Creamy Avocado Barley Risotto

by Angela (Oh She Glows) on April 22, 2011

I hope you are enjoying a day off today to begin the long weekend. :)

I can’t say I’m having a Good Friday so far. I’m not one to really make a fuss about aches and pains, but this cold is a nasty one! My sore throat is getting worse and worse and the pain shoots right up to my ears when I swallow. Ow. The voice is fading…the glands are sore. I hope it is not a throat infection. I might have to go to a walk-in clinic tomorrow if I don’t improve today.

The morning and nighttime hours have been the worst for my sore throat, with temporary relief in the afternoon. Yesterday, my pain improved a lot in the afternoon and I was actually able to work up an appetite for some solid food!


Earlier this week, I thought it would be delicious to make a spin-off of two of my favourite quick & easy dinner recipes

15-Minute Creamy Avocado Pasta                               Creamy Tomato Barley Risotto

IMG_0200-3_thumb    IMG_7824

Using those two as my inspiration, I came up with a modified version of the Creamy Avocado Sauce and made it into a Barley risotto!

I cooked the pearled barley a couple days ago (when I intended to make this dish), but then I got sick so it had to wait. This dish came together in under 10 minutes when using pre-cooked barley! That made me even happier.



Creamy Avocado Barley Risotto

Adapted from 15-Minute Creamy Avocado Pasta & Creamy Tomato Barley Risotto

Yield: 3 cups


  • 1 cup uncooked pearled barley
  • 2 small avocados, divided
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice + lemon zest to garnish
  • 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp water, or more as needed to thin out
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, minced (I used 3 because I wanted cold-fighting garlic power & it was quite intense!)
  • 3/4 tsp kosher salt, or to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper



1. Cook the pearled barley in a medium sized pot, covered with about 3-4 cups of water, or more as needed (I didn’t measure the water I added). Add a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil, and then simmer on low-medium heat for about 30 minutes until fluffy. Add more water if needed and watch closely. Drain and set aside.

2. Meanwhile, in a food processor, process 1.5 of your avocado flesh, reserving 1/2 the avocado for garnish. Add 2 tbsp water, 1 tsp oil, 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice, and minced garlic cloves to taste. Process until smooth, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl when necessary. Add your salt and pepper to taste and process again. Adjust all ingredients to taste.

3. Add your cooked + drained pearled barley back into the pot and pour on the avocado sauce. Heat on low until just heated through (you don’t want to cook it longer than a couple minutes!) Garnish with avocado slices and lemon zest and serve immediately.

Please note that this dish does not reheat well due to the avocados. Makes 3 cups.



Already having the pearled barley cooked made this dish incredibly quick and easy. Perfect for a sick girl like me!

After processing your sauce ingredients, stir it into the cooked and drained barley.


By the way, I was also able to reduce the oil in the original recipe from 2 tablespoons to just 1 teaspoon! I simply added some water to thin it out and I was quite happy with the outcome.

Heat on low-medium only until it is just heated through. You don’t want to heat this mixture for long due to the avocado.


Serve immediately.


I loved this dish! The chewy pearled barley was fantastic and it was super creamy and filling.

DISCLAIMER: My taste buds could be wonky right now so don’t blame me if you think this dish is horrible. ;)


My brief stint of wellness soon came to an end in the early evening.

After I picked Eric up at the train station, we hit up the grocery store to stock up on some needed items for the long weekend. The grocery store was bumpin’ last night! I met a lovely blog reader named Emily and I tried not to scare her off with my raspy voice!

My ‘sickie’ loot:


= Mandarins (so good), Echinacea tea, Lemon Echinacea Throat Coat tea, Natural Choice Full of Fruit Mango popsicles (should have bought two boxes), and organic frozen strawberries for Green Monsters. I’m also drinking fresh juice every morning and gargling with salt water a few times a day. Why am I not healed yet!?

I was back to a liquid dinner last night. All I wanted was something cold. And GREEN.


And did this Green Monster ever taste like a dream. It was almost like a milkshake in consistency.


The ‘healing’ GM Ingredients: 1.25 cups almond milk, 1 large handful organic baby spinach, 1 frozen banana, 1 handful frozen strawberries, 1/2 scoop Amazing Grass wheat grass powder, 1/2 tbsp chia seeds.

I’m drooling at the thought of one for breakfast, so I think I am going to make one now. :) And then hopefully find a pharmacy that is open so I can get some more throat meds.

