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March 3, 2016

Hearty, Healthy Wild Mushroom & Barley Casserole. {Vegan Recipe}

author's photo - not for re-use (Erica Leibrandt)

Looking for a dish that is unique, filling, healthy, inexpensive and easy to make?

Look no further—this wonderful casserole is an adaption of an old family recipe which I updated and vegan-ized by taking out the butter and adding in a bunch of extra veggies. The result? Even better than I expected.

This would be great to take to a potluck (where perhaps there is no other vegan thing to eat), to take to an ill or grieving friend (see my recent article on how to help those who have recently lost a loved one) or just to make and savor throughout the week. It lasts up to seven days in an airtight container and seems to taste better the longer it sits.

Wild Mushroom and Barley Casserole.

You will need:

1 cup medium pearl barley

1/2 cup slivered almonds

1 envelope onion soup mix

1 small onion, chopped

1 lb. wild mushrooms

1 (8 oz.) can of water chestnuts, drained

2 1/2 cups vegetable broth

2 cups frozen spinach, chopped

2 cups butternut squash, cubed and roasted (you may substitute carrots or sweet potatoes here if you like)

Sea salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste

Olive oil spray

1/2 cup fresh dill, snipped

Preheat oven to 400. Place squash on baking sheet, spray with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Bake 30 minutes, turning squash over once halfway through.

While squash cooks, spray a sauté pan with olive oil. Sauté onions over medium heat, about three minutes. Add mushrooms and barley—then sauté another five minutes or so, until barley is lightly browned and the mushrooms begin to release juices.

Spray olive oil into a 2 quart saucepan and add all ingredients except dill. Mix thoroughly. Cover and cook one hour or until barley is soft. Add extra vegetable broth, if needed, to finish cooking.

Serve topped with fresh dill.

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Author: Erica Leibrandt

Editor: Yoli Ramazzina

Photo: Author’s own.

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