Busy school year meals call for a little help from some friends!

Nearly every dish on my blog is made from scratch in my kitchen, but when a homegrown gal from my own home town (Annapolis MD) has passed on her delicious recipes to her three sons, finds her “All Natural” recipes in a bottle, in nearly every grocery store across America, (and then some), I wanted to solicit her help in my kitchen for Back-To-School Meals.

This Beef Barley & Balsamic dish, with what-ever veggies you happen to have on hand, was the perfect dish, screaming out for a fast flavor-filled sauce that I didn’t have to simmer all afternoon. Teresa Vetter and her three sons did all the work for me!

This meal comes together in under 30-minutes and is DELICIOUS!

Ingredients : This recipe makes 2 large helpings, (or 4 small)

–        TESSEMAE’S Organic Balsamic Vinaigrette – ½ bottle

–        Flank steak – 1 pound (or so), cut into strips

–        Onion – 1 large, cut into strips

–        Zucchini – 2 medium size, cut into strips

–        Carrots – 6 Tri-colored, cut into strips

–        Oregano – 1 tablespoon fresh, or 1 teaspoon dried

–        Red Chili Pepper Flakes – ¼ teaspoon, or less depending on taste

–        Salt & Pepper to taste

–        Barley – 1 cup dry, which makes about 2 cups when cooked

–        Garlic – 1 clove


Bring 2 1/2 cups of water, with 1 teaspoon salt, and one clove of garlic to a boil. Pour in the barley, lower, cover, and simmer for about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, let’s get this dish sizzling!

Heat up a cast iron pan, (or the equivalent). Do not shake the Tessemae’s bottle (just yet) and pour about a tablespoon of the oil off the top, into the pan. Toss the onions in and let them sizzle and become a little brown on the edges.

Add beef, toss, and turn on high heat until both sides take a little color.

Shake the Balsamic Vinaigrette real well, and pour a little on top of the meat and onions. Toss quickly.


Add veggies, spices, and more dressing.

Cover, and simmer about 20 minutes.

Plate the barley.

Add the simmered meat and veggies on top. Spoon the delicious sauce on top.


Leave a Reply