Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Meatless Wednesday? Barley Risotto and another way to eat falafel

Last night there was a tornado that touched down about 25 miles from here and it was possibly heading our way. Of course this was right at dinner time. So I turned off the stove and the fam headed down to our basement. We spent almost 2 hours down there and it was SO fun, I tell you. Now some of my real fancy friends were probably living it up down in their finished basements but we were hunkered down amongst our boxes in what were lovingly refer to as "the dungeon." As tornado season approaches we decide after last night that we need to create a tornado retreat down there with some seating, treats, and entertainment.

Anyhow, we all survived and then we headed up to eat a new recipe I tried with millet, white beans, and cauliflower. It was not a big hit. So it was basically a great end to a fun filled night.

Anyhow, I missed my meatless Monday post so here is a recipe for a meatless Wednesday. You can do meatless more than one day a week, you know!! I go this recipe from

Easy Creamy Tomato Barley Risotto

Here is the risotto with a side of steamed broccoli and a salad with the vegan ranch dressing.

Adapted from Vegan Yum Yum Cookbook.
Yield: ~2 cups
  • 1 cup dry pot barley
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • 1.5 cups canned pureed/diced tomatoes (15 oz can)
  • 1 cup almond milk (or other milk)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast (provides the cheesy/creamy taste)
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp sea salt, to taste

Directions: Rinse pot barley in a strainer and place into medium sized pot that has a lid. Add olive oil, basil, and oregano and stir well until barley is coated with oil. Turn heat to medium until barley begins to sizzle.
Once the barley sizzles, add in the minced garlic and reduce heat to low-medium. Cook for 1 minute and then add in the tomatoes, milk, water, nutritional yeast,  and salt. Stir well and bring to a gentle boil and then cover and reduce heat to low.

Cook, covered (with a bit of air escaping) for 30-35 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes or so, being careful not to burn the barley on the bottom of the pot.

The mixture should be creamy, but not soupy, and the barley will be very chewy and not mushy. Serve immediately. Serves 4 side dishes and makes 2 cups worth.

** This recipe originally called for miso, which I don't have so I just added a bit more salt. Start low on salt and then add more if it needs it.

** The kids did not love this but it was something different and my husband and I enjoyed it. But it is pretty rich to me. I could not eat a tone of it.

Here is another fun way to eat falafel... on a salad. I just dropped falafel on a bed of romaine lettuce with cucumbers, tomatoes, some drops of hummus, and then drizzled it with tahini dressing. It was yummy!!

** Check out this commercial. Doesn't it make you want a Big Mac??

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