Runger Recipes #1: Pearl Barley Risotto

All this running is making me hungry a.k.a RUNGRY! 

On Monday, after my 12 miles on Sunday, it got to 12 o’clock and I was absolutely starving, despite my usual breakfast of overnight oats. I then had a think back to Sunday’s post-run eating habits and realised I hadn’t properly re-fueled. I’d probably burned a days worth of calories but when I get back from a run my priorities are shower, foam-roll, stretch, drink water and maybe grab a banana. I never feel that hungry although I know I should be eating to help my body recover. 
My lovely sister Tess is a nutritionist and tells me that the perfect post-run snack or meal should be 3:1 parts carbohydrate to protein. Good examples of achieving this ratio in my recovery snack would be chocolate milk, a banana with nut butter, Greek yoghurt and granola or a turkey sandwich. So next time I come back from my run, I’ll be reaching for that banana and spreading it with almond butter! For more advice and recipe ideas, especially for runners, see The Scottish Nutritionist here.

Back to todays post and a recipe that I was reminded of while cleaning out my kitchen cupboards over the weekend. I found half a bag of pearl barley so decided to use it up and make some risotto, again inspired by Tess’ recipe. Barley has a lower glycemic index (GI) than rice so it won’t spike your blood sugar and cause the consequent low, when cravings usually start. The beauty of this dish is that apart from the barley base you can make your own additions to the risotto depending on what’s in your fridge/what you fancy/what veg is in season. I decided to go veggie with mine, with spring onions, garlic, peas and asparagus, with a little feta scattered over the top, just to get those healthy fats in too! It’s super simple and speedy, perfect for post-run fuel and also for packing into tupperware for lunch the next day. Have a go and let me know what variations you come up with!

Pearl barley risotto (base, makes enough for 3-4 servings)
200g pearl barley
One stock cube (vegetable, chicken, your choice)
First rinse the barley with cold water.
Place in a saucepan and cover with cold water (the water should be about 2cm above the barley)
Bring to the boil, stir in the stock cube, then leave to simmer for about 30 mins. 
Check that the barely doesn’t dry out, if it does just add a little water from the kettle.
3 spring onions
2 cloves of garlic
2 handfuls of peas
Asparagus tips
Olive oil
Juice of a lemon
Feta cheese
Flat leaf parsley
I chopped my veg and sautéed it gently with olive oil and lemon juice in a separate griddle pan before adding it to the barley about 5 minutes before it was cooked. Serve up and crumble some feta on top with a grind of black pepper and a scattering of chopped parsley. Enjoy!


1 Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *