Tonight was a night for cooking.
Outside, the rain was pouring, and the wind was blowing.
Inside, the blender swirled, the frying pan sizzled, and chopped carrots flew through the air.
I got to work minutes before the sun went down, and didn’t stop until I had the perfect dish.
Tonight was therapeutic.
Since I would absolutely LOVE to attend the festival, I’ve decided to enter my recipe for a chance to become a 2010 Nature’s Pride Bread Ambassador. If I am one of six chosen, Nature’s Pride will cover my accommodation and airfare costs to attend the festival in San Francisco in November! How amazing would that be!?
The inspiration for the recipe came from one of my favorite local restaurant’s, Brown’s Brewing Co. Their menu features a black bean and barley burger that I absolutely love, so I decided to try to imitate it.
In my version, I include roasted red and green peppers, a variety of spices, and whole wheat bread crumbs to hold it all together. I topped each slider with roasted garlic butter, fresh, local romaine, and sliced organic tomato. Not only did I use Nature’s Pride Whole Wheat bread in the black bean mixture, I also used their Stone Ground Honey Whole Wheat bread for the “buns.” To complete the meal, I made a roasted sweet potato and pear side dish.
Even if I don’t win, I’m so glad I took the time to make this recipe. It’s definitely a keeper, and I hope you LOVE it. (Note: most of the work in this recipe is PREP. Save time by doing everything ahead of time).
Black Bean & Barley Sliders
Makes approximately 15 burgers.
What You’ll Need:
- ~2 cups cooked black beans (I used most of a 25oz. can)
- 3/4 cup uncooked Pearl Barley
- 4 slices Nature’s Pride 100% Whole Wheat Bread (with ends sliced off for bread crumbs)
- 8 slices Nature’s Pride Stone Ground Whole Wheat and Honey Bread
- 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
- 2 bell peppers (I used one red and one green)
- 2 Tbsp hot sauce
- 2 eggs
- 2 garlic cloves, chopped (plus rest of garlic for roasting)
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 Tbsp dried basil
- 1/2 Tsp cumin
- Salt and Pepper to taste (I probably used 1/4 tsp of each)
- Tomato Slices and Romaine Lettuce for toppings
Cooking the Barley:
- Place barley plus 2 1/4 cups of water in a sauce pan. Add a sprinkle of salt
- Bring to a boil over medium heat.
- Reduce heat to low, cover, and let cook for 40 minutes, or until most of the liquid is absorbed, and you can fluff the barley with a fork.
- Set aside.
Roasting the Peppers and Garlic
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Spray baking sheet with nonstick spray, and place the peppers on sheet.
- Roast in oven for 30-35 minutes, turning occasionally until all sides have blackened.
- Place in bowl and cover with plastic wrap for 15 minutes to cool
- Peel off skin, pull out stem, and discard of seeds. Chop.
- Without peeling the garlic, break off two cloves, and set aside for the rest of the recipe.
- Cut off the top part of the garlic head to expose top of cloves.
- Wrap in foil and place in oven for 40 minutes.
- When done, garlic will be soft and spreadable.
Making Bread Crumbs is Simple
All Together Now:
- Place carrots, pepper, garlic, onion, and basil into food processor. Pulse. (I don’t have a food processor, so I used a blender- This would probably work better with a food processor, which is why I’m telling you to use one)
- Add beans, blend.
- Pour bean and veggie mixture into a bowl. Add barley, hot sauce, cumin, eggs, salt, and pepper, and mix.
- Add bread crumbs and mix some more…
Next, heat a 12 inch frying pan over medium heat, spray lightly with cooking spray.
Form the mixture into small patties, and heat for six minutes on each side. Don’t be impatient. If you flip too soon, your burgers will fall apart. They’ll still be delicious, but they’ll just be delicious mush instead of sliders.
Roasted Sweet Potato and Pear Side Dish:
What You’ll Need
- 1 Pear
- 3 Mini Sweet Potatoes
- Cooking Spray
- Sea Salt
- Keep oven at 400 degrees
- Peel and chop potatoes, slice pear
- Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray
- Place pear and potato on sheet
- Spray lightly with cooking spray, sprinkle with cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt
- Roast for 20 minutes
Finally, toast the Nature’s Pride Honey Wheat Bread. I used Jeff’s sandwich maker, which toasted the bread into cool triangles, but a regular toasted will do. (You can also use Nature’s Pride Rolls, which I couldn’t find in my grocery store)
Chop your tomato, wash your lettuce,and get any other toppings ready (like roasted garlic).
Note: This recipe is my official entry to become a Nature’s Pride Bread Ambassador at this year’s Foodbuzz Festival! I received a coupon for Nature’s Pride Bread via the Foodbuzz Tastemaker Program.