Are you seeking the perfect, easy lunch? Something warm and comforting, but healthy too? Maybe even something that helps you make more milk for that baby of yours? I've got a meal for you.
Somewhere in my return to work from my first maternity leave, I created this dish. I don’t remember how it came to be - just that I concocted it out a strong desire to MAKE MORE MILK.
Barley, beans, dark leafies, and sesame seeds (via tahini) are all galactagogues, aka milk makers. This is super easy and feels oh-so-nourishing to eat, so it’s no wonder that it increases your milk production. Ideally, I cook up a batch on Sunday afternoons and portion it out for my upcoming week’s lunches, but this doesn’t always happen. There have been many mornings when I cooked this while eating breakfast and getting ready for work. It’s a snap.
To make it even more of breeze, use these quick-cooking bags of barley and farro. You can get them at Trader Joe’s, and recently I have seen a nearly identical version at TJ’s sister store, ALDI. They cost the same (at least in my area). It will shave about twenty minutes off of your cook time, and it’s already measured for you.
Disclaimer: I’m an ad lib cook. I write recipes the old-fashioned way, in a somewhat vague manner that assumes the reader has some knowledge of cookery and is not afraid to improvise. Cooking times and measurements may vary. Don’t be afraid to follow your instincts and tweak something if its not working for you. This is how I make this recipe. It does not have to be the way you make it.
First, grains. Make life easy-peasy and use the quick-cook bags from Trader Joe’s or ALDI. I alternate between barley and farro. Alternatively, you can use 1 cup of pearled barley. Make sure to rinse it first.
2. In a 3-5 quart pot, combine grains with 3 cups of water. Let come to a boil, then simmer for 10 minutes
3. Toss in enough torn kale to fill up the pot. (I’m using a 3 quart saucepan here. You could definitely go bigger and probably should, as I usually end up adding more kale later on.) Cover the pot and let kale steam until wilted, about 10-15 minutes. Add a little more water if needed.
4. Add 2-3 cups of beans. Again, you can hit the easy button and use rinsed canned beans. If you have the planning skills to use dried beans, I applaud you.
5. After this, I portion out the in gredients into glass containers for my work lunches. I drizzle about 1 tablespoon of tahini on top of each serving.
So what do you think? Any additions, subtractions, or other tweaks? It has been a lifesaver for me, so let me know how it works for you!