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Thursday, January 3, 2013

The Leftover Barley Dilemma

I cooked a cup of barley last night, but I only ate about 1/3 of it.  And naturally, tonight, all I could think about was junk food.  I wanted fast vegan splurges (curry takeout or salad bar gluttony) were totally unappealing.  Not to mention that cold leftover barley sitting in my fridge.  UGH.

I overcame my cravings, but I would need to cook something that made me feel like I hadn't given anything up by skipping the junk food.  Snow is in the forecast tonight, so I decided that some roasted veggies and a fire would fit the bill.  Somehow, that idea morphed into cooking up a yummy mushroom gravy to put on the leftover barley.  Based loosely on this recipe, here's what went down.

First, to compensate in my head for not giving into the fast food temptation, I bought my first vegan substitute.  So far, I have avoided buying vegan cheese, fake meats (not counting tofu), etc, but the recipe called for vegan margarine, so I decided to go for it.  Why not.

I started by cooking down 1 lb of mushrooms.

After they had given off a good bit of their liquid, I added a chopped onion, some garlic, and a couple tablespoons of the Earth Balance.  After the onion cooked down a bit, I added 2 tbsp of soy sauce and a bit more than that of sherry.  Finally, I added about 1 cup of veggie stock and 3 heaping tablespoons of flour. I let the mixture (below) cook for 6-7 minutes.

Then I added a couple more cups of veggie broth, salt, pepper, and thyme, and let it simmer for about 5 minutes.  Served over leftover (i.e. not wasted) barley with a side of asparagus and a crackling fire, I call this a success.