I am back home after my trip to sunny Bari and warm sunny Cape Verde. The real winter has visited Latvia finally, with snow and some gentle frost outside. That means time to leave all my dreams about warm countries and light food and get back to cooking warming and energy giving dishes.

If you look in my freezer you will find a lot of Latvian nature gifts stocked up for harsh winter, which have been left over from the fruitful autumn season. Among them are wild mushrooms from Latvian forest picked myself, mostly chanterelles and boletus. This is a wonderful reminder of the early autumn walks in the forest, breezing fresh air and smelling aroma of spruce trees.

Mushroom risotto

In order to tell you about the origin of the recipe and products in it, I have to tell you about my fridge organization.

From time to time I do make so called “fasting days” for my fridge. You gonna ask me why? One of the reasons is my cooking passion. When I have just loaded fridge full of products, I can’t have a rest even for a moment, since all the time I am looking for new ideas and going crazy non-stop cooking in the kitchen. Another reason is to clean up fridge from half fresh over lefts and load with fresh products and also change the assortment for new inspiration. That’s why sometimes I take few empty fridge days to take a rest. During these days I am using some left overs or long shelf-life and frozen product stockpiles like grains, nuts and seeds, frozen beans and mushrooms.

After few days of empty fridge my favorite part is coming: shopping and empty fridge loading with fresh products. My busy days in the kitchen are back and new masterpieces are coming!

These type of recipes working great when you do not have chance to get to the shop as well. The idea is simple and any similar stews can be made the same way. For example, buckwheat with tomatoes, rice with beans and veggies, oats or the same pearl barley with pumpkin puree and onions, quinoa with vegetables and many others.

Let’s go!

COURSE: Lunch, Dinner

CUISINE: Plant-based, Vegan, Gluten-free


Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour

Total Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes

Serving Size: 1

Calories per serving: 395

Fat per serving: 7,9 g



Pearl Barley - 60g (of uncooked)

Vegetable broth or water - 100 ml

Carrots - 40g

Mushrooms frozen - 80g

Onions - 30g

Garlic - 1 clove

Sun-dried tomatoes - 4 halves

Olive oil - 1 tsp

Thyme fresh, salt & pepper


  1. Soak pearl barley in the water while the mushrooms are being unfrozen.
  2. Pre-heat your oven to 190°C.
  3. Cut the onions, carrots, garlic and dried tomatoes in pieces.
  4. Put all ingredients in the pot and mix them. Cover them with the broth or water and put in the oven.
  5. Bake it in the oven for 50-60 minutes.
  6. Serve in the pot or in dish. Garnish with fresh thyme, black pepper and seeds as an option.
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Pearl barley risotto

Enjoy your fasting days! 🙂

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