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? ) 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!
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.
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. 🙂