[donotprint] I was never really a risotto kinda girl, probably owing to the fact that I suffered from eating disorders for the best part of my life and a creamy cheesy heavy risotto was never really on the cards. The whole concept of a meal based around a grain would have sent my head spinning and more than likely me running in the opposite direction.
I now consume grains a plenty, and love a good creamy, yet vegan, cheesy sauce. The fantastic thing about vegan sauces is how much of a nutritional punch they can pack simply by adding in nutritional yeast.
Although I love my grains I don’t partake in those which are not wholegrain and so when it comes to risotto white refined rice isn’t an option. Pearl Barley on the other hand is a fantastic wholegrain alternative.
Pearl Barley is barley which has been hulled (all barley must be hulled to make it edible) and further processed to remove the bran.
Don’t let that put you off though. It’s still a good source of fiber, protein and several B vitamins vital in metabolism and energy production. It also contains a significant amount of Iron and Selenium; it’s far from being stripped of its nutrients!
I love how it retains a bit of bite yet plumps up so beautifully. I had a craving for some mushrooms…ok a whole load of mushrooms so I splurged and picked up a bag of oysters, shitakes and portobello mushrooms from The Happy Pear.
Plenty of garlic, kale, caramalised onions and thyme along with a creamy ever so slightly cheesy sauce. It was everything I longed for and more. Button or chestnut (cremini) mushrooms just wouldn’t have done in this instance. Sometimes life calls for a little bit of luxury!
An incredibly satisfying dish, another one handed meal, ideal for those multi-tasking/reading lunch breaks I’ve been having lately. You could say that I inhaled it….and wished I had of made it last a little longer; the only thing for it is to make it over again! What I ever did without nutritional yeast and Alpro Almond milk in my life is beyond me!
What’s your favourite type of risotto? Do you use rice, barley or another grain? [/donotprint]
Mushroom Kale Pearly Barley Risotto
Servings – 1
Preparation Time – 5 minutes
Cooking Time – 45 minutes
- 1 medium onion
- 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
- 2 tbsp water
- 1.5 cups of mushrooms (oyster, shitake, portobello) roughly chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic minced
- 1/4 cup pearl barley
- 1/2 cup almond milk
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1 tsp Bragg’s liquid aminos
- 1/2 cup steamed kale
- 1/2 tbsp chopped thyme
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- Thyme to garnish
- Place onions and a drop of the water to a pot and lightly fry until soft. Lower heat to a simmer and add in remaining water along with balsamic vinegar. Leave to simmer for 30 minutes, adding a little more water if they dry up.
- Meanwhile place garlic in to another pot with a drop of water and cook for 2 minutes. Add in mushrooms and cook for a further 5 minutes. Place mushrooms and garlic in a bowl to one side.
- Place pearl barley in to the now empty pot, cover with water and almond milk and leave to simmer for 40 minutes.
- Whisk in nutritional yeast and mustard, stir back in mushrooms, holding back a few for topping, along with garlic, chopped thyme, liquid aminos and black pepper. Allow to heat through for 2-3 minutes before stirring in steamed/blanched kale.
- Stir through half of the caramelised onions and serve topped with remaining onions, mushrooms and fresh thyme.