Olive and Leek Barley Risotto

  January 4, 2015  |    Blog>Recipes

With the colder weather, who doesn’t crave something hearty and filling? In fact, just saying the words creamy, comforting risotto in the winter are enough to make most people perk up! And we’ve given this risotto a nutritious makeover.

 

This recipe bumps up the nutrition by using barley! Barley is full of fiber to keep you full. Barley also contains beta- glucans, a type of soluble fiber that is known to help lower cholesterol levels. As if barley wasn’t amazing enough, this grain has been shown to help control blood sugar levels. So it makes it the perfect substitute for white rice, which can spike blood sugar levels. Barley is also a great vegan source of iron, which is essential for maintaining healthy red blood cells.

Psst… looking for more healthy, delish vegetarian meals? Please feel free to search this site!  And here are a few to try…

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barleyrisotto

 

Just when this recipe had us (and hopefully you too) at risotto and barley, it’s got even more game! It gets a flavor boost from leeks which have an aromatic flavor similar to onions. Not to mention, leeks are full of vitamin A, which is important for eye health and cell growth. Throw in some Kalamata olives for a subtle, briny flavor, and this risotto sends you on a one-way trip to taste bud heaven! We promise this risotto is like getting a warm hug (with the benefit of whole grain goodness.)

 

 

Olive and Leek Barley Risotto

 

Serves 8

 

Ingredients:

1 ½ cups quick-cooking barley

2 leeks

24 Kalamata olives, sliced in half lengthwise

1 TBS olive oil

1 quart low sodium chicken or vegetable stock

 

Directions:

  1. Wash leeks thoroughly, slice in half lengthwise, and chop into quarter inch thick slices. Sautee leeks in olive oil in large pan for about 5 minutes.
  2. Add barley to pan, and toast in pan for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
  3. Add ½ cup of chicken stock at a time to the pan, stirring continuously. Add each ½ cup of chicken stock only after all chicken stock in pan is absorbed by barley. The addition of chicken stock and stirring of barley takes 20-25 minutes.
  4. Once all chicken stock is absorbed, toss in Kalamata olives and incorporate them evenly into the risotto. The risotto is finished when all liquid is absorbed, and barley is “al dente”.

 

Nutrition per serving:

168 Calories      25 g Carbs     3g Fat             3g Protein      0g Sugar         4g Fiber   215g Sodium

Olive and Leek Barley Risotto
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 8 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 ½ cups quick-cooking barley
  • 2 leeks
  • 24 Kalamata olives, sliced in half lengthwise
  • 1 TBS olive oil
  • 1 quart low sodium chicken or vegetable stock
Instructions
  1. Wash leeks thoroughly, slice in half lengthwise, and chop into quarter inch thick slices. Sautee leeks in large pan for about 5 minutes. (Is this where you use the olive oil?)
  2. Add barley to pan, and toast in pan for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
  3. Add ½ cup of chicken stock at a time to the pan, stirring continuously. Add each ½ cup of chicken stock only after all chicken stock in pan is absorbed by barley. The addition of chicken stock and stirring of barley takes 20-25 minutes.
  4. Once all chicken stock is absorbed, toss in Kalamata olives and incorporate them evenly into the risotto. The risotto is finished when all liquid is absorbed, and barley is “al dente”.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: ⅛ recipe Calories: 168 Fat: 3 g Carbohydrates: 25 g Sugar: 0 g Sodium: 215 mg Fiber: 4 g Protein: 3 g

 

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