This roasted vegetable salad with barley doubles as a vegan meal prep idea! Topped with a delicious maple tahini dressing, it makes a healthy and satisfying light meal.
Making barley at home is new to me, but it's another grain that I will now have in my pocket. Not literally.
I had zero intention of making this into a meal prep type recipe until I was wondering what the heck I was going to do with the leftovers. I realized that the barley, all the roasted veggies, and the dressing (that's filled with good fats) makes a pretty well-balanced vegan meal prep lunch.
I didn't include the spinach when packing up the leftovers, but you could. It doesn't get soggy as fast as other greens like lettuce do, but I'm just fussy like that.
I tried to use veggies that are in-season right now... sweet potatoes, Brussels sprouts, and beets. Tomatoes are not, but roasting them this time of year makes them more appealing, and they add needed moisture to this salad.
As always, feel free to sub what you like/have on hand to make this easier.
If you cut the veggies around the same size, they will cook at similar rates. I found 20 minutes for this combo of veggies was about right. The sweet potatoes were fully cooked, and the rest was tender-crisp (exactly the way I like my vegetables).
So there you go. One salad, 2 ways. Or just make it as a straight up vegan meal prep recipe and avoid all the artful arranging. 😉
Will you give this roasted vegetable and barley salad a try?
Let me know in the comments below.
Winter Roasted Vegetable Salad with Barley
- 1 cup uncooked pearl barley rinsed
- 3 cups water
- 12 Brussels sprouts trimmed (and cut into halves if they're large)
- 2 large carrots peeled and sliced
- 1 small-medium sweet potato peeled & diced
- 2-3 medium beets peeled & cut up
- 4 medium tomatoes quartered
- 3-4 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder or to taste
- 5 dashes Italian seasoning or to taste
- Salt & pepper to taste
- Handful of spinach optional
- 3 heaping tablespoons tahini
- Juice of 1/2 lemon
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
- Salt & pepper to taste
- Water to thin the dressing (3-4 tbsp)
- Cook barley according to package directions (I cooked 1 cup barley in 3 cups of water with a pinch of salt and it took about half an hour).
- Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400F and move the rack to the middle position.
- Prep your veggies (try to cut them into pieces that are about the same size (I aimed for about 1" pieces) so they cook more evenly) and add them to a baking sheet. Toss with the olive oil, garlic powder, Italian seasoning, and salt & pepper. Roast them for 20 minutes or until they're cooked. You can flip them halfway through if you wish, but I did not.
- Add the dressing ingredients to a bowl and whisk together until smooth. Adjust the lemon juice and seasonings as needed. Thin with 1 tablespoon of water at a time until your desired consistency is reached.
- Once everything is ready, you can either add it all to a large bowl or platter and assemble it like you would a salad, or you can portion it out into individual containers if you're going the meal prep route.
- Here's a guide on how to cook barley if you want a little more explanation than I provide here.
- Serves 4-6.
- This recipe makes quite a lot of food. I had some of it as a salad when I first made it (including the spinach you see in the photos), and then I had the rest as lunches (without spinach). I did not heat the lunches up... that is up to you. I think it would work hot or cold.