Gut-healthy Pearl Barley and Green Lentil Salad 薏米和绿扁豆沙拉Yì mǐ hé lǜ biǎn dòu shālā

Barley is the fourth most grown grain in the world and has incredibly healthy properties including higher beta-glucan than oats! Beta-glucan is the soluble fibre which improves insulin response. It also forms a gel-like substance which lines the stomach and digestive tract feeding the good bacteria. In TCM, Dà mài mǐ (hordeum vulgare L.) supports the spleen, stomach, gall bladder & heart and clears liver heat. It boosts the immune system, improves digestion and cools the blood.

High fibre, low calorie green lentils are packed with heart-healthy polyphenols, folate and excellent vegetable protein. Sprouting the lentils after soaking improves their nutritional profile. Together, barley & lentils are considered a complete protein containing all 9 essential amino acids. In TCM 绿扁豆 Lǜ biǎn dòu are considered neutral and sweet and are used to tonify qi, clear dampness and dispel water retention. Spleen, stomach, heart and kidney are all supported.

Simply Natural Spanish organic cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil is made from olives picked, pressed and bottled on the same day to preserve the polyphenol content. Foundation of the healthy Mediterranean diet for thousands of years, the oil is largely monounsaturated fatty acids and has a smoke point of ~215°C, so also suitable for cooking as used here. The monounsaturated fats contribute to its oxidative stability producing fewer harmful byproducts than other oils that have a higher smoke point.

Vibrantly fresh organic vegetables & herbs contribute anti-oxidant phytochemicals protecting the body against inflammation, diabetes, osteoporosis, cancers, cardiovascular and neurodegenerative diseases. Improvement of diet using the ingredients above is in line with WHO recommendations and could potentially prevent 1 in every 5 deaths globally.

Credits: Ceri, Zenxin master chef

Print the recipe: Gut-healthy Pearl Barley and Green Lentil Salad

Key facts

  • Preparation: Overnight soak + 5 mins
  • Cooking time: 30 mins
  • Total: 35 mins
  • Serves: 6-8


  • 1 cup of Simply Natural organic pearl barley
  • 1 cup of Simply Natural organic green lentils
  • Organic vegetable stock or organic bone broth stock
  • 1 organic brown onion
  • 1 organic red capsicum
  • 2 long red organic chillies
  • 2 handfuls of organic baby spinach
  • Zest & juice of 1 organic lemon
  • 3 tbsp Simply Natural Spanish organic cold-presses extra virgin olive oil
  • A handful of fresh organic sweet basil
  • Freshly ground Simply Natural black pepper and French sea salt


  1. Soak the barley & lentils overnight, rinse and drain in the morning.
  2. Cook the barley & lentils together in the stock for at least 30 mins until lentils are soft.
  3. Top tail and remove onion skin, then dice.
  4. Sauté the onion until transparent.
  5. Wash and de-seed long red chillies and cut into slices.
  6. Wash and de-seed the capsicum again chopping and dicing.
  7. Add chillies, then capsicum to the onion and continue sautéing until cooked through.
  8. Wash and spin dry the baby spinach.
  9. Wash and dry the fresh herbs and grate the lemon zest.
  10. Squeeze the lemon and whisk together with the olive oil.
  11. Pour the barley & lentils into a large bowl and add in the onion/capsicum mixture.
  12. Mix gently and add in the baby spinach while the grains are still warm.
  13. The spinach will wilt from the warmth of the cooked grains and vegetables.
  14. Add the lemon zest & fresh herbs and pour over the dressing and mix gently.
    Season to taste with salt and pepper.

The ingredients!

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