What a difference a chipotle makes!

[donotprint] I’ve only recently discovered the wonders of chipotle peppers…I picked myself up a packed of dried chipotles merely out of curiosity. If I see something new on the shop shelves I’m like a kid in a candy store except for the fact that pretty much everything attracts me, the only prerequisites being that it’s vegetarian and for the most part vegan!

This inevitably leads to a hell of lot of impulse purchases; long gone are the days when I only associated the term with clothes! I’ve become one of those people that goes in to the grocery store to pick up one or two specific things and comes out with a whole basket full of random “must have” ingredients.

On this occasion as with many others it proved successful as having never tried chipotles had I not allowed my eye to wander who knows how much longer it might have been before I got around to this wonderful smoky dried chili! I popped the first one in my lentil chili last week but was keen to make myself something new and delicious to make the most of them (they were a little on the pricey side as are a lot of my impulse foodie purchases!)

A chipotle is a dried jalapeño pepper for anyone who doesn’t know (because I certainly didn’t!)

I spotted an interesting looking and sounding salad on Foodgawker featuring a chipotle dressing and pinned it immediately…a variation was on the cards!

It featured a hell of a lot of my favourite ingredients…corn, raw zucchini, and pearl barley…a grain I’ve been neglecting to incorporate over the last while but one which I love dearly!

Fresh, smoky with a delicious array of textures….a pearl barley chipotle salad with zucchini, corn, radish, red onion, fresh coriander and of course I couldn’t stop there… I topped it off with half an avocado to add some healthy fats to the mix.

I’ve gone from never having tasted avocado adding them to everything that I think vaguely might benefit from their inclusion. The base of the salad was incredible on it’s own, slightly sweet, spicy, smoky, crunchy and soft in all the right places…and the avocado just elevated it to a whole other world! (I’ve become a bit more than enthusiastic about the fat filled pear over the last couple of weeks…Sonia over at the Healthy Foodie just kept making them way to attractive!)

There is just something about cold grains that get me every time; it was comparable to the recent vegan egg fried rice eating incident…I shovelled it in to me! The chipotle dressing was a taste sensation like no other I can possibly compare it to…such a welcome surprise and one I will most definitely be repeating… [/donotprint]

Vegan Pearl Barley Avocado Chipotle Salad (adapted from big girls small kitchen)

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Servings – 1

Preparation Time – 10 minutes

Cooking Time – 45 minutes

Ingredients

  • 60g (2oz) pearl barley uncooked
  • 1/2 small red onion finely chopped
  • 3 tbsp cooked corn kernels
  • 1/2 medium zucchini diced
  • 5 radishes finely diced
  • 1/2 ripe avocado diced
  • 1 tbsp fresh coriander roughly chopped

Dressing

  • 1 tsp red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 small chipotle finely diced
  • 1 tsp agave syrup
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Directions

  1. Cover pearl barley with cold water, bring to the boil, cover and simmer for 45 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile whisk together dressing ingredients and set one side.
  3. Mix together all salad ingredients with the exception of the avocado and half of the coriander. Add pearl barley once cooked, pour over dressing and toss well to combine.
  4. Serve topped with avocado and remaining coriander.

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