By the way, thank you for a great discussion in yesterday’s Lessons in Self-Love post! I love reading your comments. Red heart

You might also want to check out Mara’s auction for Pancreatic Cancer Research…I have some glo bars up for auction and there are many other fabulous things to bid on too!

Let's get social! Follow Angela on Instagram @ohsheglows, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Snapchat, and Google+

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{ 37 comments… read them below or add one }

Page 3 of 3«123
Olya April 23, 2011 at 3:13 am

“When you’re coming down with a cold, all you can do is batten down the hatches and wait for the body to fight it off!” I don’t think you can rush your body to heal. It needs time to do such a great job it is doing. Keep yourself warm and take a good care. Hope you’ll feel better soon!


Jackie April 23, 2011 at 3:16 am

There are some nasty bugs going around. I think it might be time to get some anti-biotics if it’s not better tomorrow. One of my kids was sick for a week, within 12 hours of anti-biotics she was a new person. Sending you healing thoughts.


Sasha April 23, 2011 at 3:46 am

Ayurveda classifies food and fruits into different types : cold-inducing, heat-inducing etc.,
Based on that, my dad (an avid Ayurveda follower) always forbade us from eating bananas, guavas etc., when we had a cold. Apparently it can make it worse.

He would make us drink hot decoctions of ginger/garlic/black-pepper with jaggery (kind of sucanat) and milk. You can google for herbal home remedies for cold.
Hope that helps.


Embodying Freedom April 23, 2011 at 7:36 am

So awful about you being sick! I’m surprised you don’t have an iron immune system with how healthily you eat! It happens to everyone then I guess :)
Feel better soon! Also I’m curious…what are walk-in clinics like in Canada? Do you have to wait very long? I always have to wait like 30 minutes at our clinics!


Leanne @ Healthful Pursuit April 23, 2011 at 8:04 am

I’m so sorry to hear you feel like garbage! I absolutely hate getting sick. I hope you feel better soon :)


Kathleen @ KatsHealthCorner April 23, 2011 at 9:51 am

I have been wanting to make your Avocado Cream Spaghetti! I love that you used Barley with this! :D


Lenna April 23, 2011 at 12:21 pm

The risotto looks awesome! I think I´ll give it a try tomorrow. I hope you feel healthy soon!


Ritika April 23, 2011 at 12:28 pm

I just tried your creamy tomato barley risotto last night and it was DELICIOUS. It was the first time I made *and* tasted barley and I am hooked! It was so easy to make. I used fire-roasted tomatoes and they made the dish so flavorful. I also had miso for the first time! Thank for you inspiring me, Angela. I hope you feel better soon and have a wonderful weekend. :)


Paulina (One Smile Ahead) April 23, 2011 at 12:53 pm

Get well soon! I wasn’t feeling so well a couple of days ago too, but drinking hot green tea did the trick for me. I could use a Green Monster as well though. My body needs some strengthening. Vitamins are the best! Take a good rest :]


Molly @ RDexposed April 23, 2011 at 1:48 pm

I like the way your think! This needs to go on my To Cook List!


Kristy H April 23, 2011 at 3:57 pm

Hope you get better soon, sounds like you have all the right remedies happening. Thanks for this recipe, i have barley in the cupboard to use up and just bought avacados and lemons a couple of days ago, i know what im having for lunch. Happy Easter!


[email protected] April 23, 2011 at 5:35 pm

May you get better really soon and take it as a sign to rest! ;)


Lisa (bakebikeblog) April 23, 2011 at 6:28 pm

Hope you feel better soon! Take care xx


{{well in l.a.}} April 23, 2011 at 6:48 pm

Take care and feel better soon! Going to experiment with the avocado & lemon recipe. My farm box has been brimming with both items the last few weeks! Have a wonderful weekend! -erin


melody polakow: Vegan for 3.33 a day April 23, 2011 at 7:17 pm

i hope you feel better!


marla April 23, 2011 at 9:11 pm

Sorry to hear you are not feeling well. Take care of yourself girl :) That risotto looks amazing. Love the avocado & that you were able to reduce the oil too. xo


Angel7 April 23, 2011 at 9:14 pm

I hope you are feeling better!

That Creamy Avocado Barley Risotto looks amazing, and oh, so yummy!!! I love, love, love avocados!

Happy Easter!


[email protected] Dishes Daily April 24, 2011 at 2:23 am

That looks so tasty. That is a great idea to use avocado.


