Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Slow Cooker Barley Butternut Risotto!=Apple

This is really my own creation. I went in search of an alternative to one of my favorites, risotto. It is so good but not so good for the hips!

I found a few recipes like this one:

Pearled barley is an excellent whole grain that is good for you. It has a nice chewy texture that is perfect for risotto. What makes this recipe so friendly is there is no standing over a pot of rice and stock and stirring for an eternity. It is healthy too as there is no cream, butter (unless you just have to have it), or added salt! I do not cook with salt very often, but find spices a good replacement for salt.

So here is my recipe:

-1 crockpot!
-2 cups of pearled barley (look for this on the organic or healthfood isle, it is a light brown color)
-2 32 oz containers of veggie stock
-1 container of Campbells V8 Golden Butternut Squash soup
-1 teaspoon minced roasted garlic
-1 teaspoom poultry seasoning
-1 teaspoon Ms. Dash Original Blend
-1 1/2 teaspoons fresh ground black pepper
-1 teaspoon oregano (I used dried, but you can use fresh if you have it just use 1/2 teaspoon)
-1 teaspoon french four spice
-1 teaspoon onion powder
-1 teaspoom garlic powder (NOT garlic salt)
-1 tablespoon olive oil

Turn crock pot to high. Add stock and all spices, garlic, and olive oil.
Let liquid come to a simmer, add barley.
Turn crock pot to low setting (mine is the 10 hour setting on a Rival brand crock pot)
Put lid on slightly ajar to steam can escape.

Let the barley cook for about 6 hours. (I did this overnight, it was done at 4am.)
Check on it at least twice, stirring to make sure all grains are seperate.
When all liquid is absorbed, add about 1 cup to 1 1/2 cups of the butternut squash soup.
Stir and turn off crock pot.
If it needs more liquid, add water to desired consistency.

This is not only yummy, but so good for you! Now if only Landon would eat this!

I gave this an APPLE for taste, consistency, and nutrition. Because I didn't follow a recipe, there was nothing I would change! Hopefully, my co-worker Meghan will find it delicious as well with the roasted veggies I prepared to top it (that recipe is next!)

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