Don't you just love when you don't really know what you want to eat, but you just start cooking and what you end up creating is beyond perfection?
When this happens I definitely think i've missed my calling as a chef.. Come on.. Chef Vanessa has a delightful ring to it!
This is a lovely filling dish, of which you can create a big batch and reuse it for work lunches or reheat for a quick dinner later in the week.
You will need:
-1x cup of pearl barley,
-1x cup of salad beans,
-Stock cube (my preference is the oxo cube, but any which you like will work),
-1x quarter of a red onion,
-Small handful of frozen peas,
-4x plump chestnut mushrooms,
-2x cloves of garlic,
-A few springs of coriander,
-Salt and pepper to taste.
1. Soak the salad beans in cold water over night, these take a long time to cook, so soaking them over night is a must. If you prefer a little less hassle, then you can also use kidney beans and they work just as well.
2. If using the salad beans it is essential that these are put on to boil first, as mentioned previously, they take quite some time to cook. Boil in lightly salted water on high. Keep an eye on them throughout cooking, as they soak up the water quickly, so more water may needed to be added to the pan.
3. Melt a heaped tablespoon of coconut oil in a frying pan.
4. After chopping the mushroom, onion and garlic, place into the melted coconut oil. Cook for 10 minutes.
5. In a separate plan, warm the stock.
6. Rinse the peal barley throughly and then place into the mushroom/onion/garlic mix. Lightly fry for 2-3 minutes.
7. Add a ladle of stock to the barley mix, stir lightly and leave the barley to absorb the liquid. Continue to repeat this process until all of the stock has been used. This should around 30/35 minutes.
8. Check that the salad beans have softened, if so, add to the barley mixture. Whilst adding the frozen peas.
9. Add coriander, leaving a small sprig to garnish.
10. Use salt and pepper to taste.
Sit back and enjoy!