Is it difficult to keep up with a healthy diet over the festive period? Well, I certainly wouldn’t recommend starting any restrictive diet like anti-candida during this period. But if you’re in the swing of it already, like I am, then with a little bit of planning and some experiments in kitchen, you’ll be surprised how many festive and yummy dishes you can create.

This weekend, our local farmers’ market was exceptionally colourful and merry. Here come the green, round Brussels sprouts on a stalk. Next to them a heap of purple-white swedes and ruby-red, ripe pomegranates. What a lovely colourful Christmassy combo! Let’s just grab a bunch of fresh parsley and some crunchy sprouting sunflowers.
– Anything else, my dear?
– That’s it, thank you. We’re done for today. But I’ll come back soon!


A packet of barley found in the cupboard, conveniently next to some chopped walnuts.

I think we’ve got a fab salad in the making. Let’s get cooking!

Ingredients

500g Brussels sprouts
2 small swedes (approx. 500g)
4 tbsp olive oil for roasting
1 tbsp dried thyme
1 tbsp dried basil
180g barley, rinsed (replace with buckwheat for a gluten-free option)
100g of sunflower sprouts
75g walnuts, chopped
Grains of 1 pomegranate
Small bunch of fresh parsley leaves, chopped
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 garlic clove, crushed
Salt and freshly ground pepper

Preparation

Preheat the oven to 200 C / gas mark 6.



In a large pot bring salted water to a boil. Add the barley grains and cook for about 40 minutes until tender. (if you’re using pearl barley, 25 minutes of cooking will be enough). Cooked barley should have doubled its volume, but be still a little chewy. Once cooked, rinse well under running water and drain.


Peel and cut the swede into 2cm cubes. Toss with 2 tbsp of olive oil, sprinkle with some dried thyme and basil and spread out on a baking sheet.
Trim the Brussels sprouts, remove any damaged outer leaves and cut into quarters. Toss with 2 tbsp of olive oil, sprinkle with some dried thyme and basil and spread out on a baking sheet.


Roast the swede and the sprouts until tender, for about 25-35 minutes (the swedes will need a few minutes longer in the oven that the sprouts, and I recommend placing them on the upper level). Once ready, take out of the oven and leave to cool.


In a large bowl, toss together the sprouts, swede, cooked barley, sunflower sprouts, chopped walnuts, pomegranate grains and chopped parsley leaves.


In a small bowl, mix together the extra virgin olive oil and garlic and season to taste with salt and pepper. Pour over the salad and gently toss to mix.


Serve immediately.


Bon appétit!
Lena x

Winter barley salad with Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Swede
Winter barley salad with Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Swede




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