May 25, 2011

Recipe - Mushroom Barley Soup, Lentil Loaf and Mashes Potatoes

Hello internets! Is everyone getting ready for Oprah's final show today? I plan to cry for one hour straight - well, not during the commercials, that might be overkill. My mother-in-law is visiting us so I also get to watch the "American Idol" finale with her tonight! It will be a nice change of pace from my usual watching partner - Johnny humors me, but the hour is usually punctuated by glares, frustrated yelps, and strings of profanity. :-) The top two this year are definitely not my favorites (miss you Haley and James!), but I've come this far and I'm not stopping now!

I wanted to share this scrumptious meal with you guys that I whipped up last week. There is a serious lack of green stuff on this plate, but I wanted some comfort food and that's what I got! The recipe for the Mushroom Barley Soup follows, I served it as a side, but it can easily be made a main dish by pairing it with a salad or wrap. It might be getting a bit hot for soup now, but it's good for a rainy day and sadly NYC has had lots of those lately.

I got the recipe for the "lentil loaf" from Christina Pirello's site - she calls it Not Your Mama's Meatloaf. Wowie zowie is this stuff good! I tried a lentil loaf once in the past with bad results (I didn't cook the lentils long enough and it was crunchy) but this one was another story! The oats and Daiya mozzarella really bind everything and it comes out so yummy. I ate mine with a bit of ketchup and some dijon mustard the way I ate real meatloaf when I was a kid. I'm sure it'd also be tasty with a homemade mushroom gravy.

I also made some decidedly not low-fat mashed potatoes, but hot damn were they good! I boiled 6 whole Yukon Gold potatoes until tender (about 30 minutes), then I mashed them, skin and all, with some Earth Balance, unsweetened soy milk, and salt and pepper. Johnny ate a serving the size of his head!

I certainly wouldn't recommend eating this way everyday, but if you're craving something filling, warm, and delish then this is where it's at! (I got two turntables and a microphoooooooone...) 

Mushroom Barley Soup
Serves 6

1.5 tbsp olive oil
1 medium red onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 10 oz. package of white button mushrooms, rinsed and sliced
splash of dry red wine
4 cups veggie broth
2 cups filtered water
3/4 cup pearled barley

In a large soup pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and saute for 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 2 minutes more. Add the mushrooms and cook for about 7 minutes, until they've released their water and cooked down. Add the splash of red wine and cook for a few minutes more until the wine is absorbed. Stir in the veggie broth and water and bring to a boil over high heat. Add the pearled barley and reduce the heat to medium. Simmer for 30 minutes or until the barley is tender.

Nutritional info per serving: Calories 163; Total Fat 4.1g; Saturated Fat 0.5g; Trans Fat 0g; Sodium 99mg; Carbohydrate 26.8g; Dietary Fiber 6.8g; Sugars 3.9g; Protein 4.4g; Vitamin A 0%; Vitamin C 5%; Calcium 3%; Iron 8%


  1. Hey cutie! Hope all is well. I just ran across a vegan eatery that you're probably already familiar with, but I wanted to share just in case you're not. It's called Dirt Candy and its the creation of chef Amanda Cohen. She has a great blog and operates a restaurant in NYC. Just thought you might gain some inspiration from her:

  2. I actually haven't been there yet, but it's definitely on my list! I love her blog, too, she's hilarious. I think it is a vegetarian restaurant, but vegan-friendly. We can go when you come visit! ;-)

  3. Mmmm... mashed potatoes. Everything on the plate looked/ sounded great, but potatoes sound particularly good right now. :)

    Random comment: I've been doing a new dessert lately, again inspired by a weight-watchers discussion. Canned pumpkin. That probably sounds gross, but if you scoop the unsweetened stuff into a bowl (I imagine I do about a cup full) and add splenda (and cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice if you want), it's like pumpkin pie without the calories or animal products. I eat it like ice cream or pudding. Beware, though, it takes a TON of splenda to sweeten it. I use about a third a cup for every cup of canned pumpkin. If you're doing sugar, that's a LOT of sugar.

  4. Great, so much for the rest of my housework, I'm starving now! :) From one odd couple household to another, YEAH, glad I found you!! xo

  5. Hi Hally

    Congrats on your blog being on The Kind Diet. Mine was on last months and I did a dance around my house for about 20 minutes! You'll get lots of new followers, I am so so excited for you!!!!

    Anyway, I love the concept of your blog. I know there are a million of us out there that can relate. My husband is sooooo wonderful and eats everything I make him. I also cook only Vegan in my house and then he has free range outside the house. But I just wish he'd come over to the healthy side sometimes. I sometimes wonder if while he's eating a MIllet Burger he's wishing it were a real one. Or when we're eating quinoa salad he's wishing it were something with more substance. It's great to have your perspectives from both sides. Thanks so much for sharing this!

    Best of luck in your blogging!

  6. DFly - I know whatcha mean, checking out vegan blogs is a good way to get my tummy rumbling, too! Good to have you!

    B - I love your blog! I heard about you when The Kind Life featured you and I think your message is awesome. Yes, I am feeling a bit gobsmacked at the moment and so, so grateful to have been featured.

    One of the best compliments I get regarding my cooking is when Johnny says something like "This is better than a beef burger!" about a veggie burger I've made. I think if I continually cook tasty food and take his preferences into account, he'll come around someday. :) Thanks for your kind words!