• Lentil and barley broth bowl

    After the gluttony of the holidays, treat yourself to this simple dish that is flavorful, earthy, and plentiful in fiber and protein. I was Inspired by Panera Bread's broth bowl, and you can add or subtract ingredients to your liking. For maximum flavor, I use the magical vegetarian trifecta of bouillon cubes, vegetable broth and flavor boost packets. If you don't know about these gems, you need to stock your pantry with them and use them. I'll buy low sodium versions when possible. Layering these flavors works so well and the convenient thing is, any of these can be used to make vegetable stock and don't take up much pantry space.  I cook a lot, but rarely write anything down. In an attempt to document my recipes, here we go!

    Lentil and Barley Broth Bowl

    1 c. dry lentils

    1/2 c. uncooked barley

    1/2 c. uncooked farro

    1 pkg. (10oz) spinach, chopped

    3/4 shelled edamame frozen

    3/4 black eyed peas frozen

    1/2 tsp. oregano

    1/2 tsp. dried basil

    1/2 tsp. rosemary

    1/2 tsp. dried minced garlic 

    1 veg bouillon cube

    3-4 c. vegetable broth, more if desired

    1 packet veg flavor boost

    hard boiled egg or grilled chicken strips

    lime wedges (optional)

    sriracha (optional)

    salt and pepper to taste (the trifecta gives you sodium and flavor, so beware of too much salt)


    Prepare the lentils according to the package directions. I used TruRoots sprouted lentil trio adding 1 cup dried lentils to 3 cups boiling water and simmering for 4 minutes.  Drain excess water. Do not over cook- you want these to have a little texture, al dente if you will.

    Prepare the barley and farro together in a large pot according to directions. For the Trader Joes brands I used, you will bring to a boil 1/2 cups of the barley and the farro mixed with 2 1/4 cups water and 1 vegetable bouillon cube, reduce heat, cover and simmer 10 minutes. The bouillon melts with the heat.

    Add lentils to your barley and farro mixture in the large pot over medium heat and add your first round of vegetable stock, enough liquid to cover the grains. Add in the chopped spinach, stir and raise the heat to simmer and wilt the spinach. Add the flavor boost packet, oregano, basil, rosemary and minced garlic and simmer uncovered for 3-5 minutes. Add the frozen edamame and black eyed peas, lower heat and simmer until heated through.  Add additional broth to attain the consistency of soup you desire. Since it is a broth bowl, a thin, light body is nice. Have extra broth ready as the grains will continue to soak it up.

    Place sliced boiled egg on top. I added sliced grilled chicken to the meat eaters' soups. Squeeze a lime wedge over the served bowl for a little acidity. In a pinch, all I had was a lemon and it did the trick. For a little spice, drizzle sriracha or your favorite hot sauce on top.