Sunday, November 29, 2009

The Mean Green, Bean and Barley Salad

When I first told my Dad I was going to become a vegetarian he was sure that meant I would be eating nothing but carrot sticks and salads. It took many late night chats and vegetarian dinners to convince him otherwise. Nowadays he not only embraces the vegetarian diet but looks forward to trying out my new recipes. Check out this hearty salad; there are so many different flavors that it's sure to catch everyone's attention! You can add and remove ingredients as you see fit.

  • salad greens, rinsed and spun dry
  • 1 cup cooked pear barley or wheat berries
  • 1 bell pepper, thinly sliced (I used yellow this time around)
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • 1/4 cup red or green onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup cucumber, diced
  • 1 cup mixed beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 large tomato, diced
  • 1/4 cup feta or other cubed cheese of your choice
  • 1/2 cup apple or pear, diced (optional)
Cilantro Vinaigrette
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp canola oil
  • 2 tbsp red wine or apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp shallot, minced
  • 1 small clove garlic, minced
  • dash red pepper flakes
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Whisk together all ingredients for cilantro vinaigrette and set aside.
  2. Once barley is cooked you can begin to assemble your salad by dispensing the salad greens onto plates and arranging the veggies, cheese, beans and barley on top.
  3. Serve salad with vinaigrette drizzled on top.
Tip: This salad makes for a great lunch, just make sure to keep the vinaigrette in a separate container otherwise your greens will go soggy!

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