Meal Plan and Bean and Barley Taco Soup

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Avocado salsa (recipe at bottom of post)

Here is our meal plan for the coming week. I tacked another Monday on the end just as a buffer. If you’re interested in how I do planning, look here. You can also download a simple meal planner for your own use. 

The recipe I’m sharing today is bean and barley taco soup and fresh salsa. I got the recipe from a friend and it’s a new favorite. See the end of this post for the recipe. 

This week, I’m hoping to try out some new no-meat recipes:

Quinoa and kale mini quiches
Tuna casserole with wheat pasta and broccoli
Mini sandwich rolls (large batch for freezing)
Soaked oatmeal (I’ve never tried soaking before)
Fettucini with homemade, healthier sauce


  • BreakfastBreakfast muffins and yogurt
  • Lunch: Turkey sandwiches (made ahead for after family picture session) with carrots and cucumber
  • DinnerTuna casserole with wheat pasta and broccoli, strawberries and blueberries with whipped cream (date night for Dad and Mom!)
  • Notes: Family pictures in AM, swim lessons in PM


  • BreakfastSoaked oatmeal with wheat germ and honey
  • Lunch: Mini turkey hummus sandwiches with watermelon
  • DinnerBean and barley taco soup with chips and fresh salsa (recipe below)
  • Notes: BSF in AM, swim lessons in PM 

  • Breakfast: Whole wheat Waffles and smoothies
  • Lunch: Bean and cheese quesadillas, apples
  • DinnerSteak and veggie stir fry
  • Notes: Playdate in AM

  • Breakfast: Cereal 
  • Lunch: Mini turkey and hummus sandwiches, carrots and cucumber 
  • Dinner: Homemade pizza OR Leftovers
  • Notes: Co-op in AM, swim lessons in PM


  • BreakfastWaffles and eggs
  • Lunch: Bean and cheese quesadillas
  • Dinner: Sweet and sour chicken with stir-fry veggies and rice
  • Notes: Make chicken salad for lunch the next day


  • Breakfast: Cereal
  • Lunch: Chicken salad sandwiches with fruit
  • Dinner: Leftovers

Snacks for the Week

  • Celery and carrot sticks
  • Cucumber sandwiches with cream cheese and raisins
  • Green smoothies
  • Apple sandwiches with peanut butter and nuts
  • Protein snack balls 

Bean and Barley Taco Soup

  • 1 cup onion, diced
  • 1 cup chopped red bell pepper
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 (4.5 oz) can chopped green chiles
  • 2/3 cup quick-cooking barley (or regular barley if you cook for an hour)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 (15-oz) can black beans, drained (I used 2 cups pre-soaked beans I had frozen)
  • 1 (14.5 oz) can no salt added diced tomatoes, undrained (I used  a small can of tomato paste instead)
  • 1 (14.5 oz) can or 1 quart home canned vegetable or chicken broth
  • 3 tbsp cilantro
  • For serving: Sour cream, lime wedges, tortilla chips, and avocado salsa (recipe following)

  1. Heat the oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion and bell pepper; sauté 3 minutes. Add chili powder and next 4 ingredients (chili powder through green chiles); cook 1 minute. 
  2. Stir in barley and next 4 ingredients (barley through broth); bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 20 minutes or until barley is tender. 
  3. Stir in cilantro. Serve with sour cream, lime wedges, chips, and Avocado Salsa.

    Avocado Salsa

    • 1/2 cup avocado, diced
    • 1/3 cup tomato, diced
    • 2 tbsp onion, diced
    • 1 tbsp finely chopped seeded jalapeno pepper (optional)
    • 1 tbsp cilantro
    • 1 tbsp fresh lime juice (I used lemon)
    • 1/8 tsp salt

    Combine all ingredients and toss mixture gently. Eat in one sitting. 

    Got anything new on your menu this week? 

    This Post Has 2 Comments

    1. Yum! That avocado salsa looks divine. I have never added barley to my soups, usually just brown rice. Does it have the same texture as rice? I’m a texture person 🙂

      Thanks for sharing your menu plan. You’ve given me some NEW ideas!

    2. Proverbial Homemaker

      It’s similar to brown rice, in my opinion. My husband is very picky on texture and gave it a thumbs up. The longer you cook it, the more like rice it is. 🙂

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