Archive for May, 2011

Multiple ingredients…how to use them?

May 13th, 2011
by Bernard Kinsella

A few weeks back we put a recipe up for a pearl barley salad which if you tried, is very tasty. So like you I wanted to make something with out having to run out to the store a few days later. I reviewed what I had on hand and using some of the ingredients from the barley recipe came up with this pearl barley risotto. It has a southwestern flavor to it and if you grill some portabella mushroom, salmon or chicken to top off this dish the end results are quite pleasing! I was able to use the last of my dried pearl barley, black beans raw just had to be soaked and if you used the can and its been open, just make sure there still fresh (no sour odor). I always keep multiple fresh vegetables on hand cut in a variety of shapes, which means: once I have my cutting board out and I’m making dinner for that night I think about what I may want to have for the next day, therefore, I prep ahead to make my meal time easier!

So my solution (as we have discussed multiple times before) if you plan to eat well, healthier and feel good just consider: prep ahead to save time, use what’s in stock and keep it colorful. Try this recipe and let us know what your solution is for multiple ingredients?  Thank you for Cooking with Bernard          

Barley Risotto with Vegetables & Black Beans            serves 6


1 tablespoon olive oil + 2 tablespoon

1 onion, diced

1 carrot, diced

Salt & Pepper to taste

2 cup Pearl Barley

1 cup white wine

6 cups vegetable stock

3 T. butter

6 ounces yellow bell pepper, diced

6 ounces red bell pepper, diced

6 ounces green bell pepper, diced

2 tomato, diced

1 cup cooked black beans

1 1⁄2 t cumin

1 1⁄2 t coriander powder

1⁄2 cup grated manchego cheese (or as needed)

1⁄2 cup green onion cut thin

Fresh Cilantro Leaves 


  1. Using a heavy sauce pot, heat the olive oil and sauté the onions and carrots until tender, approximately 2 to 3 minutes. Season with salt & pepper
  2. Add the barley and cook stirring for another minute. Add the white wine and 1 cup vegetable stock and stir. Allow the barley to cook and soak up the stock, then repeat stirring frequently until the stock is used up, (15 minutes) Stir in the butter; the texture should be rich and creamy.
  3. Once barley is cooked add the black beans,
  4. Heat a sauté pan on med high temp; add the remaining vegetables’ in the 2 T of olive oil & sauté until tender. Season with the cumin and coriander then add to the barley and gently combine to mix well.

To serve, place on large platter or as individual servings and garnish with fresh cilantro leaves and fresh grated manchego cheese


What’s all the talk about Avocados and Quinoa?

May 6th, 2011
by Bernard Kinsella

These are two ingredients that are quite versatile and a recipe that I’m sure you will enjoy. About the two:

First, avocados are a super food, great at helping reduce your risk for cardiovascular disease. Research has shown that simply adding one avocado to an individual’s diet each day had a dramatic effect on blood lipids—without causing weight gain. The fat in an avocado is largely monounsaturated fat and contains a group of phytosterols that reduce cholesterol production and our risk for cancer. Like many fruits, avocados ripen best off the tree. Ripe avocados yield to gentle palm pressure, but firm, unripe avocados are what are usually found in the market. Select those that are unblemished and heavy for their size. To speed the ripening process, place several avocados in a paper bag and set aside at room temperature for 2 to 4 days. Ripe avocados can be stored in the refrigerator several days. Once avocado flesh is cut and exposed to the air it tends to discolor rapidly. To minimize this effect it is always advisable to add cubed or sliced avocado to a dish at the last moment.

Second, Quinoa, a staple of Andean culture, is an extremely nutrient-dense grain, which is rare. A good source of calcium and magnesium, it offers the majority of the essential amino acids, making it close to a complete protein. It is a good idea to rinse your quinoa first, which will remove some of the saponins (these have a laxative-like effect when consumed in substantial amounts). Quinoa is lighter than Couscous but can be used in any way suitable for rice — as part of a main dish, a side dish, in soups, in salads and even in puddings. It’s available packaged as a grain, ground into flour and in several forms of pasta. Quinoa, in the standard, raw form is gluten-free and not a grain it’s a seed and a relative of green leafy vegetables such as spinach. Quinoa can be found in most health-food stores and some supermarkets.

Source: from and the Food Lovers companion

 Here is a great recipe which is colorful and makes for a great lunch the next day, when mixed with 2 cups of fresh baby spinach and 4oz of grilled chicken breast …but try it like it is!

Quinoa Salad

INGREDIENTS:                                                                                                             Serves 4

1⁄2 cup Quinoa

1 cup vegetable stock

1⁄2 cup red pepper diced

1 cup fresh spinach

3⁄4 cup black beans, (can) rinsed and drained

1⁄2 cup white onion diced

1⁄2 cup cilantro leaves chopped

1 clove of garlic smashed and chopped

2 tbsp lemon juice

2 tbsp olive oil


  1. Cook Quinoa according to package directions in vegetable broth.
  2. In a bowl toss the next 6 ingredients, blend the oil and lemon juice to emulsify. Then add to the ingredients and toss to coat. When the Quinoa has absorbed the broth completely, fluff then add to the ingredient mix when warm.