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Tuesday, January 1, 2008


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Vegan Thai-Style "Chicken" Barley Risotto, ready to serve

Happy New Year, everyone! I'm hoping for a year of peacemaking and global justice-- not to much to ask, I don't think! Anyway, I hope you had a lovely holiday. Ours was noisy and fun-- all my kids and their families, my mother, my sister and family were here, though I didn't have to do all the work!

I want to give you my version of a recipe from Cooking Light magazine that I veganized last night. It's perfect after the excess holiday food-- spicy and interesting, but wholegrain and full of vegetables. (PS: I'm happy to report that I did not gain weight over the holidays-- not sure how I pulled that off!) I also added my microwave instructions, so that you don't have to stir so much! We really enjoyed this dish.

Before serving

Printable Recipe
Servings: 4 

1 Tbs dark sesame oil, divided
1 1/2 cups chopped green onions, divided
2 Tbs minced garlic, divided
1/2 cup uncooked pearl barley
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro or basil, divided
1/8 tsp black pepper
2 cups veggie chicken broth
(For the Microwave Version below, use 3 cups broth)
1/4 cup dry sherry
2 jalapeño peppers, seeded and minced
1/4 cup fresh lime juice or bottled organic lime juice
1 Tbs brown sugar
1 Tbs water
1 1/2 tsp rice or cider vinegar
1 tsp low-sodium soy sauce 
1/2 tsp fish-free red curry paste 
1 Tbs chopped peeled fresh lemongrass or lemon zest
1 tsp grated peeled fresh ginger
3 cups thin strips of commercial vegan "chicken strips" or reconstituted Soy Curls (you could probably use a commercial baked or marinated tofu, too-- one with neutral or Asian flavoring)
1 1/4 cups red bell pepper strips
1 cup sugar snap peas, trimmed
1 cup lite coconut milk OR Bryanna's Mock Coconut Milk
4 tsp chopped peanuts

 Heat 1 1/2 teaspoons of the sesame oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add 1/2 cup of the green onions and 1 tablespoon garlic; sauté 1 minute. Stir in the barley, 1/4 cup cilantro or basil, black pepper, 1/2 cup broth, the sherry, and jalapeños; bring to a boil. Cook 3 minutes or until liquid is nearly absorbed, stirring constantly. Add remaining broth, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly until each portion is absorbed before adding the next (about 15 minutes).

Combine juice and next 5 ingredients (juice through curry paste); set aside.

Heat remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons of sesame oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add remaining 1 cup green onions, 1 tablespoon garlic, lemongrass or zest, and ginger; sauté 1 minute. Add "chicken", bell pepper, and peas; sauté 2 minutes. Stir in barley mixture, juice mixture, and coconut milk; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer 5 minutes or until sauce thickens, stirring occasionally. Stir in 1/4 cup cilantro or basil. Sprinkle each serving with 1 teaspoon peanuts.

MY MICROWAVE VERSION: I used a 2 qt. Pyrex round casserole dish. I "sweated" the 1/2 cup green onions and 1 Tbs garlic in the oil for a couple of minutes (covered) in the microwave. Then I added the barley, basil (or cilantro), 3 cups broth (yes, all at once!), sherry, and jalapeños. I microwaved this on high, UN-covered, for 7 minutes. I stirred it and microwaved it for 7 more minutes.

I sauteed the remaining green onion, garlic, lemongrass (or zest, as in my case), and ginger for a few minutes in a nonstick skillet. I added the red pepper, "chicken" sub, and peas and sauteed briefly. Then I added it to the casserole after the last 7 minutes of microwaving, along with the lime juice mixture and the coconut milk. I microwaved it for about 5 minutes more-- it depends on how "soupy" or "dry" you like your risotto.

Nutrition Facts using Lite Coconut Milk
Nutrition (per serving):
352.1 calories; 32% calories from fat; 13.0g total fat; 0.0mg cholesterol; 295.6mg sodium; 501.3mg potassium; 43.2g carbohydrates; 10.0g fiber; 10.4g sugar; 33.2g net carbs; 15.4g protein; 7.3 points.
Nutrition facts if you use Bryanna's Mock Coconut Milk instead of lite coconut milk: Nutrition (per serving): 340.4 calories; 28% calories from fat; 10.8g total fat; 0.0mg cholesterol; 346.8mg sodium; 572.1mg potassium; 44.1g carbohydrates; 10.3g fiber; 11.9g sugar; 33.8g net carbs; 15.7g protein; 6.9 points.

Original Recipe Source: Cooking Light, March 2003

Have a Happy, Healthy and Peaceful 2008!


Dori said...

This looks absolutely awesome. i plan on making this very soon. Thanks for the rcipe and have a great new year!

Natalie said...

That looks amazing! Thanks for the recipe!

Johanna3 said...

looks delicious.

happy new year!

VeggieGirl said...

looks like a scrumptious dish to ring in the new year - happy belated new year to you, Bryanna!!

Anonymous said...

What a unique recipe! If you'd like, add my vegan recipe site to your blog roll. Thanks!

Bryanna Clark Grogan said...

Thanks, anonymous!

Sorina said...

Wow that does look beautiful...I think I will start cooking this now.

Gaia said...

Looks amazing!