Bonita Barley Bowl


With Cinco de Mayo fast approaching, I figured we all needed to gear up for the impending celebrations and fiestas. I have been waiting for the perfect time to deliver this recipe, and I believe this is it. There are so many things I love about this bowl of wholesome goodness. It is protein and fiber packed and has so much flavor that I could seriously eat it every day for the rest of my life and never once be mad about it. I call it the “Bonita” bowl because of it’s South-of-the-Border Mexican flare and, well, because it truly is beautiful just like it’s name suggests. This is the perfect lunch when paired with a few corn tortillas or a semi-hard-boiled egg and will most definitely keep you full for hours. It can also be shared at a party or gathering as a delicious side dish. The cilantro-lime dressing keeps this bowl together with a bright and zesty tang and the diced jalapeños and red onion pack a spicy punch. Barley is one of my favorite whole-grains to use in salads and soups because it has a toothsome bite and never looses its hardiness. Not to mention, barley is full of dietary fiber which only betters our digestive health, and who doesn’t love that? I cannot express how much you will savor this dish, as it has become a staple in my home that I will forever adore. You know I frequently talk about how much I love a good single-bowl lunch or dinner and here is just another one to add to the repertoire. Enjoy amigos! 











Bonita Barley Bowl

Serves 4

Write a review


Prep Time
20 min

Cook Time
15 min

Total Time
35 min

Prep Time
20 min

Cook Time
15 min

Total Time
35 min

For the Barley Bowl
  1. 8.8oz of (dried partially-cooked) Barley (I buy the “10-minute Barley” from Trader Joe’s)
  2. 1 cup (about 8oz) cherry tomatoes, sliced in half (I pick the smallest tomatoes from the container)
  3. 1/2 small red onion, diced
  4. 1 jalapeño, seeded and diced
  5. 1 15oz can black beans, drained
  6. 1 cup frozen roasted corn kernels (see note*)
  7. micro greens as garnish or any salad greens for serving
  8. 2 avocados, sliced and divided among the bowls (see note*)
For the Cilantro-Lime Vinaigrette
  1. 1 bunch cilantro, roughly chopped (to help out the blender a bit)
  2. 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  3. juice of 3 small limes
  4. 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  5. 1/2 tsp salt
  6. 1/4 tsp pepper
  7. 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes (more or less depending on your spice level)
Optional Accompaniments
  1. semi-hard-boiled egg
  2. corn tortillas
  1. Prepare the barley per package directions. Barley can often take a long time to cook, so that is why I choose the partially-cooked kind from Trader Joe’s that comes in a perfect little package (but feel free to use any kind you like). While the barley is cooking, prepare the Cilantro-Lime dressing. Add all the vinaigrette ingredients to the blender and blend until mixed well. Set aside the dressing. Once the barley is cooked, drain and set aside in a large glass bowl.
  2. Heat the drained black beans in a sauce pan until just warmed through and add to the barley. Also, heat the frozen roasted corn in a small skillet until hot and add to the barley. Add the sliced cherry tomatoes, the diced jalapeño and red onion. Pour the Cilantro-Lime Vinaigrette over the top and using a large spoon mix until everything is coated in the dressing. Top each bowl with a few slices of avocado, or a hard-boiled egg, and some micro-greens. Serve immediately with or without warm corn tortillas.
  1. I like to buy the frozen roasted corn kernels from Trader Joe’s. If you have fresh corn, char a single ear of corn on the stove top or grill and then slice off the kernels and reserve in a bowl and set aside.
  2. If you are serving this dish as an entree, top each bowl with three slices of avocado and a few micro greens. If you are serving the dish as a side salad for a gathering, feel free to add chopped avocado and mix into the entire salad just before serving.
  3. I made this dish for lunch for Kris and I and had plenty leftover. Store in an air-tight container for up to 3 days in the fridge.

One Response to "Bonita Barley Bowl"

Add Comment
  1. Brittany Price

    10 June, 2014 at 8:20 pm

    I made this tonight & it was delicious! I did add Queso Frsco as a garnish and I roasted the onions, corn & jalapeño. Thank you for such a yummy in my tummy meal 🙂


Submit a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *