Barley, Plantain, Black Bean & Harissa Stuffed Peppers

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I don’t make stuffed peppers that often but when I do, I remember how much I actually like them. This time I stuffed them with a mixture of barley, pan fried plantains, black beans and some harissa for a bit of a kick. I cooked the barley in vegetable stock so it already has a bit of seasoning The result is a filling vegetarian dish which also makes a good packed lunch the next day.

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This recipe makes 5 stuffed peppers.

Ingredients:

5 big bell peppers

½ cup of barley

2 1/2 cups of vegetable stock

2 ripe plantains, finely chopped

130grs of canned black beans, drained

4 tablespoons of chopped coriander

4 tablespoons of olive oil

1 garlic clove, minced

1 red onion, chopped

1 teaspoon of harissa

Pinch of celery salt

Salt

Pepper

Cayenne

 

Place the barley in a medium saucepan with the vegetable stock. Let it simmer over medium heat for 25 to 30 minutes, until the barley is cooked through.

To prepare the bell peppers, carefully slice off the top part. Then remove the membrane and seeds.

Preheat your oven to 180C/350F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a large pan, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat. Add the chopped plantains, salt, pepper and cayenne to taste. Cook it while stirring for about 4 to 5 minutes, until the plantain is cooked through. Transfer it to a bowl.

In the same pan, add the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil and the onion. Cook the onion until it is translucent. Then add the garlic and harissa, and cook for another minute. Then add the barley, beans, coriander, celery salt and the plantains. Mix well. Taste for salt and pepper.

Stuff the peppers all the way to the top and cover them with the top part previously sliced off. Place them on the prepared baking sheet.

Bake them for 50 minutes. I served them with a simple arugula salad. Enjoy!

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Beet & Barley Salad with Black Radish, Brussels Sprouts, Arugula, Kumquat & Grana Padano

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This past Saturday at the Farmer’s market, I got some beautiful black radishes. I had never seen them before so I was very excited to give them a try. They are stronger in flavor than the average radish. They are a bit spicy. I wanted to keep things simple so I just thinly sliced one radish (they are quite big) and added it to a simple beet & barley salad. This one is a bit different since I cooked the barley in a mixture of vegetable stock and beet juice. A delicious and filling salad for these colder months.

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This recipe serves 3.

Ingredients:

For the barley:

2 cups of barley

1 ½ cups of beet juice

4 ½ cups of vegetable stock

For the salad:

75 grs of arugula

1 black radish, thinly sliced

9 kumquats, thinly sliced

30 grs of thinly sliced Grana Padano cheese

12 Brussels sprouts, stems trimmed, halved and leaves separated

1 tablespoon of olive oil

Salt

Pepper

For the balsamic dressing:

1/3 cup of olive oil

1/3 cup of balsamic vinegar

1 teaspoon of mustard

2 tablespoons of honey

Salt

Pepper

 

Cook the barley with the stock and beet juice over medium heat for about 40 minutes, until all of the liquid has been absorbed and the barley is tender. Once it is cooked, let it stand for 5 minutes with the heat off. Then transfer it to a bowl and allow it to cool down for a bit.

To make the dressing, just place all of the ingredients in a jar and close it with a lid. Shake it until it emulsifies. Set it aside.

To cook the Brussels sprouts, place the olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add the Brussels sprouts leaves, salt and pepper. Cook them for about 20 seconds. Set them aside.

To plate the salad, mix the arugula with the barley. Divide it over 3 plates. Top with the radish, kumquats, Grana Padano and Brussels sprouts. Serve he salad with the dressing on the side.

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Butternut Squash Barley Risotto with Oyster Mushrooms & Chorizo

 

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I can’t seem to get enough of butternut squash, I just keep buying it every week. I love risotto and this one with barley requires a bit less attention as you can just add all the stock in one go and just stir from time to time.

This recipe serves 2.

Ingredients:

1 Small butternut squash

1 ½ litters of chicken stock

1 white onion, chopped

1 clove of garlic, minced

1 cup of white wine

1 cup of barley

1/3 cup of cream

40grs of grated Parmesan

Chives for decoration

150gr of chorizo, thinly sliced

For the oyster mushrooms:

150grs of oyster mushrooms, chopped if they are too big

3 tablespoons of olive oil

Pinch of garlic powder

Salt

Pepper

 

Slice the butternut squash into chunks. Take the seeds out and place the chunks on a plate. Cover the plate with plastic wrap and microwave for 9 minutes. Once the squash is cooked, be careful when you remove the plastic wrap so that the steam coming out doesn’t burn you. Spoon out the flesh of the squash. Blend the butternut with the stock until smooth. Set aside.

Saute the mushrooms with the olive oil, garlic powder, salt and pepper over medium heat until golden. Set aside.

In a large pan over medium heat, cook the chorizo until slightly browned and crispy on both sides. Don’t add any oil, enough fat will render out of it anyways. This will only take a few minutes. Transfer the chorizo to a plate lined with paper towels and set it aside. Keep one tablespoon of the fat.

In the same pan where you cooked the chorizo and kept one tablespoon of the rendered fat, cook the onions until translucent over medium heat. Then add the garlic. Cook it for one minute and then add the barley. Cook for two minutes while stirring. Then add the white wine. Stir until most of the wine has evaporated and then add all of the stock blended with the butternut squash.

Let it cook for 40 minutes, stirring from time to time, especially during the last 10 minutes of cooking.

Once the barley is cooked through and most of the liquid has been absorbed, add the chorizo and mushrooms. You can save a few chorizo slices and mushrooms to use later as decoration.

Add the cream and Parmesan. Stir for a few minutes until the liquid has reduced and it has a risotto consistency. Taste for salt. Divide the risotto over two bowls, top with some of the chorizo and mushrooms if you set some aside. Sprinkle some chopped chives and enjoy!

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