Did my own combo of spices and as many have said, cut down the pepper to 1t. Used real onion and sautéed it with the garlic first. Did not have barley so tried quinoa and while it was still delicious, it was not the texture this barley stew was meant to be. I would have better off using brown rice. I did find it interesting that the quinoa actually sprouted in the stew.
The second batch I made I threw in a couple handfuls of frozen stir fry vegetables that needed used up in the stew for the last hour and that came out great as well. Veggies still had some crunch.
Great meaty-like stew that should satisfy any hungry person.
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Did my own combo of spices and as many have said, cut down the pepper to 1t. Used real onion...