Sunday, July 4, 2010

Fourth of July Week: Monday Bean and Barley Salad

What you will need: 1 Can of Black Beans, rinsed and drained.
1 Can of Kidney Beans, rinsed and drained. (Modification: I used Chickpeas)
1-2 Cups of Corn (canned or frozen).
1 Sweet red pepper, chopped.
6 green onions, chopped. (Modification: I omitted the onions and it was great still.)
1/3 cup fresh cilantro 
3/4 cup of Barley, (It is best to soak your grains for 24 hours before serving them, see note at end of post for more information!) 
For the dressing: olive oil, red wine vinegar, garlic, cumin, crushed red pepper

What to do:

1. Boil your barley until cooked. I buy mine in bulk with no package directions so I can not tell you exactly how long to cook it. Boiling 3/4 cup of barley in a pot of water took about 20 minutes for me. I imagine it would be about the same for you.

2. As your barley is boiling, go ahead and make your dressing.
In a dish combine 3/4 cup olive oil, 1/3 cup red wine vinegar, and two cloves of garlic with your spices. Add almost two teaspoons of chili powder, 3/4 tsp of cumin, and 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes. You can salt if you need too. I did not. Stir this and set aside.

3. Dice up your cilantro. The recipe calls for 1/3 cup, but I just used a bunch. Anybody else ready to stop buying cilantro in the store?! I planted mine last week and am eagerly hoping my seeds take. I had the hardest time getting a good cilantro crop last year. Suggestions welcome! Also, chop up your sweet red pepper. Looking foward to picking these fresh again too. Ah, ..if only I could keep my dumb dog out of my garden...
4. In a bowl, combine your can of black beans, kidney beans (or chickpeas!) and corn. Seriously, could this be easier??
5. Add the cilantro and red pepper. My dog ate my garden last year. Root up. Grrr.
6. This is your dressing. Mmmm...tasty! Pour it onto the salad and stir it up. Don't forget to add your barley to the salad.

8. Enjoy this chilled with pita chips. We used Stacy's Pita Chips as I got them for FREE (whoop!) a few weeks ago. I think this would also go very well with tortilla chips too.
9. Go make this salad and have a great fourth of July week! 

Soaking your grains neutralizes the phytic acid allowing your body to absorb the wonderful nutrient of the grain much easier. To soak your grains, for example with this dish, put the barley into a bowl. Add enough water to cover the barley. Then, add one tablespoon of an acid medium (lemon juice, whey, kefir, apple cider vinegar, kumbacha) to the water. Cover with a plate or towel and let sit for 7-24 hours. Then, boil as usual and continue with your recipe.

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