We tend to heavily rely on rice to accompany or form part of our everyday meals but there are other store cupboard staples we can easily substitute that offer so much more in the way of health benefits. Barley is one of them – a high fibre grain with a hearty, chewy texture and nutty flavour. Packed with vitamins, minerals, antioxidents and fibre, swapping this grain can improve your digestion, blood sugar levels and weightloss plus it tastes wonderful.
My mushroom & butternut risotto with barley (below), easily replaces conventional rice – give it a try and you will see for yourself, the end result is well worth it.
Ingredients – Serves 2
1/2 onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
200g pack of mixed woodland or chestnut mushrooms
100g of butternut squash, peeled & cubed
125g pearl barley
1/2 tsp dried sage or 1 tbsp chopped fresh sage
1/2 litre of mushroom stock
salt & pepper to season
1. Spray a saucepan with fry light and gently fry the onion and garlic for 2 mins. Add the mushrooms & butternut squash and continue to cook for about 5 mins stirring occasionally.
2. Add the barley, sage & seasoning. Pour in the hot stock, stir well and bring to the boil. Turn down the heat and simmer until most of the stock has been absorbed and the barley is tender. About 20-30 mins.
3. Turn off the heat and leave in the pan for 15 minutes before serving. This ensures all the stock is absorbed, allows the flavours to develop and brings down the temperature, cooling it down sufficiently before serving.
Best served with fresh salad leaves and a dollop of dairy free/fat free creme fraiche or topped with a free range poached egg.
Slimming World – You can enjoy this dish Synfree. If using dairy free creme fraiche or yoghurt alternative, check syn value.