No alarm clock to get up to. No speed walk around the lake with the dog's eyeballs popping out of her head because I'm running late yet again and she's too old to keep up, even on her leash. No "He said, She said" upon arrival at work. No eternal clock watching until home time. No too tired to do anything but crash on the sofa and use the dog as a blankie when I finally make it home. No fish finger sandwiches for dinner because I. just. can't. be. arsed...
I am reaping the benefits of all of the above... but OHMYGODI'MBORED!!!!! I'm now only working at the weekend (at a job I love) and I have NO IDEA what to do with myself during the day. Do I do housework? Decorating? Visit friends? Do I join the gym (yeah right)? Do I take the dog for incredibly long walks in the rain??? Do I cook? Do I read? Watch TV? Rent a film? Go shopping?
What do I do?
... I eat.
I gotta get me another job.... and something with an elasticated waist.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *Serves 2 (easily doubles up to serve 4 but I wanted to use up only half a can of chopped tomatoes!)
Prep time - 10 minutes
Cooking Time - 50 minutes
You will need
A medium saucepan
5 sprays fry light or 1 tbsp olive oil
1 clove garlic - crushed
1/2 onion - roughly diced
1 stick celery - roughly diced
1 small carrot - peeled and roughly diced
1 tsp dried thyme
50g pearl barley
750ml vegetable stock - from a cube is fine
400g cans of mixed beans or bean salad, rinsed and drained
200g can chopped tomatoes
Heat the fry light/oil in the saucepan over a low to medium heat. Add the garlic, onion, celery, carrot and thyme, and cook until the onion is soft - about 10 minutes.
Add the barley and stir it through the veg, then add the vegetable stock and and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 20 minutes, or until the barley is tender.
Add the mixed beans (or bean salad) and chopped tomatoes and stir to combine. Bring back to a simmer and cook for another 20 minutes, or until the barley is completely cooked. Serve in bowls and scatter with Parmesan or your favourite cheese.
5 propoints per serving if using fry light, 7 if using olive oil. Don't forget to add points for any cheesey indulgence on the top!