Have you ever experienced recipe overload in trying to find something to make for dinner? Thanks to the internet, we live in a world where thousands upon thousands of recipes are available at our finger tips at all times, but how can you separate the wheat from the chaff? If you’re new to the plant-based diet, how can you be sure that that hodgepodge of strange-sounding ingredients is actually going to taste good when mixed together?
In their new book, The Main Street Vegan Academy Cookbook, top-ten vegetarian author Victoria Mann and pressure-cooking extraordinaire JL Fields have teamed up with with over a hundred certified vegan lifestyle coaches to share 100 of their favorite plant-based recipes. Regardless of whether you’re a long time vegetarian/vegan or just dipping your toes in the world of plant-based eating, The Main Street Vegan Academy Cookbook is a great place to put your recipe search to rest.
In addition to 100+ recipes, Victoria and JL’s new book offers practical advice on the following topics:
Dubunking the myth of plant-based eating being expensive, complicated and weird.
How to pave your own path to health.
Troubleshooting and FAQ’s on vegetarian and vegan diets.
Menu plans that will keep you inspired and innovating in the kitchen.
To celebrate the launch of their new book, Victoria and JL sent us a recipe to share that we think is perfect for soothing the soul when you’ve got a case of mid-winter blues. Check out the recipe below and let us know what you think!
Brooklyn Barley Stew
Makes: 6-8 servings
Photo credit: The Main Street Vegan Academy Cookbook
Created by Victoria Moran and JL Fields, this warming and hearty barley stew recipe is a perfect for deep winter nights when you’re in the mood for something soothing and nutritious. There are few things more comforting than a big bowl of steaming-hot stew, especially when it doesn’t take hours to prepare. You really can feel your body relax and mind slow down with each and every bite.
With this recipe, a few simple ingredients combine to make a healthy, plant-based stew that is packed withflavor. This delicious make-ahead dish only gets better as it sits, so fix it today and eat ittomorrow or save some leftovers…if you can help not gobbling it all down at once.
A few notes: Traditional stew vegetables were used for this recipe, but feel free to substitute with whatever you like and/or have lying around the house. One of the great things about soup and stew is that you really can make substitutions to your hearts content and still get great results. Additionally, for those who are avoiding gluten, you can substitute rice, garbanzo beans or even quinoa for the barley and it’s equally as delicious.
1 cup pearl barley (substitute rice, garbanzo beans or quinoa for those who are gluten-free)
1/2 cup dry red wine (optional)
2 carrots, sliced
4 cups vegetable broth
1 plant-based bouillon cube or 1 teaspoon plant-based bouillon powder
1 bunch kale, stems removed and leaves torn into 2-inch pieces
In a large stockpot, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and sauté until translucent and soft, about 6 minutes. Add the mushrooms and stir to coat with oil. Sauté for 5 minutes, or until the mushrooms have released their liquid and are starting to brown.
Add the barley and stir to combine. Stir in the wine, if using, and cook until the liquid is absorbed. Stir in the carrots. Pour in the broth and raise the heat to high. Add the bouillon and stir until it is dissolved. Cover the pot and bring the broth to a rolling boil. Turn the heat down to a simmer and cook, covered, for 45 minutes, or until the barley is tender.
When the barley is tender, stir in the kale. It will look like a lot, but as you stir it in, it will wilt down. Taste and add salt if needed.
Matt Jager is a wellness activist, yogi and co-founder of True Wellth. His life mission is to transform the healthcare and food system in this country, so that every single person has access to the tools and support they need to look and feel their best, control their health, own their happiness and revolutionize their well-being.