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Bite by Bite

Bite by Bite


Ramon Ruiz is a New York-based private chef, a frequent contributor to the Examiner food section, a blogger for Foodbuzz and Foodfrenzy, a co-proprietor and chief baker at Gingerbirdstore organic bakery, and founder and creative chef for The Underground Supper Club, a private dining society. He describes his culinary aesthetic as 'healthy and conscious with bold flavors [served] in a simple, delicate way.' 'As someone recently diagnosed with HIV, I understand the importance of healthy eating habits, not only among those in the HIV community but in society as a whole,' Ramon says. 'The use of fresh ingredients and a well-balanced diet is as important as our drugs, and has become a very important component of our daily regimen.' Ruiz extols the benefits of a macrobiotic diet, saying that fresh, unprocessed, mostly-vegetarian dishes positively impact our longevity, vitality, and happiness. Here is one of Ruiz's favorite healthy recipes, one that's fulfilling, delicious, and nourishing. Barley-Mushroom Risotto Feel free to load up on this high-fiber power grain. According to health experts, one cup of barley contains 16% of your recommended daily fiber intake. This delicious recipe will be great side dish for roasted meats, fish, or vegetables. ' 5 cups of chicken broth, vegetable broth, or water ' 1 cup pearl barley ' 1 medium onion (chopped) ' 2 cloves of garlic (chopped) ' 2 bay leaves (whole) ' 1/2 teaspoon thyme (dried or fresh) ' 1 lb. mushrooms (sliced) ' 2 tablespoons cilantro (chopped) ' 2 teaspoons olive oil ' 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese Preparation 1. In the saucepan, bring broth or water to a boil. In a large skillet over medium heat add 1 tsp. oil, thyme, onion, bay leaves, and saut' until onions are soft and translucent but not burned, about 3-5 minutes. Then add barley and one cup of the hot broth or water. Reduce heat to low and simmer until most of the broth or water is absorbed, about 8-10 minutes. From this point on, add only one cup of the hot liquid at a time, stir and allow it to become absorbed before adding more. Repeat this process until all the hot liquid has been used. This whole process takes approximately 45 minutes to an hour. 2. In a large skillet, heat the rest of the oil and saut' the mushrooms until tender. Add garlic and cook for a few more minutes. Stir in the barley mixture. Add cilantro and cheese. Don't forget to remove the bay leaves before serving. Bon appetit! Read more about Ruiz at

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