Pearl Barley with Sweet Potato, Kale and Broccoli

Hello Everyone, I hope your day has been well.

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)

Ingredients

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

Method

  • 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.

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Baked Sweet Potato

Hello Everyone, I hope your day has been well and the weather is great for you today. We were having some really nice weather in the UK and sunshine always makes everything better.

Today I am sharing a recipe inspired by @calgaryavansino over on Instagram. I feel like the ingredients are very Mexican inspired and all of the flavours compliment each other so well. It is the perfect vegetarian burger and can be whipped up in no time. It’s nice and easy to make and the sweetness of the potatoes just tastes so good. I actually really like sweet potatoes but I feel like I don’t eat them enough so I was super happy when I found this recipe. I’ve changed it a little to suit me and what I had available at the time but the veggie concept is still there. Another thing I love about the recipe is how easily accessible the topping ingredients are as many of use will have sweetcorn, black beans and peas in the kitchen. You can also change up the quantities, depending on what you like.

Recipe: Baked sweet potato (serves 1)

Ingredients

2 small sweet potatoes, washed and gently scrubbed

Drizzle of oil

Pinch of salt

Handful of sweetcorn

1/4 tin black beans

50g crushed green peas

1 tsp chilli garlic sauce

Pinch of salt

1 tsp lime juice

1/4 diced onion)

Method

  • Preheat the oven to gas mark 6.
  • Rinse and gently scrub the potatoes, place on a oven tray, spray each potato twice with olive oil and sprinkle with a little salt. Cover the tray with foil and bake in the oven for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and put back into the oven for a further 10 minutes.
  • Cook the peas and crush with a fork then mix in the chilli garlic sauce, salt, lime juice and onion. Leave to marinate for a few minutes.
  • Bring a small pot of water to a gentle simmer and cook the corn and beans for 5 minutes until cooked through and drain off the liquid.
  • Once the potatoes are cooked, carefully slice them in half and top with the corn, black beans and crushed peas, drizzle with a little lemon juice and serve.

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Quick Veggie Stir Fry

Hello Everyone, I hope your day has been well.

This is probably the third stir fry recipe I’m posting and it gets better every time. It can be quite hard to replicate a dish when you’re not following a specific recipe but a stir fry is great because as long as you use specific ingredients like ginger, garlic, wok oil and soy sauce, it should taste good. I used to love following recipes completely from beginning to end but I’m much more relaxed now and I really enjoy adding/taking away ingredients depending on my preferences.

Another reason why I love a stir fry is because you can add so much vegetables which count towards your 5 a day. I made this stir fry after work in a bit of a rush so I opted for dried garlic and ginger but you could always use them fresh which provides a more mellow taste.

Recipe: Quick veggie stir fry (serves 1)

Ingredients

Egg noodles (1 portion)

Handful of corn

1 tsp sesame wok oil

Handful of broccoli

100ml vegetable stock

Handful of kale

1/3 carrot, cut into sticks

1 spring onion, finely sliced

1 tbsp soy sauce

Pinch of brown sugar, salt, chilli flakes, garlic powder and ginger

Method

  • Cook the egg noodles according to the packet and set aside.
  • Heat the sesame oil in a deep pan, once hot, add the broccoli and cook for a few minutes.
  • Add the stock, kale and carrot to the pan, mix well.
  • Then mix in the spring onion, soy sauce, sugar, salt, chilli, garlic and ginger. Cook for 3-4 minutes.
  • Turn the heat off, mix in the noodles and keep covered for a couple of minutes before serving.

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Black Bean Burgers

Hello Everyone, I hope your day has been well.

I know it’s not the most flattering picture but honestly it tasted so good and was full of flavour. It can be eaten inside burger baps for a meat free option or simply with a salad for a light lunch. Black beans are such a great nutritious food packed with protein, carbohydrates and fibre. Black beans have a smooth and creamy once cooked and they are a staple food in many countries which is not surprising considering how versatile they are. This recipe was inspired from @naturally.sassy over on Instagram.

Recipe: Black bean burgers (makes 4)

Ingredients

1 large sweet potato

Olive oil

3/4 tin black beans

45g sweetcorn

1/2 small onion, diced

45g plain flour

1/3 tsp salt

1/2 tsp cumin

1/2 tsp coriander

Pinch of thyme

Pinch of garlic powder

1/3 tsp chilli flakes

Method

  • Preheat the oven to gas mark 5. Peel, chop and wash the potato then place onto an oven tray with a drizzle of olive oil. Cook in the oven for 30 minutes until soft.
  • Rinse and drain the black beans, put into a large bowl and roughly mash half and set aside.
  • Heat a drop of oil in a frying pan and cook the onions for a few minutes until soft.
  • Add the onion to the bowl, along with the spices, sweetcorn and flour.
  • Once the potato is cooked, mash completely on the tray and mix into the bowl along with the other ingredients.
  • Use your hands to even shape into 4 burgers and place back onto tray. Place in the fridge for 10 minutes to keep the shape.
  • Put the tray into the oven and cook the burgers for 15-20 minutes depending on how crispy you want them to be.
  • Serve once cooked.

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Curried Lentils and Rice

Hello everyone, I hope your day has been well.

So when I was making this recipe I never had curry powder in the cupboard so I looked online and found a mixture of spices (turmeric, cumin, coriander and ginger) that when combined make a great curry alternative. I have really been enjoying eating lentils recently, they have an earthy and nutty flavour to them that would really compliment any dish.

Lentils are a great staple food to have in your cupboard because you can sprinkle them into most dishes, like curries, soup or any rice dish. They are a great source of fibre and protein and a healthy gluten free option. This recipe overall is full of flavour and definitely one to try!!

Recipe: Curried rice and lentils (serves 1-2)

Ingredients

1 tsp olive oil

1/4 small onion, finely diced

1/2 tsp curry powder (or an even mixture of turmeric, cumin, coriander and ginger)

Sprinkle of thyme and salt

300ml boiling water (you may need more)

48g lentils

64g rice

Method

  • Heat the oil in a pot for 1 minute before adding the onion, cook this for 5 minutes on a low heat stirring regularly. Add the curry powder, thyme and salt, cover with a lid for 2 minutes to continue cooking.
  • The onions should be slightly soft at the point, add the boiling water to the pot and bring to boil.
  • Next add the lentils and rice, leave on a gentle simmer until fully cooked, roughly 20 minutes but keep checking.
  • Give the ingredients a final mix to combine everything together and serve.

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