Thursday, September 25, 2008

Mushroom Barley Risotto: Hunger Challenge Recipe

Mushroom Barley Risotto

Hunger ChallengeThis is a recipe I originally made for a friend who was allergic to just about everything. It's an adaptation of a Bon Appetit recipe. She liked it a lot and so it became a regular addition to my repertoire. It tastes a bit like mushroom barley soup and makes a great vegetarian meal with a salad and a glass of wine, but none of those extras fit on the Hunger Challenge budget!

Mushroom Barley Risotto
$2.00 for 2 servings


1 bouillon cube 14¢
1 teaspoon Smart Balance 3¢ (substitute butter or oil, as desired)
1/2 cup finely chopped onion 13¢
2 cups water, or more as needed
1/2 cup pearl barley, 25¢
1/4 lb pound mushrooms, sliced $1
1 garlic clove, minced 2.5¢
2 Tablespoons grated parmesan, 42¢


Melt Smart Balance in large nonstick pot over low heat. Add onion and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add mushroom and garlic and cook for another 3 minutes. Add barley and toast in the pan for 1-2 minutes, then add water and bouillon; bring mixture to boil. Reduce heat to very low and simmer until most of liquid is absorbed, stirring frequently. Cook until barley is tender but still "al dente", about 45 minutes adding more water as necessary. Serve with parmesan cheese sprinkled on top of each serving.

I really enjoyed this meal, so many budget meals are soup or pasta, this was chewy and meaty and satisfying. While the original recipe calls for fresh thyme, it was flavorful without it. A smaller serving would make a nice side dish for a grilled pork chop. I was pleased that it came in right on budget.


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