Today’s recipe was inspired by a pack of pearly barley I had in the cupboard for quite a while, but just couldn’t figure out what to make with it. I originally thought about cooking some type of soup but nothing was really making it stand out so I opted for a vegetable mixture instead. As you can see from the images, its about 5% grain and the rest in vegetables, just how I like it. I’ve noticed more recently that grains, specifically white rice, can be quite filling and make me feel bloated, so I try to eat less of it these days and it’s super processed and not the healthiest option. As this was my first time eating pearl barley, I’m not sure how I felt about it. I followed the packet instructions but I didn’t really like the chewiness of the grains, I’m not sure if it was over cooked or not cooked enough but the were almost bouncing with every bite. I’ll definitely try another recipe to if I like it with other foods but overall, this was a very hearty meal, filled with lots of great vegetables.
Recipe: Pearl Barley with veg (serves 1)
25g uncooked pearl barley
1 tsp oil
1/3 spring onion, finely sliced
1 small sweet potato, peeled, washed, cut into cubes
Handful of kale
Handful of broccoli, washed and cut
Sprinkle of garlic powder, paprika, chilli flakes, salt
100ml warm water
Cook the pearl barley according to the packet instructions and set aside.
Prepare all of the vegetables and heat the oil in a deep pan, adding the spring onion once hot, cooking for only 2 minutes before adding the sweet potato, kale and broccoli.
Season the vegetables with your favourite herbs and spices, I used garlic powder, paprika, chilli flakes and salt. Pour in the water and mix everything together.
Leave to simmer for 15 minutes on a low heat until everything is fully cooked.
Turn the heat off then mix the pearl barley into the pan and leave for a few minutes before serving.
I’ve literally been carrying packed lunches with me for such a long time, back when I was in school as a kid up till now as an adult going to work. I love carrying lunches to work, not only do you save money but you can personalise your meals and really enjoy what you’re eating. There are a lot more options available now but the general cheese and salad or chicken mayo just doesn’t do it for me. Most days I keep my lunches pretty simple because I don’t like feeling super full or bloated at work, so I opt for foods that are fairly filling, nutritious but still tasty. Recently, I’ve been preparing my work lunches before I leave out in the mornings so that I have even more time to myself when I get back in the late afternoon/evening.
I think my current favourite lunch for work has to be a seasoned couscous salad, usually plain couscous sprinkled with salt, chilli flakes, garlic powder and dried herbs. Sometimes I’ll even add some toasted pine nuts for extra flavour which are high in calories, specifically protein helping me to keep fuller for longer.
Quick work lunches ideas:
Peanut butter sandwich
Pasta: sauce, tuna, sweetcorn, carrot, spring onion, cheese, kale
Leftover homemade pizza
Couscous salad: tuna, sweetcorn, carrot, pine nuts, lettuce, cucumber, radish, sliced spring onions
This recipe is great and can be eaten alone, with a side of rice or even homemade bread that can be dipped into the sauce. It is very nourishing and hearty but still great for this time of the year when the weather is cool and you fancy something hot. It’s nice and easy to prepare with minimal preparation. I’m cooking with a great range of vegetables; broccoli, garden peas, sweet potatoes and lentils but you could easily substitute them with your favourite vegetables. I always enjoy cooking with sweet potatoes because they offer such a delicious flavour that really compliments the curry paste used in this recipe. Sweet potatoes are also a great source of fibre which aid in the healthy digestive system, not only that, but cooking sweet potatoes is known to increase their vitamin C content.
Recipe: Sweet potato and lentil curry (serves 1)
1/2 tsp oil
1/3 small onion, finely diced
1/2 tbsp curry paste
Pinch of turmeric
30g lentils, soaked overnight in water
1 sweet potato, peeled and cut into cubes
Handful of broccoli florets
50g garden peas
Heat the oil in a pan, once hot, add the onion and cook for a few minutes until soft.
Next, mix in the curry paste, turmeric, lentils and stock. Cook for 10 minutes on a low simmer.
After that, add the sweet potato and broccoli.
Cook for a further 5 minutes before adding the garden peas. Give it a final stir and leave on a low heat for a further 5 minutes and serve.
Today’s recipe is a great vegetarian recipe that tastes really delicious. I sometimes buy ingredients before I’ve decided what I actually want to make with it, and this was the case with this recipe. I really fancied something filling and nutritious, saw the lentils in the cupboard and started creating a recipe.
You could also add a fillet of fish or chicken pieces instead of the lentils if you don’t want a vegetarian recipe. I ended up adding a fillet of fish at the same time as the cauliflower and potato and it was cooked perfectly, really succulent with lots of flavour.
The ingredients within this curry provide the body with many nutritional benefits, cauliflower is great because it’s low in fat and has a high vitamin C content. Although the white cauliflower is most commonly eaten there is also green, purple and orange varieties each with their own flavours and nutrients. Lentils are fast becoming a favourite of mine, this time I used green lentils which are perfect for adding into curries for an extra boost of plant protein. Lentils are also a good source of B vitamins, which helps to prevent infections in the body and supports energy levels and cell health.
Recipe: Cauliflower, lentil and potato curry (serves 1-2)
1 tsp oil
1 shallot, finely diced
1 tbsp red thai curry paste
1/2 tsp turmeric
35g dried green lentils, soaked overnight
330ml vegetable stock
1/4 cauliflower, chopped
1 small potato, diced
1/2 tsp coconut cream
*serve with a small portion of rice*
Add oil to the pan and once hot add the diced shallots, cooking until soft, roughly 3-4 minutes.
After that time, mix in the red thai curry paste, turmeric and lentils.
Pour over the stock and leave to simmer on a gentle heat for 15 minutes.
Then add the cauliflower and potato, adding a little more water if necessary.
Simmer for another 15 minutes until the cauliflower and potato is cooked but still slightly tender.
I’m a real believer of health is wealth, because it’s so important that we look after ourselves, make time for the things we enjoy and ensure that we are in good health. The main factors we’d think of first are diet, lifestyle, work, relationships, friends and family but it’s also about taking time to be present and enjoy being in the moment. Make sure that you surround yourself with good people, you look forward to your job and you prioritise eating a range of healthy foods that you enjoy 🙂
If you’ve got any aches, pains or simply haven’t been feeling well for a while, book in with your Doctor or see a specialist who might be able to help. I know it may be easier said than done, it’s one thing saying something and another thing to actually go and do it but when it comes to your health, it’s so important to put yourself first.
Something as simple as being mindful can make such a big difference to our lives. When life gets hectic, take a moment to be mindful.
Try this exercise:
Sit alone and set a 5 minute timer
Take 3 deep breaths inhaling and exhaling fully.
Focusing on your breath,
When you loose concentration, bring yourself back to the present moment. Notice how your body feels, the air around you, your stomach moving in and out.
Just a little reminder to take care of yourself ❤️