Vegan Comfort Food: Butternut Barley Risotto & Almond Bread

My typical morning these days? Bossy Pants bossing his little brother around….sitting in baby’s swing and lording over 😉

I was inspired last night to try another barley risotto, by a recipe I saw in an issue of Rachel Ray Magazine. It called for 1½ cups Parmesan cheese, full salt broth and a teaspoon salt. Yikes. Honestly, I thought it tasted great without any cheese and a fraction of the sodium. The butternut is creamy and satisfying, with the pop of the barley added in. The “best part” of the recipe I adapted? It was this  “Time-saving tip: Buy precut squash, which will spare you the time it takes to peel and chop .”  Really? Come on, it takes less than 5 minutes. I know, not long ago I’d justify doing that but it tastes so much fresher when you do the quick work yourself. Although I suppose that if it means the difference between eating squash and not, then go buy the ready to go version 😉

PS: This was happily eaten by The Toddler, he scarfed his down!

Butternut Barley Risotto


  • 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, peeled and diced
  • 1 Tbsp fresh thyme leaves or 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 cup barley
  • 4 cups water
  • ¼ cup vegan broth mix
  • ½ tsp fine sea salt
  • ½ tsp ground black pepper
  • 1½ lb butternut squash (a small one)
  • 1 cup frozen green peas, preferably no-salt added


Spread the barley on a baking sheet, look over for any field debris, rinse in a fine mesh strainer, set aside.

In a large/tall saucepan heat the oil over medium, add onion and sauté for 5 minutes. Add the thyme and barley, cook for a minute, add water, broth mix, salt and pepper. Bring to boil,cover and simmer on medium-low for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, peel the butternut, trim the ends and discard the seeds. Chop into bite size pieces, add to barley. Cook for 20 minutes more, covered, stirring periodically.

Add in the peas, let heat through. Taste for seasoning and serve.

Serves 3 to 4.

I was inspired by an almond bread recipe that called for 5 eggs – which while I will use an egg here and there, that is just 5 too many! I pondered if that much flax would work, and yes, it did. Don’t expect a light loaf of bread, this is a dense and satisfying loaf. Cut your slices thick and enjoy them! And hey, it uses up a lot of almond meal, which I seem to have a never-ending supply of from milk making…….

Almond Bread


  • 4½ cups almond meal, preferably unblanched
  • 1 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/3 cup ground flaxseed meal
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 Tbsp pure maple syrup
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar


Preheat oven to 300° and lightly oil a standard bread pan (9×5″), preferably non-stick.

Soak the flaxseed in the water for 10 minutes to hydrate. Whisk in the maple syrup and apple cider vinegar.

In a large bowl, whisk the dry ingredients together. Add the wet and stir to combine, scrape into prepared pan. (The batter is very stiff.)

Bake for 1 hour. Turn out to cool on a rack. Slice with a serrated bread knife, pushing through quickly. Store leftovers wrapped tightly.

Makes 1 loaf.




  1. I can totally relate to your day. I’ve got my own “bossy pants” here! The little guys is starting to “fight back” though, when he isn’t runny to me in tears! 🙂
    This recipe does look super satisfying. I think my little guys would like it! They do well with rice type dishes.

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