France @beyondthepeel April 24, 2011 at 4:16 am

I love avocado Barley risotto. I don’t blend any of the avocado and gently toss it in just in cubes at the end with some fresh arugula and it’s amazing. I like to finish mine by drizzling a chipotle lemon oil at the end ( a trick I stole from someone such while back that I can’t even remember who anymore). Lately I’ve been doing it with bulgur and leeks in addition to the avocado and lemon and we’re pretty happy with the results. I am excited to try it your way and compare!


Angela (Oh She Glows) April 24, 2011 at 7:11 am

mm that sounds great!


McKayla (green groats) April 24, 2011 at 8:46 am

I CAN’T WAIT to try this recipe. Sounds like an amazing combo. I’ve been meaning to use up some of my barley to make some sort of risotto! Thanks for reminding me…


Shah'ada April 24, 2011 at 9:24 am

made this last night for my avocado loving boyfriend – he was in HEAVEN!!!!! chewy and filling for sure :) as always, thank you for all your amazing vegan recipes!


Suzanne Williams April 24, 2011 at 10:28 am

Can’t wait to try this. Love avocado! Thanks for this blog. I just found it and will be returning. Very helpful!


[email protected] April 24, 2011 at 10:59 am

omg that risotto looks amazing!!!!!!


[email protected] April 24, 2011 at 12:23 pm

Feel better!!!! Gargling with salt water really helps with a sore throat :)

That risotto looks so good!! I’m definitely going to flag this as a must make recipe!

Hope you feel better and have a Happy Easter!


Heather @ Get Healthy with Heather April 24, 2011 at 2:59 pm

The avocado looks so summer like! Another perfect meal. Hope you feel better soon girl!


Melanie April 24, 2011 at 4:21 pm

I actually just made your pasta version of this and wow! I’ve never had avocado before so I wasn’t sure if I’d like it but it’s really yummy. My mom loves it too. :) Thanks and I hope you start feeling better soon.


Sarah April 27, 2011 at 3:45 pm

Thanks so much for the recipe! I just made this after I got home from school (I was starving) and It definitely made me feel amazing! So refreshing!


Carol Wong May 18, 2011 at 7:26 pm

I totally made this! Well, almost. See, instead of the barley I made a burrito.


Charlotte August 26, 2012 at 6:52 am

How many servings would this make, approximately?


Em September 19, 2012 at 11:46 pm

Awesome. I “roasted” the garlic by microwaving 20 sec to cut the strong taste. Used Dorat frozen chopped basil cubes n poured over spaghetti squash. So yummy! I added the avo cream to individual servings so I could reheat. Avo cream c be stored like guacamole– in the smallest possible container n covered w Saran wrap to prevent oxidation. Put the wrap directly on the to of the sauce so there is no air. Or try a Baggie with all the air squeezed out.


Melissa November 14, 2012 at 11:46 am

OMG thank you for that tip! I’m gonna have to try that since I make the recipe for just myself, my toddler doesn’t like it so I end up wasting most of the sauce when I make creamy avocado pasta. (I find it makes enough for 4 servings, so I end up wasting 3/4 of it)


Melissa November 14, 2012 at 11:44 am

This looks AMAZING! I have tried the creamy avocado pasta a few times now and I’m hooked! I’m making it probably tomorrow, just stocked up on some avocados! I will try this recipe soon, although I’ll have to sub rice because I have to be gluten free.
I was trying to come up with a healthy salad dressing recently…and I thought of the creamy avocado pasta. I’m wondering if that sauce (maybe thinned out a tiny bit with more evoo or water) would work over salad. Hmmm….gonna have to try that soon!


Jessa November 22, 2014 at 7:34 pm

I’m eating this dish right now. Yum! I substituted sesame oil for the olive oil to give it an extra kick of flavor. I’ve never eaten pearled barley before but I was able to pick some up at Trader Joe’s. One cup made a lot of barley! Thanks for having recipes so simple even I couldn’t mess them up.


Danielle June 17, 2015 at 9:07 pm

This looks delicious. I’m home on maternity leave and have finally had a chance to try your amazing recipes. My husband and 2 yr old love your creamy tomato barley risotto and, of course, your one-bowl double chocolate chunk cookies. Just curious if this would be good cold in the summer? Thank you so much if you get the chance to reply!!


Barbara November 26, 2015 at 9:01 pm

The plant based diet, re forks over knives, and Esselstyn include no oils., Esselstyn includes no avocados. How do you relate to this, no oil, plan?


Barbara November 26, 2015 at 10:27 pm

We loved this dish.


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