You know when a recipe is good, okay really good, when my husband finishes a meal and says with his eyes wide open, "That was good!...I mean, that was GOOD!" That was the reaction I received when I made this simple and easy chickpea sandwich.
I've been looking for a simple sandwich to bring to work for lunch for sometime. And I am so glad I finally found a winner.
Thinking of sandwiches reminds me of the time my husband and I spent our first long weekend with my twin, Lauren, and her now husband, Jeff. We went up to the family cabin for Labor Day. They had been dating for several months and we were starting to get used to Jeff being around a lot more. Regardless, I still wasn't 100% comfortable enough with Jeff to crack certain jokes or be picky about food choices around him. However, I was apparently comfortable enough to sing around him as I belted "A Whole New World" from Aladdin on the drive up. #mykaraokesong
Anyway, as we got into town we stopped at the grocery store to stock up on food for the weekend. You know, there is just something about eating a delicious, homemade meal on the porch looking out on the peaceful lake at my late grandparents' cabin.
Typically we might have a simple sandwich for lunch on the pier. As we approached the deli meat section, which I still ate in small amounts at the time, Jeff was keen on getting the deli turkey that cost just $1 for 16 ounces. Whereas, I wanted to buy the nitrate free deli turkey and I therefore screamed inside my head. #noooooooooooooo
I pretended not to care and therefore we put the $1 deli turkey in the grocery cart and moved on. Or so I also pretended to move on. Later in an aisle with my husband I asked if we could sneak in a healthier option. He simply laughed and of course agreed.
These days, I don't have to worry about being picky about my food choices around Jeff. Now when I look in Jeff's refrigerator and on a rare occasion find deli turkey, I only find nitrate free deli meat! Plus, Jeff now enjoys MANY plant-based foods (& sandwiches!).
Maybe next I'll make these sandwiches for Jeff and he'll respond with his eyes wide open and say, "That was good!...I mean, that was GOOD!"
Smashed Avocado, Chickpea, Pesto Sandwich
Recipe adapted from: Two Peas & Their Pod
Makes: 3 sandwiches
If making your own pesto, start with that. Add all of the the pesto ingredients to your food processor and blend. Set aside.
In a large bowl, add the chickpeas and avocado. Using an avocado smasher tool (or, a fork), smash together the chickpeas and avocado. Chunks of chickpeas are normal.
Next, add the 2 tablespoons of basil pesto and lemon juice. Mix well. Taste test the mixture to see if you'd like to add salt and pepper.
To make your sandwich, simply layer some spinach (or other mixed greens) on your sliced bread and scoop the bean mixture on the sandwich. I prefer my bread to be toasted.
Tip: If you are looking to take this for lunch, I add one serving to a small pyrex bowl, add a little extra lemon juice to the top, and add a plastic wrap. This helps to prevent the avocado from turning brown--which isn't harmful, it just doesn't look as pretty!
1, 15 oz can, chickpeas (no-salt added), rinsed and drained
1 ripe avocado
2 tablespoons basil pesto*
2 tablespoons lemon juice, or from 1/2 lemon
Salt & ground black pepper, to taste
6 slices, whole wheat/grain bread
Fresh Spinach, handful (optional)
3 ounces fresh basil
2/3 cup slivered almonds, or cashews
2 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup water or vegetable broth/stock
2 tablespoons lemon juice
3/4 teaspoon salt
*Feel free to use store-bought pesto.