Foodie Friday: Cumin-Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Date & Pearl Barley Salad (Vegan recipe) #Veganuary

Friday 11 January 2019

Cumin Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Date & Pearl Barley Salad
Veganuary is in full swing and if you're after a wholesome and truly filling Winter Salad with a difference, you're in the right place! This is one of my favourite things to make at the moment as it's so easy to make a huge batch to help you get a head start on your healthy meal prep for the week.

Before anyone says 'Eurgh, Brussels Sprouts!', trust me - they taste completely different when they're tossed in some Olive Oil and roasted in the oven with a good sprinkling of Cumin. You'll never, ever want to boil them again after trying them this way! I've managed to win over my fair share of sprouts haters (including fussy kids) with this recipe, so I hope you'll give it a try too.

As I'm rarely in the mood to eat cold salad leaves during the Winter months, this salad instead calls for a hearty base of Pearl Barley; a wonderfully cheap and cheerful grain with a subtle nutty, chewy texture, that's readily available in most supermarkets, yet often overlooked. It's packed full of fibre, vitamins and minerals, and it properly fills you up, so it's something that I always have a bag of in my cupboard. 

Add in some Medjool Dates and you have the perfect combination of flavours, all in one dish. It sounds a little strange, but it works! You can enjoy this meal warm or cold - just add a little water if you want to gently warm it through in a saucepan over a low temperature.

N.B: I've adapted this recipe from one which was featured in Liz Earle's Wellbeing magazine.

Cumin Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Date & Pearl Barley Salad

Ingredients:- (makes 4 servings)
  • 200g Pearl Barley
  • 16 Brussels Sprouts
  • 1 Lemon
  • 1 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 tsp Ground Cumin
  • 50g Pine Nuts
  • 1 Garlic Clove, crushed
  • 30g Fresh Parsley, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 Cucumber, seeds removed & diced
  • 6 Medjool Dates, stones removed & sliced
  • Pinch of Salt & Pepper
  • 1 tsp Chili Flakes (optional)

  • Preheat the oven to 220C / Gas Mark 7 and bring a medium pan of water to the boil.
  • Thoroughly rinse the Pearl Barley in cold water before adding it to the medium pan. Slice the Lemon in half and pop one half into the pan. Adjust to a medium heat and cook until the Pearl Barley is chewy and tender. Drain, discard the Lemon and set aside.
  • Whilst the Pearl Barley is cooking, trim and halve the Brussels Sprouts and add them to a large bowl. Drizzle over the Olive Oil and sprinkle over the Cumin, mixing them together well so that the Sprouts are evenly coated. 
  • Roast the Brussels Sprouts for 15-20 minutes until they start to char slightly at the edges. In the last 3-4 minutes, add the Pine Nuts to the baking tray to lightly toast. Transfer to a plate to cool.
  • In a large bowl, add the cooked Pearl Barley, Brussels Sprouts, Pine Nuts, crushed Garlic, diced Cucumber and sliced Medjool Dates. Squeeze over the remaining half of Lemon (removing any pips) and mix everything together. Finish with a pinch of Salt and Pepper, and sprinkle over some Chili Flakes if desired. 
  • Serve it up and enjoy!

Storage tip: This salad will keep in a sealed container in the fridge for 3-4 days.

Cumin Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Date & Pearl Barley Salad
What are your favourite Winter Salads?

P.S: I never purchase Medjool Dates which are from Israel due to the ongoing occupation and ethnic cleansing of Palestine. If you're interested in learning more about the international boycott of Israeli products, please feel free to visit / You can easily purchase fairtrade Palestinian Medjool Dates from Zaytoun (look out for them in your local Oxfam shop) - they are delicious!
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