Funky Lunch: All Week Barley Kale Salad

Funky Lunch_All Week Barley Kale Salad

How many of us struggle to eat healthy (or eat at all) during the lunch hour? Many times, my brain gets busy and I forget to eat. Then I grab something quick from my kitchen before I lose my train of thought. Confession: It’s not always the most well-rounded choice.

Here’s a Funky Lunch you can make once and eat all week.

I’ll give you the recipe first (I mean, that’s what you’re here for, right? Smile) then tell you what inspired me to create it.

All Week Barley Kale Salad

  • 1 cup pearl barley, cooked according to package directions
  • 1-2 cups chopped fresh kale
  • 1 diced tomato
  • Kernels of corn from a fresh cob (or frozen or canned)
  • Salad dressings of your choice

Cool the barley a bit and place in a large lidded casserole dish or plastic food storage tub.

Add the veggies – use whatever veggies you like*. Toss.

On lunch day, scoop out a serving and toss with dressing of your choice.

When a friend from church, Linda, brought us a huge pan of a similar meal after a medical procedure, we ate all week and every meal tasted different because of the variety of dressings we used. Thank you, Linda – you really started something here!  Red rose

All Week Barley Kale Salad

Poppyseed and “Red Dressing” (Catalina or French) were the family favs.

Adapations and Allergies

Linda used Israeli couscous which I absolutely now crave. I’m putting the larger, round pearls of Israeli couscous on my shopping list!

Wanting to make a second round for another challenging week, I thought I’d give barley a try  since it was in my cupboard. Oh yah, barley works. It works goooood. Smile

All that to say, you can pretty much use any grain you’d like.

I used to make a LOT of rice salads similar to this when the kiddos were young. We didn’t know about kale back then, so I added artichoke hearts for pizazz.

This is a super-adaptable recipe for families with allergies. Just use safe-all-around veggies and grains, then let everyone choose their own dressing. Easy peasy!


Oh, if you’d like to make a family-size meal that lasts for more than one sit-down, you’ll probably want to double the ingredients.


*Experiment with never-tried-before veggies. Use several favorites and one new one. That way if you really don’t like the experimental veg, you can pick it out and still have a tasty lunch.  🙂


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