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Whole Food Plant Based Barley Risotto

Author: Molly Patrick of Clean Food Dirty Girl


  • 2 cups low sodium vegetable stock 475ml
  • 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 2 tablespoons garbanzo flour aka chickpea flour
  • 1 large onion chopped (about 2 cups / 270g)
  • 3 1/2 cups chopped mushrooms 250g / any variety
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • 2 1/2 cups cooked barley 565g / see directions below
  • 1 cup cooked chickpeas rinsed and strained (50g / make your own or use canned)
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 cup chopped kale 50g
  • 2 medium tomatoes chopped (about 1 1/2 cups/ 325g)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 10 turns of black pepper

For the Barley:

  • 1 cup hulled or hull-less Barley
  • 2 1/2 cups water (590ml)


  • Place the vegetable stock, nutritional yeast and garbanzo flour into a medium-sized mixing bowl and stir with a whisk. Set aside for now.
  • Chop and measure out the rest of the ingredients and set aside. This will make them a breeze to throw together.
  • Heat a large pot over medium heat for about a minute and add the onions, mushrooms and a pinch of salt. Cook for 7 minutes, stirring frequently so nothing sticks to the bottom of the pot.
  • Add garlic, cooked barley, chickpeas and thyme and stir for about a minute. Whisk the stock concoction that you made earlier and pour it into the pot and stir. Bring to a simmer and keep simmering for about 8 minutes, stirring frequently so nothing sticks to the bottom of the pot. Keep an eye on temperature - you do not want it to boil. Lower heat if necessary.
  • Remove the pot from heat and stir in the kale, tomato, salt, and pepper. Viola!

How to perfectly cook barley (Use some for the Risotto recipe and use the rest for salads or in soups)

  • Place the barley into a bowl and rinse well with water. 
  • Transfer to a fine mesh strainer and tap against the sink to extract as much liquid as possible.
  • Place the rinsed and drained barley into the Instant Pot, along with the (new) water and give it a stir. Lock the lid into place, making sure the nozzle is in the sealing position.
  • Set the timer for 45 minutes, using the manual setting. When time is up, use the natural release method. When all of the pressure is out of the Instant Pot, take off the lid and transfer the barley to a bowl and let cool for about 15 minutes.