Spelt pilaf and painful toes


Yesterday, when Castaño, our Exceedingly Naughty Horse, stood heavily on my little toe, I thought my husband’s reaction, ‘don’t worry, it can’t possibly be broken – he’s not very heavy’ (translated: ‘stop moaning and get over it’), could have been a little more sympathetic. I don’t know what his point of reference is, but half a ton of gyrating horse on my little toe certainly felt heavy to me.

Today, while treating our mare’s foot (she managed to stand on the only piece of stray metal within a ten kilometre radius), Luc had his toe stamped on. Castaño, in full-blown ‘joys of Spring’ mode, saw fit to bite the mare’s rear end while she was tied up and, in reaction to the whippersnapper’s blatant audacity, she lashed out behind and stood on Luc’s toe in front.  When he yelled at me to get my ‘damned Iberian hooligan’ out of the way, my innate sense of decorum prevented me from saying: ‘it can’t have hurt that much, she’s not very heavy’. Or it almost did anyway. 😉


Spelt grain has a robust, slightly nutty flavour and is high in fibre, B vitamins and minerals. It also contains all nine amino acids. Another considerable benefit of spelt is that it is less likely to cause allergy or intolerance than wheat.

Ingredients (serves 4)

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 shallots, peeled and chopped

2 cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped

200g spelt grain

1 tomato, peeled and cubed

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

I teaspoon curry powder

750ml chicken or vegetable stock

20g cashew nuts

fresh parsley or basil

Gently fry the shallots and garlic in olive oil in a large frying pan until softened. Add the spelt grain and continue to fry for a few minutes, mixing well so that the grain is covered in olive oil. Add the tomato, stock and seasoning, again mixing well. Leave to simmer for about 30 minutes until the spelt is cooked, stirring from time to time to prevent sticking. Stir in the cashew nuts a few minutes before the end of cooking time and add the parsley or basil to garnish before serving.

8 responses to “Spelt pilaf and painful toes

  1. Oh my half a ton of horse on your toe, that has to hurt. Did your toe break? You certainly have lively animals.
    I have never eaten whole spelt, only flour. It sounds delicious I love your pilaf.

    • Yes it sure did hurt! I thought it was broken but I put lots and lots of arnica on it and the next day it was much better. Thank goodness because a broken toe is a pain. How is your finger coming along?

      • Lucky you didn’t have a crushed toe thats a lot of weight coming down on that tiny appendage. My finger still has little to no ability to bend , I discontinued physical therapy and am doing it myself, there is slight improvement, less swelling now.Thank you for asking.

  2. Beautiful, healthy recipe. I hope your toe is on the mend!!!

  3. This looks really good and would make a great side dish. Even though I haven’t had spelt grain before, I like the sounds of nutty flavor. Hope your toe is better now!

  4. Ouch! You poor thing! I would’ve been complaining if that happened to me, too! As for this lovely spelt dish, I’ve never actually seen wholegrain spelt before. It looks just lovely… a bit like freekah, actually. The spices in it sound right up my alley… I am addicted to spice 🙂

    • You and me both then re the spice addiction. I think that I’m incapable of making anything without at least something to ‘spice’ it up 😉 Spelt grain is really good – I especially love the texture.

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