Roasted Butternut squash with Pearl Barley

IMG_1643[1]I love searching through my cupboards to see what I have left. I try and keep my cupboards as bare as possible so it encourages me to shop little and often, keeping my food fresh and reducing waste.

That is one of my biggest pet hates in the world today. The amount of food we throw away in the UK is criminal and amounts to 15 million tonnes a year, with nearly 50% of that coming from UK households (

Therefore, I always search for any food being reduced and make sure I use up what I have left in my kitchen before heading out to the supermarket to buy more, saving money and reducing the amount of food I throw away. Can’t remember the last time I did that, everything is edible within reason, just apply simple food hygiene guidelines to be safe and sure when your eating.

This recipe was one of those that called for me to use up some old veg before it I really had to throw it away. So by adding the pearl barley along with the roasted butternut squash, this made for a very hearty, fiber rich evening meal. Plus, this meal provides all of your 5 pieces of vegetables your recommend to consume in one delicious meal!

Ingredients (serves 1 person)

  • 80 grams of pearl barley (uncooked) (1 of your 5 a day too).
  • 100 grams butternut squash – chopped with skin left on
  • 100 grams of carrots -washed and chopped
  • 100 grams of beetroot – washed and chopped
  • handful of fresh spinach
  • 1 vegetable stock cube
  • 1 tbsp of olive oil


  • Preheat the oven to 200 C.
  • Boil some water and pour over the pearl barley. Make sure the water covers about 2 inches above the barley. Add the stock cube but crushed. Boil and then simmer until the barley is cooked and soft. (30-45 min)
  • Add the chopped vegetables to a roasting try and add the olive oil. Mix and coat well with your hands.
  • Roast the vegetables in the oven for about 20 minutes or until soft but crunchy.
  • Remove and add to the pearl barley mixture.
  • With the pan still warm along with the mixture add the spinach and toss until it reduces down.
  • Once mixed well, serve in a bowl and enjoy.

Hope you like this recipe and feel free to comment if you like. Feel free to add additional toppings to the finished dish, I sometimes add some roasted nuts and seeds or come vegan cheese. Use your imagination and see what you have left in the cupboard today.