Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Pearl Barley Risotto

Whilst I have loved eating Yeo Valley's apple flapjack yoghurt for the last couple of days, this morning I felt the need for porridge. I decided to incorporate both the yoghurt and the porridge oats for an apple inspired bowl :) This is what went into the bowl with the oats and milk (reducing my usual amount of milk as put about 50g yoghurt into the mix)...

So 40g oats, 200ml milk, 50g yoghurt, 100g apple slices and quite a lot of cinnamon...


I've never tried tinned apple before, let alone in porridge. Verdict is I prefer tinned peaches and tinned pear, but the apple version was still good, and an easy way to get extra fruit into my diet :) I topped it with the rest of the yoghurt and some sultanas, to go along with the flapjack theme...


porridge looks so much prettier than my recent breakfasts! Something was missing though...I gave in and added a blob of peanut butter...


yum, everything most things taste better with peanut butter! :)

Baby had been napping whilst I ate my breakfast (we'd been awake since 6am, yawn!), I had to wake him to take him to his one year check with health visitor, can't believe he's grown up so fast! He's on 91st centile for height and just above 75th centile for weight...little big muncher! He was born at 11lbs 3oz though so not particularly surprising!! Poor little guy hates being dressed/undressed so wasn't too impressed at being weighed naked, especially when he'd just been woken up!

Back home and time for lunch. We'd popped in to Tesco on way home and I'd been so tempted to buy a big jar of Nutella to fall into...was literally hovering by the shelf for ages trying to tear myself away! Managed to resist though so treated myself to some ham and smoked cheese instead which, with the leftover egg from yesterday, made up my lunch...


Yummy and filling, I made it into egg mayo and cheese roll-ups :)

Mid-afternoon, 3 Thorntons chocolates slipped into my mouth, whoops!! Plus a couple of skinny lattes to try to beat the tiredness!

This evening's dinner was pearl barley risotto, a really simple tasty recipe that can easily be adapted to whatever food you have in really!

Pearl Barley Risotto
(serves 3-4)
  • 170g pearl barley (or more/less depending on appetites)
  • carrots (I used 3)
  • onions (2)
  • leeks (2)
  • mushrooms (I used about 200g)
  • 1-2 tsp oil
  • approx 425ml stock (or boiling water + stock cube in my case!)
  • Plus any extras - ham/chorizo/tofu/extra veg etc all work well with this, or it is delicious without any extras

First, prep the veg (or in my case get Liam to do all the chopping!!) - carrots and onions finely diced, leeks and mushrooms sliced...


next, soften the leeks, carrots and onions with some oil in a large pan/casserole dish for about 5 minutes over low heat...

then add the mushrooms and fry for a couple of minutes...


before adding the pearl barley...


I stirred this through and then at this stage I added 90g of shredded ham hock - one of the freebies Liam got from work on Christmas Eve that then went into the freezer :)


To be honest, when I made this pearl barley risotto in the past, I didn't add any meat. I said at the time that it didn't need it as the vegetables give a lovely flavour, and the ham hock didn't even add anything to the dish so next time I would go back to it being meat-free.

After mixing everything through I added the stock - 425ml of boiling water and one stock cube...


bring to the boil and then cover with lid...


lol, pointless photo!! Apart from for the big reveal (!) - after 45 minutes of simmering on a low heat, it should look like this...


this is so yummy...


Liam commented that the pearl barley looks like sugar puffs/puffed wheat, but we were all agreed that this was delicious :) made enough for my portion (above), a slightly bigger portion for Liam, a smaller portion for daughter and 2 baby sized portions...ie probably enough for 3 normal adult portions!

Today has been a really good day. However major chocolate cravings struck after putting the children to bed...I made the mistake of sending Liam out to Spar, and this is what he came back with for me!


all eaten whilst writing this blog...ooops!! Need to convince Liam to only bring me one thing back in future - at least that would limit the damage! Or go myself so I can choose what I get - he likes to bring me a 'choice' back but I inevitably end up eating it all!!

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