Diabetic Cooking

Barley & Vegetable Risotto



  • 4 1/2 cups fat-free reduced-sodium vegetable or chicken broth
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 8 ounces sliced mushrooms
  • 3/4 cup uncooked pearl barley
  • 1 large red bell pepper, diced
  • 2 cups packed baby spinach
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper


Bring broth to a boil in medium saucepan. Reduce heat to low to keep broth hot.

Meanwhile, heat oil in large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion; cook and stir 4 minutes. Increase heat to medium-high. Add mushrooms; cook 5 minutes, stirring frequently, or until mushrooms begin to brown and liquid evaporates.

Add barley; cook 1 minute. Add 1/4 cup hot broth; cook and stir about 2 minutes or until broth is almost all absorbed. Add broth, 1/4 cup at a time, stirring constantly until broth is almost absorbed before adding the next. After 20 minutes of cooking, stir in bell pepper. Continue adding broth, 1/4 cup at a time, until barley is tender (about 30 minutes total). Stir in spinach; cook and stir 1 minute or just until spinach is wilted. Stir in cheese and black pepper.

Note: You may use your favorite mushrooms, such as button, crimini, or shiitake, or a combination of two or more.

Yield: 6 side-dish servings.

Serving size: 1/2 cup.

Nutrition Facts Per Serving:
Calories: 70 calories, Carbohydrates: 7 g, Protein: 3 g, Fat: 3 g, Saturated Fat: 1 g, Cholesterol: 5 mg, Sodium: 340 mg, Fiber: 2 g

Exchanges per serving: 1/2 Fat, 1 Vegetable.

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