Spicy barley and black beans

 
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Active weeks call for those trusted, simple, but nutritious and delicious meals. Right? What was supposed to be a "brain off, this and that, nothing special" meal on a tired Sunday evening, turned out to be a keeper!  And sure, in a way it is just a bit of this and that, and "nothing special" - but that's the magic.

By the way, notice how I used the word 'active' instead of 'busy'? Indeed, my weeks have been quite full lately, but mostly full of stuff I enjoy doing. 'Busy' sounds negative, ungrateful and actually feels like complaining. Time is limited, but stressing over stuff you like is pointless. So I'm trying out a little trick here, because I believe that words have power.

 

Spicy barley and black beans

(Serves 2-3)

•    3dl whole grain barley
    •    230g black beans
    •    2 carrots
    •    1 onion
    •    1dl sunflower or pumpkin seeds
    •    1 clove of garlic
    •    3cm piece of ginger
    •    2-3 leaves of kale
    •    3tbsp soy sauce
    •    3tbsp balsamic vinegar
    •    1tbsp olive oil (+ any veggie oil for frying)
    •    1tbsp brown sugar
    •    1tbsp paprika powder
    •    1tsp ground coriander
    •    2tsp smoked paprika powder
    •    0,5-1tsp cayenne pepper

*Serve with: a squeeze of lime juice, fresh cilantro 

Cook the barley as instructed (in the packaging). Prepare the veggies: Peel and dice the onion and carrots (I cut my carrots into half-moons), crush and mince the garlic, cut or grate the ginger. Remove the hard stems of the kale and chop the leaves finely. If you're using canned black beans, rinse the brine off.

Heat some oil on a large (possibly a wok-type) pan. Add the onion and carrots, sauté, and add the brown sugar. Add the ginger and garlic, mix for a moment, then add the beans, sunflower or pumpkin seeds, and all the spice powders (paprika, coriander, smoked paprika and cayenne). Mix well. Add the olive oil and mix again. Now add the kale, mix, and add the soy sauce and balsamic vinegar. Lastly add the barley, mix, and allow a moment for the flavors to soak in, keeping the stove on low heat.

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A squeeze of lime juice and some fresh cilantro give the perfect final touch for this spicy dish!

 

 // To be honest, the last couple of weeks have been so "active" I've actually lost a bit of sleep. Which of course resulted to catching a cold. So I decided it was time to get my juicer back in business! 

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And it just so happened I found some fresh organic turmeric. With some orange, carrot and ginger - feeling better already!