Sunday, August 7, 2011

Barley & Greens

I was leaving town in a few days and when I looked into the fridge, to make my hungry man a meal. He had generously offered to bake a frozen pizza for us, but I thought, "let's have a look at what is available and fresh first. Oh, my washed kale will go bad if I don't fix it tonight.
What else? Gee. I never tried cooking's a recipe on line for barley, mushroom risotto. Okay! An hour and a half later I had this lovely fragrant plate pictured above.

My husband didn't think so. He ate in silence, practically turning his body away from me. He said the meal tasted bland. I knew he was losing patience with my vegan cooking, but I tried my best. It was still a hot healthy meal. After dinner, at 8:30 he was going to bed. I followed to offer him dessert, saying "Shall I tuck you in?" This is code for, well you know. Right then his wrath unleashed. "I have to get up at 4:30 tomorrow! You made me wait hours when I was hungry! I don't even like vegan food! I just wanted eat my pizza!" Point taken. Don't try to push your healthy lifestyle changes too fast on your family members. Once you lose their trust, they will resist any further attempts to win them over.

I wish I had made that recipe first for my self, and tasted it before giving it to my husband. I wouldn't call the barley mushroom risotto too bland. It is creamy and nutty, like oatmeal is subtle but filling and satisfying. I was disappointed with adding canned corn to the kale. It was OK, but there wasn't a good balance with the intense spinach-like flavor of the greens against the candy crunch of the corn. I fried some onion and added a clove of minced garlic right before I splashed a cup of vegetable broth into the pan. Then I added the clean chopped bunch kale and cooked it down. I added the can of corn as an after thought because I liked the color and brightness against the greens.

Mushroom Barley Risotto
2 table tablespoon olive oil
1 cup chopped mushrooms
2 cups vegetable broth
1 cup uncooked barley
salt to taste

Saute mushrooms for about 5 minutes. Then add the rest of ingredients and simmer for 50 min. Please check the packaged barley directions carefully for the exact proportion and cooking time. The above recipe is from memory, but I followed the package, and was happy with the result. I might even serve it again to my husband when he is in a better mood!

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