Legumes are a nutritious staple of diets around the world. On this post, a recipe for Legumes & Barley stew. It is the perfect meal for a cold winter day, a balanced dish that can be used as a starter or as a whole meal.
Why is it so good to eat legumes?
Legumes and Pulses (beans, lentils, and peas) consider as an inexpensive and an ecological friendly source of protein, vitamins, complex carbohydrates, fibre and essential micronutrients including iron, zinc, magnesium and folate.
Naturally gluten-free and low GI (glycaemic index) foods, they release their energy slowly over time, preventing surges in blood glucose and can decrease blood cholesterol levels.
Pulses are widely available in cans, but it’s easy to swap them for the dried varieties.
The dry option requires soaking and cooking, but all your work in the process takes only 2 minutes.
When you choose the dry option, you will earn more flavour and texture than tinned, you control all the ingredients in your meal, and they are often cheaper too! As a general rule, cooking will double the weight of dried beans and pulses.
One of your 5-a-day
Eating legumes considers as a portion of your 5-a-day. Eat at least 3 heaped tablespoons of baked beans, haricot beans, kidney beans, cannellini beans, butter beans or chickpeas.
It is good to have a variety of different legumes and pulses because they have different nutrients.
- Black beans are a source of iron (9.7 mg per cup), which help us make red blood cells.
- Lentils are a source of copper and manganese, which we need to help protect our cells from damage.
- Garbanzo beans are an excellent source of molybdenum and manganese.
For this stew I use a mix of 10 dried beans: black-eyed beans, black turtle beans, butter beans, haricot beans, lima beans, pinto beans, red kidney beans, rose cocoa beans, alubia beans and mung bean.
You can use any type of beans you have at hand.
A recipe for Legumes & Barley Stew
Legumes & Barley Stew
- 2 cups cooked beans mix or 1 cup of dried beans
- ½ cup orange lentils
- ½ cup pearl barley
- 3 sticks celery
- 4 mushrooms
- 1 onion
- 1 can plum tomatoes
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 liter water
- 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 sprig rosemary
- 1 sprig thyme
- 3 leaves bay
- ½ stick cinnamon optional, add depth and sweetness
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 red chilli pepper
If using dried beans, soak them in cold water overnight.
Chop the vegetables and saute them with the oil and the aromatic herbs for a few minutes until the onion is transparent.
Add the beans, lentils, pearl barley and stir for a minute and then cover it with the water.
Add the tomato paste and the plum tomato and cook between 45 minutes to 1 hour.
Cook until the legumes are tender.
Remove the aromatic herbs before serving.