Lettuce. Ain’t Nobody Got Time For That!

But I do have time for salad’s crowning glory, toppings!  No, I’m not a lettuce hater.  In fact, salads with a luscious base of leafy greens are a go-to lunch for me.  But let’s be honest, the toppings are what take the flavor of a green salad from zero to hero!

Salads are the ultimate play with your food entrée.  We’ve all done it!  You know, push the leaves back and forth to retrieve the flavorful goodness hiding underneath.  Well, let’s stop playing hide and seek with our food!  Make salad with NO lettuce!

I’m talking beans, grains, veggies, fruit, herbs, spices, nuts, and your favorite vinaigrette dressing.  Cheese too!  Now, I know you got time for that!?  Just be creative.  My creativity took me to the Southwest.  I created Kidney Bean and Barley Southwest Salad using my pantry staples and summer’s showstoppers:  tomato, corn, and avocado.

Kidney Bean Barley Southwest Salad

Kidney Bean & Barley Southwest Salad

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Salad Ingredients

  • 1 cup Barley, dry
  • (1) 15oz. Can of kidney beans
  • 2 Ears corn or (1) 15oz. can corn
  • 1 cup Tomato, seeded & chopped
  • 1 Medium avocado
  • 1/2 of a Jalapeño, seeded, minced
  • 1 Medium-large clove garlic, minced
  • 1/3 cup Parsley or cilantro, chopped
  • 1/2 of a Lime, juiced
  • Salt, to taste
  • Pepper, to taste

Dressing Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup Red Wine Vinegar
  • 1/4 cup Canola Oil
  • 1/2 Tbsp. Taco Seasoning
  • 2 tsp. Agave Syrup or Honey
  • 1/4 tsp. or pinch of Chipotle Powder


  1. Prepare 1 cup of barley per cooking directions on the box. I used a quick cooking style that took 10 minutes to prepare.  Cool and refrigerate barley once cooked.
  2. Meanwhile drain and rinse the canned kidney beans.  Also, drain the canned corn and rinse if its not low in sodium.  If using fresh corn, prepare by boiling for 2-3 minutes, cool, and remove from cob.
  3. Chop tomato, jalapeño, garlic, parsley/cilantro, and juice the lime.  Set aside.
  4. Prepare the dressing.  Whisk together the red wine vinegar, canola oil, agave syrup/honey, and chipotle powder.
  5. Remove the barley from the fridge. Carefully combine barley with kidney beans, corn, tomato, jalapeño, garlic, parsley/cilantro and dressing.  Salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Pit and chop avocado.  Place atop salad and pour lime juice over to prevent browning.  The avocado can serve as garnish or can be combined into the salad as pictured.
  7. Refrigerate for at least one hour.
  8. Serve & enjoy!

Kidney Bean Barley Southwest Salad 2

I served this alongside pan seared salmon and it was thebomb.com!  And the leftovers?!  Amazing!  Thanks to marination!  Marination, I ❤ thee for making food SO delicious!

I hope y’all enjoy!

Which of your favorite salad toppings have the potential to stand alone as a lettuce free salad? 


5 thoughts on “Lettuce. Ain’t Nobody Got Time For That!

  1. Sounds yummy! I couldn’t agree more that salads (and lettuce free salads!) have a lot of under-appreciated potential. Broccoli salad with raisins and pecans in a creamy dressing: when a bowl of that is around, watch out, I won’t be able to show any degree of restraint!

Did I keep it reel, or nah?

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