My usual go to grain is short grain brown rice. This is a leftover from my days when I ate a macrobiotic diet. Now that I am eating more locally, I am thinking about other grains. Barley is a grain that is grown here in Michigan, along with oats, corn and wheat. I have yet to find whole grain corn available for making pasole, but I figure it is out there.
Here is a hearty stew made from whole barley. Most barley recipes call for pearled barley which is a more refine product like brown compared to white rice. The upshot is that whole barley comes out chewy and takes much longer to cook, about an hour or more, but it has more nutrition.
I provided a vegan option for this meal. If going vegan, the addition of dried mushroom which including the mushroom tea and perhaps some miso could be use to boast flavor. The addition of chopped nuts or seeds can also be added as a garnish for a hearty vegan option.
I forgot to garb an itemized receipt so there is not a 100% official local food cost breakdown for this meal, but I am sure it fits into a $3-5 range per person.
Turkey and Barley Stew
Makes 8-10 servings
1 pound of whole barley, (Hampshire Farms) $1.50
1 pound of ground turkey (can substitute you favor ground meat or sausage), Plum Market $7.00 (Meat is optional, this meal can be vegan)
3 medium size leeks, cleaned and dice, with some green parts (AA Coop) $??$3.00
2 cup of sliced mushrooms (AA Coop) $??$2.50
2 cup of medium diced carrots(Garden works) $1.00
1 quart jar of canned tomatoes with liquid (Home Garden) $1.00
1 cup of frozen peas (not local) $1.00 ???
1/4 cup of organic soy sauce (No Local) $?? 1.50
3 bay leafs
3-4 tablespoons butter (AA Coop) $.50 (Substitute olive or vegetable oil for a vegan option)
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
salt and pepper to taste
Eight servings $2.38
Ten servings $1.90
Vegan Option: $2.50-$1.20 (depending on how fancy you get with the dried mushrooms, nuts and other additions)
In a large heavy bottomed, brown the turkey with the butter. Remove the turkey and add the leeks and mushrooms with a little salt. Stir and cooked them down for around ten minutes. If they start to stick, add a little water. Add the carrots, some bay leaf, the can of tomatoes, the soy sauce, the barley, and turkey. Add about 2-6 cups of water, enough to cover. Barley absorbs a ton of water, so you might need to add more depending if you want this to be more of a soup than a grain dish. Stock can me use to substitute some of the water. Stir in the smoked paprika and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for about an hour, or until the barley is cooked. Thaw the peas in put into the stew during the last ten minutes.
Garnish with parsley or scallion.