Now you can never replace a perfectly made risotto, but with health in mind I swapped out the white risotto rice and replaced it with whole grain pot barley. With minimal work to create, you end up with a delicious, creamy and toothsome side dish!
Give the barley a rinse and drain well. Combine the barley and the stock in a medium pot, bring to a boil and then immediately reduce heat to low and cover with a lid. Gently simmer for 25-30 minutes or until most of the liquid has been absorbed.
While the barley is cooking, preheat a large fry pan on medium heat. Once the pan is hot, add the butter and half of the mushrooms. Sauté, stirring occasionally.
Once the mushrooms have begun to brown, add the remaining mushrooms and sauté, stirring occasionally until lightly browned.
Add the onions and sauté for another few minutes, stirring occasionally.
Now add the garlic and thyme and sauté for about 1 minute more, stirring frequently.
Season with salt and pepper and then add the coconut milk and remove from heat.
Once the barley is cooked, combine with the mushroom mixture and the Parmegiano. Stir to combine and serve immediately and garnish with the parsley.
If you don’t have any homemade broth and you are using the store bought, make sure to get the low-sodium and omit the salt from the recipe.
If you can get your hands on some wild mushrooms then use them. Morels or chantrelles would both work well!