One-Pot Brooklyn Barley Stew (Vegan, Gluten-Free Options)

Brooklyn Barley Stew

Brooklyn Barley Stew

Have you ever experienced recipe overload in trying to find something to make for dinner? Thanks to the internet, we live in a world where thousands upon thousands of recipes are available at our finger tips at all times, but how can you separate the wheat from the chaff? If you’re new to the plant-based diet, how can you be sure that that hodgepodge of strange-sounding ingredients is actually going to taste good when mixed together?

In their new book, The Main Street Vegan Academy Cookbook, top-ten vegetarian author Victoria Mann and pressure-cooking extraordinaire JL Fields have teamed up with with over a hundred certified vegan lifestyle coaches to share 100 of their favorite plant-based recipes. Regardless of whether you’re a long time vegetarian/vegan or just dipping your toes in the world of plant-based eating, The Main Street Vegan Academy Cookbook is a great place to put your recipe search to rest.

In addition to 100+ recipes, Victoria and JL’s new book offers practical advice on the following topics:

  • Dubunking the myth of plant-based eating being expensive, complicated and weird.
  • How to pave your own path to health.
  • Troubleshooting and FAQ’s on vegetarian and vegan diets.
  • Menu plans that will keep you inspired and innovating in the kitchen.

To celebrate the launch of their new book, Victoria and JL sent us a recipe to share that we think is perfect for soothing the soul when you’ve got a case of mid-winter blues. Check out the recipe below and let us know what you think!

Brooklyn Barley Stew

Makes: 6-8 servings

Brooklyn Barley Stew

Photo credit: The Main Street Vegan Academy Cookbook

Created by Victoria Moran and JL Fields, this warming and hearty barley stew recipe is a perfect for deep winter nights when you’re in the mood for something soothing and nutritious. There are few things more comforting than a big bowl of steaming-hot stew, especially when it doesn’t take hours to prepare. You really can feel your body relax and mind slow down with each and every bite.

With this recipe, a few simple ingredients combine to make a healthy, plant-based stew that is packed with flavor. This delicious make-ahead dish only gets better as it sits, so fix it today and eat it tomorrow or save some leftovers…if you can help not gobbling it all down at once. 

A few notes: Traditional stew vegetables were used for this recipe, but feel free to substitute with whatever you like and/or have lying around the house. One of the great things about soup and stew is that you really can make substitutions to your hearts content and still get great results. Additionally, for those who are avoiding gluten, you can substitute rice, garbanzo beans or even quinoa for the barley and it’s equally as delicious.

One-pot Brooklyn Barley Stew (Vegan, Gluten-Free Options)


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 8 ounces crimini mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 cup pearl barley (substitute rice, garbanzo beans or quinoa for those who are gluten-free)
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine (optional)
  • 2 carrots, sliced
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 plant-based bouillon cube or 1 teaspoon plant-based bouillon powder
  • 1 bunch kale, stems removed and leaves torn into 2-inch pieces
  • Salt (optional)


  1. In a large stockpot, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and sauté until translucent and soft, about 6 minutes. Add the mushrooms and stir to coat with oil. Sauté for 5 minutes, or until the mushrooms have released their liquid and are starting to brown.
  2. Add the barley and stir to combine. Stir in the wine, if using, and cook until the liquid is absorbed. Stir in the carrots. Pour in the broth and raise the heat to high. Add the bouillon and stir until it is dissolved. Cover the pot and bring the broth to a rolling boil. Turn the heat down to a simmer and cook, covered, for 45 minutes, or until the barley is tender.
  3. When the barley is tender, stir in the kale. It will look like a lot, but as you stir it in, it will wilt down. Taste and add salt if needed.

Enter To Win A Free Copy of The Main Street Vegan Academy Cookbook

Victoria and JL have been kind enough to provide a copy of The Main Street Vegan Academy Cookbook to our community, and you can enter to win!

We’ll choose a winner by random drawing on February 14th, 2018.

