Creamy mushroom lentils with barley and spinach

This wholesome, creamy and easy-to-make dish is so delicious. All made in one pot or a deep skillet, I came up with this recipe this morning and will definitely make it again.

Completely plant-based and filled with nutritious ingredients such as mushrooms, lentils, barley and loads of fresh spinach, one bowl is a complete immune-boosting and energising meal.

The recipe is below.


Serves 4

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 230 grams (about 8 ounces) brown cremini mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves, grated
  • 1/2 cup pearled barley
  • 1/2 cup dry brown lentils
  • 1 fresh rosemary sprig (or 1 teaspoon dry)
  • 2 cups vegetable stock or broth, homemade (or a good quality low sodium store-bought kind)
  • 1/2 cup coconut cream (or almond cream, oat cream, cashew cream or a dairy cream of choice)
  • Juice from 1/2 lemon
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast flakes, e.g. Bob’s Red Mill or Levure Maltée ( can sub. with grated Parmesan)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 4 cups fresh baby spinach leaves, roughly sliced in ribbons


  1. Prepare, chop and measure all ingredients.

2. In a large deep skillet on stove top, heat olive oil over medium heat.

3. Add mushrooms, onion and garlic. Adjust or lower heat and sauté for 3 minutes until soft.

4. Add the the barley and lentils and sauté for 1 minute.

5. Add rosemary and vegetable stock or broth. Mix and raise heat. When it reaches the boiling point, immediately lower heat to a simmer. Allow to simmer on stove top with a lid on for 30 minutes, or until the barley and lentils have softened, stirring from time to time, as seen below.

6. Add the coconut cream (or cream of choice) and the lemon juice and mix to combine. Then add the nutritional yeast (or Parmesan) and mix on low heat until incorporated. 

7. Add the spinach and toss and turn on low heat until the spinach wilts, about 3 minutes.

8. Serve immediately. The sauce does thicken with time. 

9. Store leftovers in a sealed container in refrigerator.  It keeps well for several days.


Julie Zimmer

Julie has extensive experience in nursing practice and education in a wide range of fields from intensive/coronary care, to medical-surgical to community and public health. Julie has Bachelor Degrees in Psychology and Nursing, and a Master’s Degree in Community Health Nursing Education. She has taught in faculties of nursing and in various communities in Toronto, Canada and in Geneva, Switzerland, and is a consultant to the International Council of Nurses (ICN). Julie also has years of experience teaching English as a foreign language (EFL) in addition to coordinating an English department in a Swiss private school.

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