Lunchtime is a struggle, am I right? I am constantly trying to figure out how to manage preparing healthy lunches for myself that don’t consist of my kids’ leftover quesadillas. Lunchtime is also at the beginning of naptime, of which I am very protective on the days we are home. As the clock ticks closer to 11:30, I am more focused on making sure lunch is eaten and kids are tucked into their beds. Then I am usually off to the races checking off my to do list before I have to wake up my two babies to pick my oldest up from school. So I am constantly on the lookout for lunches I can prepare ahead of time and have ready to go for a quick, healthy lunch for me on the weekdays.
I came across this recipe from Super Healthy Kids a few weeks ago and it looked delicious! I had been meaning to try it out and this week I finally got to looking at it more closely. Reading through the recipe, I modified several aspects from the beginning. I actually love quinoa cold in a salad, mixed with some yummy dressing, instead of warm. I swapped orange bell pepper for the carrots. I also realized I only had 3/4 of a cup of quinoa when I went to make the recipe. But I did have 1 cup of barley. Thus, Lemon Quinoa & Barley Salad.
If you cook the barley & quinoa a couple of hours before (or even the night before), it will be cold and ready to go when you are ready to put the salad together. This salad comes together really easily, which I love!
I didn’t use quick cooking barley, so you may be able to cut some prep time if you use that instead. Also, once I serve myself a bowl, I usually add a little more lemon and balsamic vinegar and a pinch of salt. One recipe will usually last me a week’s worth of lunches. If you don’t mind eating the same thing every day for a week, this is perfect! Enjoy!
Lemon Quinoa & Barley Salad
2 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 cup barley
½ cup chicken broth
¼ cup olive oil
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar (or more)
Juice from 1-2 lemons
1 garlic clove
1 tsp honey
½ tsp oregano
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp black pepper
1 cup spinach, chopped
1 15 oz. can white kidney beans
Feta cheese for individual servings
- Bring 2 1/2 cups chicken broth to boil, add barley and cook on low for 30 minutes. Add ½ cup chicken broth and quinoa and cook for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand for a few minutes Chill barley & quinoa in the refrigerator.
- Mix olive oil, balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, garlic, honey and spices together to make dressing.
- Drain and rinse beans.
- Once the grain mixture is cool, add diced orange bell pepper, beans, chopped spinach and dressing. Mix well to combine. Serve cold, adding feta to individual servings. Add a little more lemon and balsamic vinegar if you want, which if you’re like me, you’ll probably will.