Thursday, June 23, 2011

Sweet Potato Barley Bowls with Pumpkin Chile Mole

Barley is a great grain to try if you're worn out on rice. One serving has 10 grams of protein and eight essential amino acids making it a healthy and delicious grain with a nutty bite.

Mole sauce made with pumpkin seeds, ancho peppers, garlic and spices slow simmered in a stew of sweet potatoes and red bell peppers served over black beans and barley.

Pumpkin Chile Mole
2-3 dried poblano peppers
1 jalapeno, halved, seeds scraped out
1 medium yellow onion, quartered
2 hothouse tomato, quartered
4 garlic cloves, smashed
1 tsp cumin
3 tbl extra virgin olive oil, divided
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds, toasted
1/2 bunch cilantro

Preheat the oven to 400.
Line a baking sheet with parchment or foil and add the jalapeno, onion, tomato and garlic in a single layer. Sprinkle with cumin and toss with 1 tbl oil, salt and pepper. Roast for 20-30 minutes until caramelized and deep brown.
Soak the dried peppers in a bowl of boiling water for 15 minutes. Drain (reserve 2 tbl soaking liquid) and remove the stems and seeds inside.
Transfer the roasted vegetables to a food processor along with the pumpkin seeds and dried peppers with reserved liquid. Pulse a few times. Add the cilantro and 2 tbl oil. Blend until smooth. Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary.

Sweet Potato Barley Bowls
makes 2 bowls
1 cup barley
2 cups vegetable broth
1 cup water
2 tbl plus 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil, divided
1 red bell pepper, medium dice
1 large sweet potato, unpeeled, medium dice
1 batch pumpkin chile mole (above)
1 small yellow onion, minced
1-15oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 avocado, thinly sliced
vegan sour cream, optional
cilantro for garnish

Combine the barley with the vegetable broth, water and a pinch of salt in a small pot. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, cover and cook for 50 minutes to an hour until tender.
In a large pot or dutch oven, heat 2 tbl oil and saute the red bell pepper until it starts to soften, 7 minutes. Add the sweet potato and saute over medium-high heat for 5 minutes. Add the mole and bring to a simmer. Cover and cook for 10 minutes or until the sweet potato is tender.
While the sweet potato is cooking, saute the onion in a small pot with 1 tsp olive oil until soft and translucent, 5 minutes. Add the black beans and cook for 5 minutes to heat through. Season with salt.
Assemble the bowls with barley on the bottom then a layer of black beans, topped with sweet potato and garnish with avocado, cilantro and sour cream.

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