Mushroom Barley Risotto

Who is ready for a klassic Whitney story?

Seriously, it couldn’t be more stereotypical Whitney.  Anyone who knows me personally can tell you that when I decide to do something, it’s on like donkey kong.

We are talking, full steam ahead, no turning back, full life change.  What can I say, I am not afraid of commitment.

And you all heard Brian mention a few weeks ago that we have been watching the proverbial pants off of food documentaries. So you know, I was scared to death that I was practically injecting my body with cancer.  You know, a totally normal and even reaction to those movies.

So after Food, Inc., Food Matters, and Forks Over Knives it was official in my book.  I was a Vegan. I declared it.  Like a born again Christian, I straight up PROCLAIMED my dedication to being a Vegan (for 30 days of course, I would never totally give up meat. And cheese? comeon.)

I was drafting out a challenge to evangelize all of you, too.  It was going to be fun. We were going to be Vegan’s together. We were going to cleanse ourselves of meat and cheese for 30 days and we were going to feel. awesome.

And I did feel awesome. Until day 5. Oh, day 5. See, Brian is prepared for these extreme commitments.  He knows EXACTLY what is going to go down when I make a declaration and LORD love that man, he does it with me.  Because he knows it’s not forever.  Hell, he knows it’s not even for a week.

Because day 5 was hungergeddon. Day 5, was when I told my husband, I shit you not, “I would trade you on the black market for bacon right now.”

Day 5, was when I gnawed on my husband’s arm and begged him to quit being a Vegan so that I could quit being a Vegan. Because, if I fall you’re going down with me.

And here I stand before you, a realistic ex-vegan, who just loves bacon so much.  And here is what I can tell you.

Yes, my body legitimately felt great when I had no meat or dairy. I felt awake, light, and I slept better. I had more energy. And for a few days, I thought “I got this in the bag.”

But then I got hungry. And pissed.  There is only so much leafy green you can put into your system until you feel like your fingers are turning leafy.  And you’re never really full.  You start to look in the mirror and see bacon staring back at you. You watch other people eat meat with longing.  I told Brian “I don’t want to live longer if I am just going to be pissed all the time.”

While this is an extreme reaction, it’s true.  What I really learned in this experience, is that moderation is key.  Yes, being Vegan is GOOD for you. And if you can eat vegan all the time, then I am proud of you and truly happy for you. But if you’re like me, and you find joy in meat and dairy, maybe you should just sometimes eat Vegan things, and sometimes eat meat.

It’s about balance people.  And my extreme personality took a pretty serious dose of that this week.  And so from now on, you might see a vegan recipe or two here.  But one thing is for certain, you will most definitely, still see meat and cheese.

Mushroom Barley Risotto

By Whitney, August 21, 2012

Mushroom Barley Risotto

If you want to un-vegan this, just add 1/2 cup parmesan at the end.



In a sauce pan, heat the mushroom broth over medium-low heat.  Add 1 tsp olive oil to a large skillet over medium heat. Saute onions and garlic until translucent and aromatic. Add the mushrooms, and cook 3 minutes more. Add barley and sauté for about 2 minutes. Ladle one cup of broth into barley mixture at a time, stirring constantly until liquid is absorbed. Continue that process, until the barley is cooked through.  Add the soy milk at the end off the heat. Add parsley, chives, salt and pepper.  If you're going to add cheese, do it at the end!  



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About Whitney

Whitney is the Founder of Whit's Amuse Bouche, a nationally recognized food and humor blog. When she's not in the kitchen, you can find her with a glass of california cabernet in one hand and a hot glue gun in the other. She prefers sweat pants to real ones. View all posts by Whitney →

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