Choose to be extra and make the BBQ sauce from scratch. (It is perfectly fine to use your favorite bottled BBQ sauce here but making your own is easy and cheap. It also gives you more control over the salt and sugar content of the finished product. If you want to jump ahead to the toast part, go to step 10.)
Place tomato paste into a small food processor or blender. If you don’t have a little chopper type machine like ours, you can put all the sauce ingredients directly into the saucepan you’ll eventually use to cook the sauce. That said, these machines are really useful and fun and you can buy one for $20 or less. We are are not big on fancy kitchen gadgets, but this one is worth the investment.
Add 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar to the tomato paste.
Add 1/4 cup of balsamic vinegar to sauce.
Add 3 T. maple syrup to sauce. (Honey would be a good substitute if you don’t have syrup.)
Open a can of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce and use a fork to fish out 1-2 peppers, depending on your preferred level of heat. We used two; the final sauce was definitely spicy! Add the peppers to the sauce. (If you’re not using a food processor, smush or chop the peppers into a paste before adding to the other ingredients.) You’ll have a lot of peppers and sauce left over; these ingredients can be stored in the fridge for up to a week and in the freezer for months. PRO TIP: Wash your hands well after handling the peppers.
Time to add the spices, with a quick financial wellness tip: the cost of pre-ground spices can really add up, especially when you’re first building up your pantry. To save money, look for stores that sell spices in bulk versus the small containers you typically see in the baking aisle of most supermarkets. Spices usually cost less per ounce in bulk and you can buy the exact amount you need, which cuts down on waste. We bought these spices from the bulk section at the MOM’s Organic Market in the Rotunda near the Homewood campus. Full bottles of these same spices, even in the smallest sizes, would have cost more than $10 all together. Instead, we paid 51¢ for the exact amount we needed of the three spices pictured below.
Anyway, however you acquire the spices, add 1t. smoked paprika, 1t. ground mustard, 1/2 t. onion powder, 1/4 t. garlic powder, and 1/2 t. salt to the sauce.
Add 1/2 c water to sauce and use food processor to blend. If you’re not using a food processor, stir the sauce until all ingredients are incorporated and the sauce is a uniform color and texture.
If using a food processor, pour sauce into saucepan. Turn heat to medium and bring sauce to a boil. Just a few bubbles, not a rolling boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer sauce for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. At the end of 20 minutes, the sauce will be consistency of ketchup (or, uh, BBQ sauce.) Congratulations, you made BBQ sauce!
While the sauce simmers, make the toast. (Welcome, everyone who bought bottled BBQ sauce and skipped to this step!) We don’t have a toaster oven so we toasted it in a dry frying pan. Turn on the burner, place the bread in the pan and cook for a few minutes on each side to desired level of doneness. Repeat as needed with two slices of toast for each serving. Put toast on a large-ish plate.
Chop three cloves of garlic.
Drain and rinse a can of cannellini beans.
Heat 1 T. olive oil in frying pan over low heat. Add chopped garlic to pan and saute for 1 minute, stirring constantly.
Add beans, 1/2 t. oregano, 1/2 t. salt to pan, and black pepper to taste. Cook beans for 4 minutes, stirring occasionally.
While beans are cooking, carefully halve an avocado and remove the pit. Mash 1/2 avocado into a chunky paste per serving. (The images below are for a single serving; if you’re making more than one portion, repeat steps 15-19 as needed.)
When beans are done, place avocado atop toast.
Top avocado with beans. Use about 1/4 of the beans per serving.
Generously drizzle each toast with BBQ sauce. (If you have extra sauce, it can be refrigerated for up to a week.)
Generously sprinkle each toast with hemp seeds to add color, protein, and texture to the dish.
This was our first time trying hemp seeds! Their flavor was slightly nutty but not particularly strong. If you don’t have hemp seeds, sesame seeds or pepitas or sunflower seeds would be a nice substitute.
Look at that toast! So pretty!
Eat that toast! Yum! Knife and fork technique is optional, depending on the structural integrity of your toast.