Here’s how to enter:

  1. Sign up for the email list using the form below. If you are already subscribed, you do NOT have to subscribe again.
  2. Leave a comment below letting us know the following: What is one small change you make to start improving your health? What’s the biggest barrier that prevents you from following through?

*Note: Giveaway is only open to residents of the US and Canada. From The Main Street Vegan Academy Cookbook by Victoria Moran and JL Fields; recipe by Michael Suchman (BenBella Books, 2017).


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Matt Jager is a wellness activist, yogi and co-founder of True Wellth. His life mission is to transform the healthcare and food system in this country, so that every single person has access to the tools and support they need to look and feel their best, control their health, own their happiness and revolutionize their well-being.
  • Linda Humphreys Eliason

    I think the first best change is to omit junk/processed foods. The quicker one can begin to eat and love REAL food the more successful they will be. The barrier for me to do this is those closest to me bringing those foods into my home and then coming home from work with little willpower and at times just give in. If I have something readily available in exchange I am more successful.

    • Hi Linda. I think you hit the nail on the head with this one. Eating whole foods is a HUGE step in the right direction. But I completely understand – if there’s something easy lying around when you get home after a long day, who can resist? Instead of having to fight yourself, maybe the better choice is just not to buy it at all?

      • Linda Humphreys Eliason

        Agreed. Now let’s get the teenagers on board!

        • Let’s do it! That’s a whole other challenge, right? =)

          • Linda Humphreys Eliason

            Right! 🙂

  • Amy Smith

    I’m trying to walk more with my dog but it’s hard when it’s so cold.

    • Thanks for chiming in, Amy. Getting out early in the morning in the middle of winter definitely is cold. Makes you appreciate spring and summer for sure!

  • Tim Burns

    We’re being more intentional to read the ingredient list of the items we purchase – not simply assuming something is “healthy” or “whole grain” when it’s labeled that way on the package.

    • Marketing certainly is deceptive these days, but like you said, ingredient lists never lie. Thanks for the tip!

    • Hi Tim! Great news, you’ve been selected as the winner of the book giveaway! Please send your mailing address to and we’ll send you a copy. Thanks for your contribution!

  • Valerie

    One small change I have been working on to improve my health is to cook dinner at home during the week. This has helped my financial health as well. However, the biggest challenge when it comes to following through with this goal is my kitchen re-model! It can be very difficult to prepare foods when you do not have a cabinets, countertops, or even a sink in your kitchen! I think a nice cookbook with easy recipes would help me out immensely!

    • That certainly is a challenge, Valerie! I’m impressed that you’re able to prepare food at home at all in the midst of a major remodel. Kudos to you!

  • Gabriella

    One change I’m trying to make is to not rely so much on processed/junk vegan food. Some barriers are craving comfort food/emotional eating and convenience. Thanks for working to help people get healthier (and happier)! 😊

    • And thanks for your comment, Gabriella! We’re all in this together for sure.

  • Karen Bentley Rafala

    I am trying to reduce my sugar and oil intake. But both of these are hard to do when going out to eat on weekends. If only my husband would cook on weekends we wouldn’t have to go out as often.

    • Avoiding sugar and oil when eating out is definitely tough. Have you tried requesting for oil and sugar-free cooking when at restaurants? I’ve found that kitchens can be pretty accommodating at times.

  • Tracy P

    I know my health would be improved if I would stick to a regular exercise routine. My excuse for not doing it is my busy work life and a desire to relax after work.

    • I’m with you on that one, Tracy! I think we’d all like to get more exercise in our lives, myself included. I really think it can make a huge difference in our overall sense of well-being. Let’s see what we can do to make it happen.

  • Heidi Hoffmann

    I’m trying to reduce my sugar intake, but hard to do w/family determined to have it.

    I’d like to win that book!

    • I can totally understand that, Heidi. Following through with your resolve can be tough when you’re surrounded by people who are choosing to do otherwise. Have you tried eating healthier sweets, like fresh fruit?