix. In a small food process, combine all dressing ingredients. Process until smooth and creamy. Add to barley and mix thoroughly. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Serves 6

Nutritional Information per serving:

Calories: 290 Fat, gm.: 13 Protein, gm.: 13 Carbs, gm.: 30 Cholesterol, mg.: 20 Fiber, gm.: 7.8