Vegetarian night tonight, with a delicious bowl of pearled barley, carrots, snap peas, and Mediterranean herbs and spices.

One of the reasons I wanted a pressure cooker was to easily add more grains to our diet. To begin the bowl, I added 1 1/2 cups pearled barley and 6 cups of water into my pressure cooker, with 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Secure the lid, with the valve set to “sealing,” and set for high pressure for 30 minutes.

I did a bad job getting pictures tonight, so I didn’t get one until 10 minutes were left! Sorry!

Next, combine 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, 1 teaspoon lemon zest, and 2 tablespoons minced fresh mint.

In a blender, place 1/2 cup  tahini, 1/2 cup water, 1 teaspoon lemon juice, and 1 clove of garlic. Blend smooth. Pour into a bowl and add salt to taste.

Peel 5 carrots and cut into quarters lengthwise and widthwise.

Next, heat 1 teaspoon olive oil over medium high heat. Add 1/4 cup raw unsalted sunflower seeds, 1/8 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon cardamom, 1/4 teaspoon coriander, and 1/4 teaspoon cumin. Stir constantly until toasted and fragrant, 2 minutes.

Remove to a small plate. 

Set the pan back over medium high heat and add 1 teaspoon olive oil. Add the carrots, 1/8 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 cup of water. Boil and stir occasionally until most of the water is gone. Add 1/2 teaspoon cardamom and saute until slightly spotty brown. 

Remove to a plate. Place the pan back over medium high heat and add a teapsoon of olive oil. Add 8 ounces of snap peas and cook until spotty brown, 3 to 5 minutes.

Remove to a plate.

Once the barley is done, quick release the pressure by turning the valve to release. Drain the barley and return to the pot. Add the mint mixture and stir to combine.

Now, you can assemble the bowls. Divide the barley among the bowls. Add the carrots and snap peas, then sprinkle with sunflower seeds and drizzle with sauce. Serve!