Dinner Thyme

After taking a few blogging days off after MoFo I decided to hit the kitchen again.  I’m disappointed in myself, apparently I’ve been sampling a few too many baked goods or indulging in a few too many second helpings.  My weight is up again, I swear, in my lifetime I must have lost literally a ton and gained a ton plus two, go figure.  It’s never drastic weight loss but I feel like I’ve been on some kind of “diet” since I was 15 years old.  What’s really stupid is that I know what works for me and what doesn’t If only I would just quit pretending I can eat anything and everything with abandon.  Vegan does not necessarily mean healthy!  So back to the healthy, toe the line, treats occasionally plan.  I find higher protein and unrefined carbs works best at keeping me feeling good, so I can work out without feeling exhausted and sleep the sleep of the dead.  Tonight, after a day of Christmas shopping I made a super filling and satisfying Barley and Mushroom Casserole (I love casseroles in the winter).  This one had big chunks of meaty Portobello mushrooms and smokey sun-dried tomatoes.  Paired with the barley and simply seasoned with thyme, salt and pepper,  it was one earthy filling meal.  Here’s what went into it:

Barley and Mushroom Casserole

  • 8 sundried tomato halves (not oil packed) – soaked in hot water for 10 minutes and then coursely chopped
  • 2 tsp. olive oil
  • 2 carrots, finely chopped
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp thyme
  • 2 portobello mushrooms, diced
  • 1 3/4 c vegetable broth
  • 1 cup pearl barley
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 3/4 c Mozzerela Daiya

Heat the oil in a skillet and saute the carrots and shallot about 5 minutes, until soft.  Stir in the mushrooms and thyme and continue cooking about 7 minutes.  Place the vegetables in a 1 1/2 quart casserole and stir in the broth, barley, drained tomatoes, salt and pepper.  Bake, covered, at 350 degrees for about an hour or until all the liquid is absorbed.  Sprinkle with Daiya and continue baking uncovered for about 10 more minutes.

This would have tasted really good with a robust red wine, but alas I had none.

These smoked dried tomatoes added such depth to this dish, they had the tang of regular sundried tomatoes but the smokiness blended so well with the mushrooms, yummo…

Chewy, savory, warm and comforting, everything a casserole should be

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