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Green Grain Summer Salad with Lemon Garlic Cashew Sauce

This Green Grain Summer Salad recipe has creamy avocado, greens, pearl barley and crunchy almonds all tossed together with a creamy Lemon Garlic Cashew Sauce.

About The Recipe

This is a vegan recipe that uses tons of fresh seasonal ingredients.

All the ingredients add a little something different. The avocado adds a rich creaminess while the pearled barley is hearty, nutty and slightly chewy.

We have cucumber to add crisp freshness, peas for a hint of sweetness and almonds for crunch. To bring it all together, we toss the salad in a Creamy Lemon Garlic Cashew Sauce.

Hot Tom’s Review

As a meat loving carnivore who makes a bigger effort to fit more whiskey then kale into my diet, this salad took me by surprise. As I was getting ready to leave for work, Rachel yelled, ‘Take the salad for lunch!’ I grabbed the salad and a smoked chicken breast and threw them in my car.

At lunch I scarfed down my chicken and reluctantly opened the salad. I took the first bite and realized IT WAS AWESOME! As I was eating it a coworker and fellow hunter said, “Damn that looks good”. Between the two of us we ate the entire bowl of salad that I later realized was suppose to last me for lunch all week. 

You will rarely see me with vegetables on my plate unless Rachel puts them there, but this salad is the exception. – Hot Tom

Helpful Hints

Grains to Add to Salad: 

The grain used in this recipe is pearl barley and I LOVE IT! It is hearty and nutty and so delicious. Pearl barley may not be your cup or tea or you may not have any in your panty. Instead of running to the grocery store specifically for pearl barley, use a grain you already have.

I’ve made this salad with quinoa and Israeli Couscous. Both were great.

Greens to Add to Salad: 

We used kale to make this salad. However, any greens will work whether it be spinach, a spring mix or whatever else you have on hand!

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How to Make Green Grain Summer Salad (1 min)

Green grain summer salad in white bowl with wood serving utensils.

Green Grain Summer Salad with Lemon Garlic Cashew Sauce

Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
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This Green Grain Summer Salad recipe has creamy avocado, greens, pearl barley and crunchy almonds all tossed together with a creamy Lemon Garlic Cashew Sauce.


Lemon Garlic Cashew Sauce Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup cashews
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • Zest of 1/2 lemon, optional
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper

Salad Ingredients:

  • 1 cup cooked pearl barley
  • 1 cup peas, fresh or frozen & thawed
  • 1 cucumber, chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 1 avocado, cubed
  • 2 cups kale, chopped & loosely packed (4-6 kale leaves)*
  • 1/2 cup Creamy Lemon Garlic Cashew Sauce, from above
  • 1/4-1/2 cup sliced almonds, or any other nut for crunch


Lemon Garlic Cashew Sauce Instructions: 

  • Blend: Blend all ingredients on high speed until smooth (about a minute).** Use immediately or store in a sealed container in the fridge until needed.

Salad Instructions:

  • Assemble & Toss: Put the salad ingredients in a large bowl and drizzle with the Lemon Garlic Cashew Sauce. Toss until well combined and the salad is evenly coated with the dressing. Top with addition sliced almonds (or other seed/nut) if desired. Serve immediately. Put leftovers in a sealed container and store in the fridge. 


*When chopping the kale, remove and discard of the stem as it is too tough to eat raw. Chop the leaves into bite sized pieces. TIP: Kale is a very hearty green. Give the leaves a little massage to make them a little more tender. Don’t be shy. Kale is tough and can handle a little massage no problem!
**A high quality/powerful blender (eg. Vitamix, Ninja, etc.) will get you a smooth and creamy consistency. If you do not have a powerful blender, soak the cashews in water for 2 hours before blending. This will soften the cashews and make the sauce nice and creamy regardless of blender used. 


Serving: 1.5cups | Calories: 425kcal | Carbohydrates: 34g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 50g | Sodium: 264mg | Fiber: 10g | Sugar: 5g
Have you tried this recipe? Let me know what you think! Rate this recipe and leave a comment below.

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