This is a great way to use up food in your cupboards and veg drawer for easy dinners and office lunch leftovers. It’s the kind of meal I go to when my veg isn’t quite tip-top but I don’t want to throw anything out. Feel free to play around with grains and pulses – I’ve been known in my time to sub in butter beans for chickpeas, or buckwheat for pearl barley. Have some fun with it!
½ tbsp olive oil
50g pearl barley
1 courgette, chopped roughly
1 onion, chopped
1 large clove of garlic, crushed
2 large carrots, chopped into small cubes
½ small butternut squash, chopped into small cubes
1 can of chickpeas, drained
2) Rinse your pearl barley and then put in a pan with lots of cold water. Bring to the boil for 10 minutes and then turn down to a simmer for 15-20 minutes. Drain when cooked.
2) While your pearl barley is cooking, take a large heavy-bottomed pan and heat your olive oil. Chuck in your onion and garlic, sprinkle liberally with salt and bring the heat down low to sauté. When your onion has gotten soft, bring up the heat a little and throw in your courgette. Stir occasionally to make sure everything is getting cooked evenly. Don’t worry if the edges of your onions get a little crispy – it’ll only add texture. When all your onion and courgette is cooked through, transfer it from the pan to a bowl.
3) Using the same pan, take your squash and your carrot and place on the hob over a high heat. Add a little more oil if you need it. Stir now and again to make sure everything is being cooked easily. It’ll probably take about 10-15 minutes to cook through, but may take up to 10-15 minutes longer if you’ve chopped your carrots and squash more roughly. When your carrots and squash are soft but firm, throw in the kale and give it all a stir for a couple of minutes.
4) Toss your chickpeas, pearl barley, onions and courgettes into the pan with the kale, squash and carrots. Give everything a stir and you’re good to go.