Need a healthy lunch you can make ahead of time and eat for several days? Try this Barley Salad with Black Beans, Avocado, and Corn.
Even though I work out of a home office, I find myself not wanting to spend a lot of time making lunch. Sometimes, I don’t even want to take time out to eat lunch! High-fiber salads, just sitting in the refrigerator waiting to be scooped onto a serving plate, are my kind of meal on a busy day.
Barley Salad Variations
The best thing about this recipe is its versatility.
- Gluten-free? Substitute cooked brown rice or another gluten-free grain for the barley.
- Short on time? Use a bottled citrus-based vinaigrette and skip step one.
- Don’t like black beans? Any type of bean will do.
- Like things spicy? Add some minced jalapeño.
- Want to cut back on the carbs? Reduce your portion size or use less of the beans, corn, and/or barley.
Barley Salad with Black Beans, Avocado, and Corn
- Juice of 1 orange about 1/4 cup
- 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar or fruit-flavored white balsamic vinegar I used pomegranate
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon finely minced garlic
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
extra virgin olive oil or citrus-flavored extra virgin olive oil
I used Persian lime
- 1 cup cooked barley cooled (from 1/3 cup dry)
- 15 ounces black beans, rinsed and drained 1 can
- 1 cup frozen corn kernels thawed
- 2 scallions thinly sliced
- 1 small red bell pepper seeded and chopped
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro optional
- 1 medium avocado pitted, peeled, and chopped
- 1 lime cut into wedges
Whisk together orange juice, vinegar, cumin, oregano, garlic, salt, and pepper until well-combined. While whisking, add olive oil in a steady stream.
In a large bowl, gently mix together barley, black beans, corn, scallions, red pepper, and cilantro (if using). Add dressing and toss to combine. If serving later, refrigerate.
Add finishing touches:
Add avocado to salad and serve with lime wedges.
Gluten-free? Replace the barley with cooked brown rice or another gluten-free grain.
Too many carbs? Reduce your serving size or cut back on the amount of barley, black beans, and/or corn.
Time-saving tip: Use a citrusy store-bought vinaigrette and skip the first step.