Healthy Southwest Barley Risotto

This recipe is meant to be healthy, and that is how it tastes, but it's a yummy "healthy" recipe.  It can be vegetarian or you can add meat. 

F U N D A B L E R   F A C T F

Hulled barley is the most nutritious of all the barley types. yes there are many types of barley take a look:

Takes about an hour to make
Serves about 6-8

I N G R E D I E N T S 

  • Barley - 2 cups  washed (I use hulled but it will have a little less of a "healthy" taste if you use pearl)

  • Canola Oil - enough to brown your onions and garlic

  • Celery - 1/2 cup of small chopped 
  • Onion - 1 large 
  • Sweet onion -1    or    a bunch of green onions
  • Cloves garlic - 4
  • Chicken broth - 4 cups 

  • Dried parsley - 2 heaping tsp 
  • Turmeric - 1/8 tsp 
  • Cinnamon - 1/8 tsp 
  • Smoked sweet paprika - 1/8 tsp 
  • Dried oregano - 1 tsp 
  • Cumin - 1 tsp 
  • Dried mint - 1/2 tsp  (to help with digestion and gasses)
  • Salt/pepper to taste

  • Black beans - 1 can 
  • Corn - 1 small can 
  • Frozen spinach - about a half a cup of 

  • Cheddar cheese - 250 grams grated 
  • Cream cheese cubed - 250 g of  (1 block of cream cheese, about 8.8oz)

Red bell pepper finely chopped  (not cooked to optimize nutrition and add some fresh crunch)

Small sweet onion finely chopped or green onions

Add chile powder to taste
Add meat (ground beef, chicken leftovers… whatever you have)
Add fresh cilantro chopped on top if you have some… I didn't
More cheese of course!

Brown your onions with your garlic in a bit of oil. Add your celery. 

Add your spices, give it a whirl to allow for the aromas to awaken from their long dark sleep in your pantry.

Add your broth.

Mix in your washed barley. 

Stir and cover for about 25 min, just before the liquid is liquid gone and barley cooked add in your spinach, corn and black beans.

Add your diced cream cheese and shredded cheddar cheese to the top and broil. 

Serve and sprinkle with the onions/green onions and red bell peppers. 



  1. The cream cheese on the top is my favourite part! I've never had barley before, but I want to try it like this!

  2. Let me know how it turns out and what you think! :)


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