Black Bean & Mushroom Barley

I can never understand why Pearl Barley doesn’t get as much love as other grains. Sure, it takes a bit longer to cook but its flavour is insane! It can hold its own against the earthy combo of the Black Beans and Mushrooms and the little kick at the end completes it perfectly. If you’ve never tried out Pearl Barley (or even if you have) then this is definitely worth a go!

Ingredients:

  • 1 can (400g) black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 5 closed cup mushrooms, roughly chopped
  • 100g pearl barley, rinsed
  • 1 tbsp golden syrup
  • 4 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 tsp chilli flakes
  • 500ml vegetable stock
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp onion granules
  • 1 dsp Worcestershire sauce

Method:

  1. Start by frying the mushrooms for 5-6 minutes, stirring occasionally on medium heat.
  2. Then, pour in the olive oil and add the garlic and fry until the garlic starts to lightly brown.
  3. Add the black beans and the seasonings, mix and cook for a further 2-3 minutes.
  4. Pour in the syrup, Worcestershire sauce and stock, mix well, cover and drop the heat. Leave to cook for 40 minutes (stirring occasionally) or until the barley has softened but still has a bite to it.

Enjoy 🙂

Courgette Gazpacho

A twist on the Spanish classic; only no tomatoes and a considerably greener looking chilled soup. A real refresher, filled with natural and healthy ingredients. In this recipe I decided to remove any bits in the blending process, however you can leave it the way it is and enjoy the earthier flavours and added texture. Additionally, if you keep the sieved bits in a separate bowl you could either boil up some potatoes or some pasta and use that as your base, mixed with some extra virgin olive oil; this way nothing goes to waste and you get all the nutrients from the ingredients.

Ingredients:

  • 1 courgette
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 5-6 basil leaves
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 400ml water
  • 1 spring onion
  • A handful of curly kale
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Extra Virgin olive oil

Method:

  1. Put all ingredients into a food processor and blitz until smooth.
  2. Strain the mixture through a sieve and into a deep bowl or jug.
  3. Leave in the fridge for at least an hour before serving.
    Optional: upon serving drizzle over some extra olive oil and serve.

Enjoy ☺️

San Marzano Orzo

Firstly, I just wanted to apologise to those who receive e-mail updates of my posts. This morning it certainly seemed like I was extra keen to post this recipe and share it with you all, unfortunately, there was a minor technical glitch and it was released a little earlier than expected.

This weeks recipe really showcases the beauty and importance of using good quality tomatoes. San Marzano tomatoes come from the same family as the plum tomato, I find that these particular tomatoes are slightly sweeter and have a a thicker skin adding extra texture to this dish. Additionally, I have used chicken stock as I personally find that it makes the dish taste more rich and adds a little deepness. However, if you are vegetarian or vegan or just fancy a ‘non meat’ meal do switch it up for an alternative vegetable stock; it will be just as delicious.

Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • 100g orzo
  • 300ml chicken stock
  • 7-8 San Marzano tomatoes, cut into eighths
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp tomato puree
  • Pinch of salt
  • Ground black pepper

Method:

  1. Start by frying the garlic in the oil for 2-3 minutes on medium heat.
  2. Add the tomatoes, fry for a couple of minutes, add the tomato puree and fry for a further minute; season with salt and pepper.
  3. Put in the the orzo and fry with the other ingredients for 50-60 seconds.
  4. Pour in the stock, mix again and bring to a gentle boil. Finally, drop the heat to medium- low and leave to simmer for 10-12 minutes, the liquid will have reduced and the orzo is al dente.

Can be served both hot and cold.

Enjoy ☺️

Baked Peach Salad

Who said that fruit can only be eaten in a sweet setting? The baked peaches in this salad go amazingly well with the salty feta and peppery rocket. An easy lunch or something to bring along to a picnic if you’re in the mood for something different.

Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • 4 peaches, stone removed and quartered
  • 120g feta, crumbled
  • 1 handful rocket
  • 70g fennel, sliced
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp golden syrup
  • Salt

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 160 °C (fan), gas mark 4.
  2. Place the peach pieces on a baking tray and place in the oven; bake for 10 to 12 minutes.
  3. Using a small bowl, mix the olive oil, golden syrup and season with a pinch of salt and leave to one side.
  4. Then build the salad starting with the rocket, spread the leaves making a green base.
  5. Distribute the fennel evenly along with the feta. Add the peach quarters and drizzle over the syrup dressing and serve.

Enjoy 🙂