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Mushroom and Barley Risotto: Recipe 6 of 12

Welcome to Busy Women Mealtime Makeover! Whether you are one of the lovely busy ladies participating in the makeover or just interested in taking your meals up a notch – girl, do I have some rockin’ recipes for you! From now until June 1st, I’ll be featuring twelve new delicious makeover-friendly recipes. This week, we are focusing on eating more whole grains. (And if you want to join in and get the entire makeover PDF complete with meal plans, shopping lists and recipes, videos and photos of me cooking, weekly emails with additional recipes and kitchen tips and tricks and access to our online forum, you can totally start a few days late – click here and sign up!)
Back in 1998, Jen and I were the captains of our high school volleyball team. Now, we are busy mamas, each living in different cities, running health coaching businesses. Pretty cool, right?
Jen, you are busy, right? How do you get a healthy meal on the table?
I can be a scatter brain sometimes.  Okay, a lot!!  In order to avoid eating out I always need to have a plan.  I spend an hour on Sunday to plan out my meals and make a shopping list for the week.
Why do you make healthy, real food a priority in your life?
After changing my eating habits a few years ago I simply cannot go back to eating the processed meals that I used to live off of.  My body will not let me.  If I revert back to my old habits my body rebels with tiredness and an upset stomach.  I also eat well to set an example for my son.
What is your favorite thing to make during the spring months?
My favorite foods to eat in the spring are salads with lots of greens, veggies and the occasional fruit.
What is that one thing that busy people can do this spring to eat a little healthier?
Cook what is in season.  Go to your local farmers market or grocery store and pick out what looks beautiful.
What is your favorite gadget in the kitchen?
My new favorite gadget is my immersion blender.  Soups and smoothies have become a breeze.
Mushroom and Barley Risotto 

  • 3 cups broth (you can use vegetable, mushroom or chicken broth)
  • 2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small onion, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups mixed wild mushrooms, coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup pearl barley, rinsed
  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme
  • 1 tbsp fresh parsley
  • 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • Freshly ground pepper and sea salt, to taste

In a small pot heat the stock till boiling, then turn off the heat and set aside until ready to use.
In a large pan over medium heat add olive oil.  Once hot, sauté the onion until softened.  Add the garlic and cook for an additional minute.  Add the fresh thyme and barley.  Let the barley toast for a couple minutes before adding in 1 cup of the hot stock.  Stir and bring to a steady simmer.
Once the liquid has been absorbed add a half cup more liquid and stir.  Cook until the liquid has been absorbed again, stirring frequently, before adding more.  Repeat this process until all the stock is gone or until the barley is tender and creamy.  This should take about 45 minutes.
When the barley mixture is almost complete (about 5 minutes), add in the mushrooms.  Season with sea salt and pepper to taste and cook until the mushrooms are soft.
Top with fresh parsley and Parmesan cheese.

Thanks Jen! 
Visit Jen over at http://jennifer-kaper.healthcoach.integrativenutrition.com/ and sign up for her newsletter.
**Check out all the Busy Women Mealtime Makeover recipes by clicking here.**

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