I have been trying to include coarse grains in my food due to their intense nutritional benefits. All these coarse grains (and millets) are complex carbs, alkalizing in nature, high fiber and wholesome foods.
Hulled barley or pearl barley is a great choice for everyday meals but many of us think that it doesn't cook quickly. The trick is to soak it overnight or pressure cook a large batch and keep refrigerated. Making meals under 30 minutes will not be difficult with coarse grains if you do a little planning.
I cook many recipes with whole barley (hulled) like soups, salads, khichri , poha etc. and many of the recipes are in my archives. I like whole barley in all these forms and was planning to make it with pasta sauce or tomato concasse that I keep keep in the fridge all the time, paired with fresh basil leaves from the garden it will taste heavenly I knew but my routine has been in such a mess these days that cooking a proper meal for the two of us seems like a big task.
All this while I have been thinking of how a three course meal is possible in a life that allows only one pot meals most of the times. If you have been watching my blog I did the post a balanced three course meal and was wondering how it can fit into a life like ours. Currently it is one pot meals mostly as I rarely get enough time to cook.
The thought has really been with me all this while that eating nutritious food throughout the day is not that difficult if you know what you eat and make the right choices. But serving a single meal with all the food groups together may not be a good idea always. Like if you eat fresh fruits with the carb-protein meal, it may lead to putrefaction of the food before it's digestion and cause flatulence and other digestive problems.
Also, according to Ayurveda, too many food groups should not be grouped together for a single meal. Like milk should not be paired with spicy savory and tart foods and with non vegetarian foods. It is called vipareet aahar and those food groups should be avoided together.
At the same time some fruits are considered okay with meals, like mangoes, but that too is not good if taken with a heavy meal.
Cooked fruits are okay with meals but they loose some of their goodness while being cooked. A small serving of cooked fruits as a dessert can be a wise choice though.
Even raw salads using cucumbers and other veggies are not a good idea with meals. Raw salads can make a meal by themselves or may be a between the meals snack.
All said and done, we choose according to what suits our individual taste and constitution. Eating local and seasonal food gives great opportunities to follow beneficial combinations of food groups.
Now to the recipe of barley in pasta sauce and corn mung cutlets, and a wee dessert that rounds up a meal. A meal in 30 minutes or less.
barley in pasta sauce was easy...
The hulled barley is soaked for 4-5 hours and boiled till done. This can be used to make many meals if saved in refigerator.
I usually stir fry some mushrooms and spring onions for a minute and then add some of this cooked barley which is simmered with lots of fresh basil leaves and tomato concasse. Served hot with a garnish of sliced boiled egg it was a good combination and very filling too..
corn mung cutlets
These were not as quick as the barley but a close second.
Sweet corn kernels, soaked mung beans with skin, ginger, green chillies, salt n pepper were pulsed together in mixie to make a coarse paste. It takes just 2 minutes. Mung sprouts can also be used whenever you have them ready.
My favourite grilled Insalata Caprese was also done in the same pan. Cut a large tomato, hollow the pulp, sprinkle salt and mixed herbs and fill it with a little Mozzarella cheese, place it in the pan in which the cutlets are cooking so both of these cook together. You can cook them in separate pans if cooking for a crowd.
The dessert is an apricot compote
Chopped fresh apricots with skin are simmered in orange juice and reduced to make a nice thick syrupy compote. It is a traditional dessert in apricot growing regions of Leh-Ladakh. No additional sugar is needed if orange juice from carton is used. If using fresh orange juice you might want to add little sugar.
I keep this in the fridge and its good with ice cream or with a dollop of whipped cream on top. We enjoyed it as it is for the dinner.
Nicely served meals are good and this was a healthy one too.
I am sending this to Yasmeen's three course meal event even though the pictures look horrible. But I can't manage better with the kind of workload I have to deal with. Sharing my food on this blog feels great no matter how strapped for time I am.
Do try these recipes and let me know whether you like them. I love hearing back from you.