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Spinach & mushroom barley pilaf

This barley pilaf is a delicious side or add some protein to make it a meal. 

Prep Time:
5 minutes
Cook Time:
20 minutes
Serving Size:


  • 1 cup (250 mL) water
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) quick-cooking barley
  • 1 1/2 tbsp (25 mL) canola oil, divided
  • 1 1/2 cups (375 mL) diced onions
  • 1/2 package (4 oz./230 g) mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 medium garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cups (500 mL) loosely packed baby spinach
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) dried oregano leaves, crumbled
  • 1/2 tsp (3 mL) salt


  1. Bring water to a boil in a small saucepan over high heat. Stir in barley, reduce heat, cover tightly, and simmer 10-12 minutes or until tender. Remove from heat and let stand 5 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, heat 1/2 tablespoon (7.5 mL) canola oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Tilt skillet to coat bottom evenly; add onions, and cook 6 minutes or until richly browned, stirring frequently. Add mushrooms and cook 4 minutes or until tender, using two utensils to toss. Add garlic and cook 30 seconds, stirring constantly.
  3. Remove from heat. Add spinach, oregano, salt, and undrained barley. Toss well to blend. Drizzle remaining 1 tablespoon (15 mL) canola oil evenly over all and toss gently until just coated.


Do not drain the barley. The small amount of liquid that remains will add moisture to the dish without affecting the flavors. Add the remaining canola oil at the end for a smooth texture.

Recipe courtesy of The Heart-Smart Diabetes Kitchen: Fresh, Fast, and Flavorful Recipes Made with Canola Oil from the American Diabetes Association and CanolaInfo, copyright 2009.

Nutritional InformationPer 1/2 cup (125 mL)
Amount % Daily Value
Calories 150
Fat 6 g %
Saturated 0.5 g
+ Trans 0 g
3 %
Cholesterol 0 mg
Sodium 300 mg 13 %
Carbohydrate 24 g 8 %
Fibre 4 g 16 %
Sugars 3 g
Protein 3 g

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