This Valentine's Day, impress your honey (or pal!) with this hummus and pearl barley bowl, topped with roasted sesame butternut squash and pomegranate seeds! Who says a romantic dinner can't be healthy?

Valentine’s Hummus and Pearl Barley Bowls [Vegan]

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Cooking Time



  • 1/2 medium butternut squash, peeled and sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1 teaspoon black sesame seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 can chickpeas, drained, liquid reserved
  • 1/3 cup aquafaba (liquid from chickpeas)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon tahini
  • 1 teaspoon oil
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 2 teaspoons coriander seeds
  • 1/2 cup pearl barley, uncooked
  • 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds


  1. First, roast the squash. Preheat the oven to 390°F. Next, slice the peeled and deseed squash into 1/2-inch thick slices. Toss them in a bowl with the sesame seeds, cumin, paprika, vinegar and a generous pinch of salt. Finally, lay them out on a tray and bake for 18-20 minutes, until fork-tender.
  2. Now place the chickpeas, aquafaba, salt, garlic cloves, cumin, lemon juice and tahini in a food processor and blend until smooth and very creamy. Set this aside for now.
  3. Next, place the pearl barley in a pot of boiling water and boil for 10 minutes, until cooked but still with a slight chew. Drain and set this aside.
  4. Now it is time to temper the spices, heat your oil in a small saucepan over medium heat, and fry the cumin and coriander seeds for 10-20 seconds until they start to pop. Pour this out onto a plate to cool so it doesn't cook further in the pan. We don't want burnt spices!
  5. To assemble your bowls, divide the hummus between two plates and spread it out with a spoon. Lay the butternut squash slices over, and pour the cooked pearl barley over. Take the tempered spices and oil and pour this over the pearl barley. Finally, garnish with pomegranate seeds and (if you can stand it) coriander.

Nutritional Information

Per Serving: Calories: 590 | Carbs: 116 g | Fat 11: g | Protein: 21 g | Sodium: 660 mg | Sugar: 8 g Note: The information shown is based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.


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