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Earth Eats: Real Food, Green Living

Mushrooms And Barley – Risotto Style

It isn't necessary to have Arborio rice stocked in your pantry to make delicious risotto. This recipe uses barley instead!


Photo: bloggyboulga (flickr)

Eating whole grain barley can regulate blood sugar.

This recipe came about because I wanted to make a risotto, but didn’t have any Arborio rice. Luckily for me, I had barley on hand.

Barley is really good for you, and contains eight essential amino acids. According to some recent research, eating whole grain barley can regulate blood sugar (i.e. reduce blood glucose response to a meal) for up to 10 hours after consumption compared to white or even whole-grain wheat!

This recipe still gives you that creamy texture – perfect for these cold winter nights.

Ingredients (Barley):

  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 cup pearl barley
  • 3/4 teaspoon dried thyme


  1. Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Add the barley, thyme, and 2 cups of stock.
  3. Bring to a boil, and reduce heat to low, and simmer until most of the broth is absorbed, about 10 minutes.
  4. Pour in remaining stock 1/2 cup at a time, stirring and allowing it to become absorbed before adding more. This process takes about 45 minutes.

Ingredients (Mushrooms):

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 pound mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 2/3 cup cream
  • 1/3 cup water


  1. Heat olive oil and butter until melted.
  2. Add mushrooms and cook until browned.
  3. Add flour and cook 2-3 minutes.  Add cream and water –  stir and keep on low until barley is done.
  4. Combine barley and mushrooms – top with parsley (if desired) and serve!!
Sara Conrad

Sara is an eternal student. Currently studying Tibetan Culture at Indiana University, she loves to cook with fresh, organic, vegetarian ingredients – but also has never turned down fake mashed potatoes in a buffet line.

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