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Meatless Monday

bean and barley burritos recipeIf you have seen the movie Food Inc. then you probably have a new attitude about the food that you eat.  I know that I do.  That movie, and the book that it was based off of, really changed the way that I think about food and what I feed my family.  I now think about where my food comes from, how far it has traveled to get to me, and what it is made from.  At my home, we eat organic produce, organic diary, organic chicken, and grass-fed beef whenever possible.  I have eliminated foods with high fructose corn syrup and most processed foods.  Not only do I feel better, but it honestly tastes better too.  Now, I am not perfect.  Do I eat the occasional Oreo?  Sure thing.  Do I love a trip to Chik-fil-A every now and again?  You betcha.  But my goal is to eat like this 80% of the time.

One day, I was leafing through a magazine and I stumbled across an article about Paul McCartney and his daughter’s Meatfree Monday campaign.  I was intrigued by the idea, because in all honesty, I could easily be a vegetarian, but my family does not feel the same way.  I liked the idea of committing to giving up meat for one day a week.  Not only does it impact the environment, and is healthy, it helps offset the cost of my expensive protein choices.  Win-Win-Win.  While my reasons are not the most altruistic, I noticed the immediate difference in my food budget.

There are so many great things to eat that do not involve meat.  I have learned to love different grains like barley and quinoa.  We eat a lot more vegetables, and in new ways.  Here are few ideas to get you started:

black bean burgers
macaroni and cheese
mushroom lasagna
baked potatoes stuffed with vegetables and cheese
bean burritos
pancakes and eggs
Spinach Burgers with Feta CheeseBlack Bean Soup

Here is a favorite recipe that my family loves.  It takes minutes to put together, goes in the slow cooker, and costs pennies to make.

Barley, Black Bean and Corn Burritos

bean and barley burritos recipe

For the burrito mixture:

1 (15-ounce) can of black beans (rinsed and drained)
1 (10-ounce) can diced tomatoes with chiles undrained
1 cup uncooked pearl barley
2 cups water or chicken broth
3/4 cup frozen corn
1/2 cup chopped green onions
1 Tablespoon lime juice
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 minced garlic clove

to serve:

sour cream
shredded lettuce
lime wedges

bean and barley burritos recipePut all of the burrito ingredients in the slow cooker.  Give a good mix and cook on the low heat setting for 4 to 5 hours or until the barley is tender and the liquid is absorbed.

bean and barley burritos recipeWarm some tortillas, shred some lettuce, slice a lime, and set out the other toppings.

bean and barley burritos recipeMake burritos with the mixture.

bean and barley burritos recipeDoesn’t that look good?  Or you can use tortilla chips as a base and top with the barley mixture and make nachos out of it.  That is a great way to use some leftovers.

Bree Hester

Bree is a food blogger and photographer based out of Carmichael, CA. She lives with her husband and 3 children. Her blog, Baked Bree, is a recipe blog for the home cook who wants to eat well and laugh often.

About Bree

Bree is the founder and writer of, a recipe site that shares her love of cooking, baking, and entertaining with others. launched in February of 2010 as a way to merge Bree’s love of photography with her love of food, and share both with friends and family. Currently, Bree lives in the suburbs of Washington DC with her husband and 3 children.

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  • Michelle S.

    I copied the recipe down and am making it SOON! Thanks! :)

  • christine

    i did not eat meat for over ten years. met my husband and we eat it almost daily now. i wonder if this (meatless monday) will go over well with my husband… this looks delish.

  • Amanda M.

    I just made this for my family tonight, and they LOVED it! My husband (a huge meat lover) said, “You don’t even need meat! It’s so filling and good!” Wonderful recipe – thanks for sharing!

  • Connie Z.

    Hm. My husband would not be convinced. So I\’m wondering if you think this would work with chicken in it? Honestly he finds chicken a but boring, too, so I\’m also wondering if I should season it of if the Rotel would do that.

  • Connie Z.

    Hm. My husband would not be convinced. So I’m wondering if you think this would work with chicken in it? Honestly he finds chicken a but boring, too, so I’m also wondering if I should season it of if the Rotel would do that.

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  • Heather M.

    I love this post. We changed our eating habits after watching Food Inc (and reading a few books before that) too. We do Meatless Mondays as well and I love it. I definitely want to try this recipe. TFS!

  • Emily @ The Happy Home

    those look absolutely delicious! i’m a total fan of the meatfree monday campaign– i guess i have to be as a vegetarian! congrats on the dedication, and thank you for the recipe!

  • Erica

    Thank you for this. First of all let me say I LOVE your counter top! So fun! I am with Angie I could TOTALLY give up meat but hubby would die. We are slowly working or way to completely organic. I am going to get the stuff for this next time I go to the store!

  • Angie

    are we really not long lost sisters? i agree, i could SO easily give up meat. my kids are the same, they don’t much care for it but the husband? oh he would move out 😉

    love this recipe, i am so doing this!

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  • Tammy

    This all sounds delicous! Thanks!