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Breakfast barley risotto with sautéed mushrooms and bok choy

Whether it's in French toast or a croissant with jam, sugar dominates breakfast for so many of us. Set your body up for success from the get-go with a savoury, sugar-free brekkie instead. If you like, you can even throw an egg on top for some added protein. This particular recipe also scales well, so you can get the whole family in on a sugar-free start to the day.



  • 1 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 cup pearl barley
  • 2 1/2 cups mushroom broth (see Oakes' recipe in her book SugarDetoxMe)
  • 3 scallions, thinly sliced, divided
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, peeled and grated
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 225 grams sliced mixed mushrooms
  • 1 cup deveined and chopped curly kale
  • 2 handfuls roughly chopped bok choy
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon tamari soy sauce


  1. Add 1/2 tablespoon of the olive oil to a deep pot or pressure cooker over low heat. Add the barley and sauté for one minute, being sure to stir the barley so that it doesn’t burn.
  2. Add the mushroom broth and half of the scallions. Simmer for 30 minutes without a pressure cooker. If you are using a pressure cooker, close the lid and cook the mixture for 20 minutes.
  3. Heat the remaining one tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat in a nonstick skillet.
  4. Add the ginger and shallot and sauté them for two minutes or until they are fragrant.
  5. Add the mushrooms, kale, bok choy, and two tablespoons of water to the skillet. Cover and sauté the mixture for three to five minutes until the kale and mushrooms become supple.
  6. When the pearled barley is ready, drain any remaining liquid from pot, and add the mushroom mixture and tamari sauce. Stir. Serve the “risotto” in a bowl with the remaining scallions sprinkled on top.

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