I Ate A burrito Instead… + Whole Food Plant Based Barley Risotto

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Earlier this week I wanted a cigarette more than anything.

I wanted to put it between my lips. I wanted to light it. I wanted to inhale the smoke. I wanted to blow it out. I wanted to sink into it. And I wanted to repeat.

There’s a convenience store a few blocks from my house. They sell cigarettes. I have plenty of lighters lying around my house. And, I’m an adult, 100% capable of making the decision to go buy a pack of cigarettes and light up if I want to.

Here’s what I did instead…

I made a burrito. I went out to my deck. And I ate it.

It was filled with homemade refried beans, cauliflower sour cream, salsa, sprouts and avocado. I didn’t feel like eating… I felt like smoking. BUT I made the conscious decision to nourish my beautiful body instead of harm it. In that moment it was the harder choice, but if I zoomed out for just a split second, there was ease in my decision.

Life is really hard sometimes. That’s the reality of it.

Shitty days, unfair circumstances, fights, tragedy, assholes, stress and heartbreak are all guaranteed. What’s not guaranteed is how you handle them. That my love, is entirely up to you. You can self destruct or you can inject love.

Whatever you decide, know that the craving, the yearning, the wanting of your go-to self destructive substance – it will pass. It will loosen its grip. It will fade. It will fall to the wayside. You just have to give it a minute. Honor it without reacting. Sit with it without taking action.

And allow it to pass.

Because it will pass. And you will be okay.

Want to fuel your beautiful bod with plant goodness every week? Sign up for my Plant Fueled Meal Plan. Only $20 for 20 recipes every month!

Today’s recipe is nourishing in the best possible way.

Barley Risotto

2 cups low sodium vegetable stock (475ml)
3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
2 tablespoons garbanzo flour (aka chickpea flour)
1 large onion, chopped (about 2 cups / 270g)
3 1/2 cups chopped mushrooms (250g / any variety)
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 1/2 cups cooked barley (565g / see directions below)
1 cup cooked chickpeas, rinsed and strained (50g / make your own or use canned)
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 cup chopped kale (50g)
2 medium tomatoes, chopped (about 1 1/2 cups/ 325g)
1/2 teaspoon salt
10 turns of black pepper

  • Place the vegetable stock, nutritional yeast and garbanzo flour into a medium-sized mixing bowl and stir with a whisk. Set aside for now.
  • Chop and measure out the rest of the ingredients and set aside. This will make them a breeze to throw together.
  • Heat a large pot over medium heat for about a minute and add the onions, mushrooms and a pinch of salt. Cook for 7 minutes, stirring frequently so nothing sticks to the bottom of the pot.
  • Add garlic, cooked barley, chickpeas and thyme and stir for about a minute. Whisk the stock concoction that you made earlier and pour it into the pot and stir. Bring to a simmer and keep simmering for about 8 minutes, stirring frequently so nothing sticks to the bottom of the pot. Keep an eye on temperature – you do not want it to boil. Lower heat if necessary.
  • Remove the pot from heat and stir in the kale, tomato, salt, and pepper. Viola!

How to perfectly cook barley in the Instant Pot

This makes about 4 cups of cooked barley. Use some for the Risotto recipe and use the rest for salads or in soups.

1 cup hulled or hull-less Barley (220g)
2 1/2 cups water (590ml)

  • Place the barley into a bowl and rinse well with water. Transfer to a fine mesh strainer and tap against the sink to extract as much liquid as possible.
  • Place the rinsed and drained barley into the Instant Pot, along with the (new) water and give it a stir. Lock the lid into place, making sure the nozzle is in the sealing position.
  • Set the timer for 45 minutes, using the manual setting. When time is up, use the natural release method. When all of the pressure is out of the Instant Pot, take off the lid and transfer the barley to a bowl and let cool for about 15 minutes.
  • Transfer to a fine mesh strainer and rinse with cold water until it looks nice and rinsed. Tap the strainer against the sink to extract as much water as you can.


If you don’t have an Instant Pot, you can cook barley on the stove by simmering it in water for about an hour.

Wishing you a happy week. May it be filled with patience and allowing shitty moments to pass.


A throwback to Melbourne Australia a few weeks ago where I was freezing balls..

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Food photography by Christine June

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