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Last Saturday was leftover ham baked with sweet potatoes & onions. Sunday, it was a half-leg of lamb and a side dish of spiced barley with dried fruits, served with yogurt.

Ham & Sweet Potato Bake

4 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
2 medium onions, peeled and chopped
about 4 cups leftover baked ham, cubed
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup honey
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ancho chili pepper (or regular chili seasoning)
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a large bowl or plastic bag, mix all ingredients and then spread in a 9 x 13 baking dish or similar shallow casserole. Bake for about 45 minutes, stirring at least once midway in the baking. (Depending on the size of the pieces, this could be done in as little as 30 minutes, or as much as 60 minutes.)

The 5 lb. half-leg of lamb was oven roasted using this "Roast Leg of Lamb with Rosemary" recipe, or mostly so. I used dried rosemary instead of fresh, and "Dijonnaise" instead of Dijon, and was perhaps a little more generous in amounts. It came out wonderfully well, and is a recipe I'll use again for any cut of lamb, and I'll probably try it on pork, too.

I'd originally planned to use this recipe  for the barley but it quickly detoured into something related, but different:

Spiced Barley with Dried Fruit

6 cups just-cooked barley
1 cup chopped dried dates
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup dried sweetened cranberries
1/4 cup ground or chopped almonds
1-1/2 Tablespoons ras el hanout
plain yogurt, preferably Greek-style

Cook barley however you wish (I used a box of quick-cooking barley, which made 6 cups). For best flavor, cook in 1/2 water and 1/2 beef or vegetable stock, instead of just water. As soon as the barley is ready to serve, mix in the dried fruits, the almonds, and the spice mix. If you don't have ras-el-hanout (the Moroccan equivalent of curry powder), instead use individual ground spices by adding 1/2 teaspoon each of turmeric, cardamom, coriander, cayenne, nutmeg, and cloves, and 1-1/2 teaspoons of cinnamon. Serve with the yogurt to spoon on top to individual taste.



( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
Apr. 21st, 2009 09:13 pm (UTC)
The barley recipe sounds interesting. I have trouble coming up with ideas for breakfast because I tend to find all food other than fruit and sugary junk food repulsive before 10:00 a.m. for some weird reason, but if I skip breakfast or eat only fruit or sugar, I get tired later. I hate oatmeal (I'm the world's pickiest eater) but like barley, and I've been thinking of making for breakfast a small bowl of barley (for long-lasting energy) and adding dried cherries or dried cranberries (for fruit and sugar), slivered almonds, and cinnamon. This recipe sounds similar, and I thought I had come up with the concoction all by myself!
Apr. 21st, 2009 09:53 pm (UTC)
You did come up with it all by yourself, just others came up with it by themselves, too. Great minds think alike! ^_^
Apr. 21st, 2009 10:42 pm (UTC)

Did you hear that ?
Apr. 21st, 2009 11:12 pm (UTC)
The two recipes look pretty good, Kat, especially the barley one, since I may try that one for breakfast one morning. Get tired of the routine I'm in right now for the morning meal... Thanks. :)
Apr. 22nd, 2009 12:48 am (UTC)
LOL! You're welcome! ^_^

Yes, I find it funny that two people have considered that as something to have for breakfast. Not that I don't agree! My husband has cereal every morning. I have, well, anything I feel like that morning, but trying to include some protein and some carbohydrates. So, some of the recent breakfasts:

(1) whole grain toast with crunchy peanut butter & a little bit of strawberry jelly
(2) whole grain toast with melted Swiss and provolone cheese (open face, so not exactly grilled cheese sandwich)
(3) Triscuits with goat cheese and eggplant-garlic spread
(4) leftover "Mediterranean" pizza with spinach & feta & red onions
(5) microwaved scrambled eggs with shredded Italian cheeses (packaged 4-cheese mix)

and if I have the barley tomorrow, it will be with the leftover lamb that I've mixed into it. ^_^

Edited at 2009-04-22 12:49 am (UTC)
Apr. 22nd, 2009 04:33 pm (UTC)
"Yes, I find it funny that two people have considered that as something to have for breakfast"

I think for me it's because barley sort of resembles oats, or at least when they're cooked a certain way, oats and barely have a similar texture.

I ate oatmeal every morning until I was about 13. My mother made instant Quaker Brown Sugar & Cinnamon, and my grandmother bought a different kind of oats (not sure what they were called) and cooked them just enough--they never got mushy. And she put in homegrown blueberries. My mother and grandmother used to argue over the right way to cook oats, and I never had the heart to tell my mother I preferred my grandmother's non-mushy oatmeal.

But now as a grown-up I have become a seriously picky eater and can't stand oatmeal no matter how it's cooked. But since I like barley and since I've always thought it was similar to my grandmother's oatmeal, I think of it as a breakfast food (good for other meals, too). I would not cook it in beef or vegetable stock for breakfast, though, and I'd use only cinnamon to season.

I wish I were able to eat a variety of foods for breakfast like you do. That would make mornings so much easier!
Apr. 22nd, 2009 03:36 am (UTC)
Yep, I've tried some of those other breakfast options that you mentioned. The key is, that with my diabetes, I have to find breakfast foodstuffs that don't raise my sugar too badly in the early morning. If that happens, I find it suffers for the rest of the day.

New and different breakfast options, especially with cereals, is always good. :)
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )