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Herbaceous barley: hot or cold.

I heard Giada de Laurentis use the word herbaceous once and have been wanting to use it ever since. Haha :) But its the perfect word to describe my lunch and dinner.

Post breakfasting, I cooked some barley and put it in the fridge to chill out while I went for a short jog around my parents gorgeous neighborhood. My legs felt like cinderblocks, and it was so humid that you could have cut the air with a knife. Perfect.

When I got back I picked some fresh herbs from my garden:

Basil and thyme. Don't worry, I washed them first. :)

Then chopped some veg action including a whole tomato, some cucumber and some red pepper, then largely diced some homemade seitan (yum), and threw it all into the bowl with the cold barley + the herbs that I finely chopped.


I topped it with some parmesan cheese and a hunk of avocado. Chewy from the barley and seitan, crunchy and fresh from the veg and creamy from the avocado. A bowl full of texture.

I loved this lunch so much that I used barley again for dinner.

It was gross and rainy out so I decided I wanted something hot, steamy and comforting. Enter roasted vegetable barley risotto.

Risotto is one of my favorite foods ever. Its SO versatile! Generally its made with arborio rice, but I swapped in barley to up the fiber/ protein and it worked like a charm.

Oh. Yes.

How did I do it?

Step one:  I chopped and roasted a big portabello mushroom cap and a zucchini in the oven on 400* for 30 minutes (You can use any veg that tickles your fancy).

Step 2:  Meanwhile I cooked 1/3 cup of barley on the stove using the directions on the package but added a little extra water (I used about 1+1/3 cup).

Step 3:  When the barley was tender, I threw the roasted veg in + some homemade seitan for some extra protein (substitute baked tofu, or even chicken) and then I added some parmesan cheese, maybe 2-3 tablespoons? Threw in some fresh thyme and oregano from my garden and called it dinner.

It deserved a close up. Excuse the lighting.

You will be seeing this again. I wish I had asparagus because it would have been phenomenal roasted and tossed in as well.

Since my oven is still hot, I might as well bake some cookies right? :)

Have you ever had risotto? What would you or did you put in it?

Whats your favorite type of cookie?  I’m a boring old chocolate chip girl. Or chocolate chocolate chip. But lets be real, I’ve never met a cookie I didn’t like.

About Megan @vegetarianrhapsody

Health and fitness and fun lovin' college student eating, running and playing my way through life.

7 responses »

  1. teenagehealthfreak

    i’ve never had risotto. i’d like to try it though!!! looks/sounds great. i love carrot cake cookies…they just melt in your mouth. :)

  2. I have had risotto but it has been when dining out! Never tried at home!

    My favorite cookie, oh gosh so many! I love fresh and warm chocolate chip out of the oven, and I dont cook them all the way, I let them still be doughy and not done all the way! So damn good!

  3. Yummm risotto is the ultimate comfort food for me :) I like it with mushrooms and LOTS of parmesan

    as for cookies? all of the above :)

  4. Haha herbaceous is SUCH a great word. The risotto looks totally awesome, thanks for sharing the recipe:)


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