Creamy Barley Risotto

Bootcamp today left my legs feeling like jello. One move that really made me feel it was “surrender squats”. Basically, you get down on one knee like this:


Then you put your other knee down and stand up in the same way. It’s hard to explain – here’s a video link of the move. I didn’t think it would be very hard when I watched the video, but after I did it a few times my legs were burning! Bootcamp definitely has my muscles working in new ways!

Before I get to my recipe for Barley Risotto, I have to share another kitchen failure from last night. While Luke and I were watching Mad Men, I decided I wanted a few nachos as a late night snack (I know, not very healthy!). Luke turned the oven on, prompting me to ask why he was doing that and telling him to just use the microwave. I always make nachos in the microwave. Luke said they are better broiled in the oven. Clearly, he had no idea what he was talking about because we ended up with a fire in the kitchen and this:


Lesson for Luke: when it comes to nachos, trust Caroline.

The Barley Risotto that I made to accompany our swordfish, on the other hand, turned out extremely yummy!

I am a huge risotto fan. I got the idea from Peanut Butter Fingers to make risotto with barley in order to make it healthier. It works really well and is just as good (if not better!) than regular risotto (made with arborio rice).

It’s easy to make – just requires a bit of stirring and adding liquids every few minutes.

Just cook a diced onion, seasoned with thyme, over medium heat for a few minutes to soften it.

Then add the barley, onions and 1/2 cup of vegetable broth to a sauce pan. Bring it to a boil, then cover and simmer over low heat. Every few minutes, add another 1/4 of vegetable broth (3 times) and 1/4 cup white wine (once).

Once all the liquid is absorbed and the barley is nice and chewy, remove from heat, add the parmesan cheese and stir to combine.

Serve and enjoy!

Creamy Barley Risotto

Adapted from Food and Wine

Serves 2.


  • 1/2 cup barley
  • 1 1/4 cup vegetable broth
  • 1/4 cup white wine (I used sauvignon blanc)
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1/4 tsp thyme
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Chop up your onion and cook it, with the thyme, over medium heat on an oiled pan for 3-5 minutes, until soft.
  2. Add the barley, onion and 1/2 cup of vegetable broth to a saucepan. Bring it to a boil, then cover and simmer over low heat.
  3. When all the liquid has been absorbed (about 5 minutes), add 1/4 cup white wine, recover and continue to simmer.
  4. When the wine has been absorbed, add 1/4 cup of vegetable broth, recover and simmer. Repeat this step two more times (3 times total).
  5. When all the liquid has been absorbed, barley should be nice and chewy. If not, add more vegetable broth and continue to cook.
  6. When the barley is done, remove from heat and stir in the grated parmesan cheese.
  7. Season with salt and pepper to your taste, and enjoy!
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One Response to Creamy Barley Risotto

  1. Ahaha oh men! They *think* they know best, don’t they? 😉 So glad the oven nachos didn’t start a fire!

    The barley ristotto sounds delicious! I love healthifying classic not-so-good-for-you dishes, especially when all it requires is swapping one or two ingredients. xoxo <3
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