During my daily BuzzFeed fix, I stumbled upon an article titled, “How To Eat Vegan and Love It.” As someone who loves vegetables, I tend to accidentally eat vegan often and decided to check out the recipes. With the lack of stove and oven in my apartment (again, argh), I decided to try a recipe from an adorable recipe blog, Love & Lemons. With an already ripe avocado waiting to be devoured at home, I knew the avocado & chickpea salad sandwich would be perfect for me.
Right after work, I headed to Trader Joe’s to pick up the necessary ingredients for this recipe. All of the components were relatively inexpensive, with a can of garbanzo beans costing 89 cents, limes for even less. I splurged on the green onions (which will definitely find their way into other dishes). I always love to put a unique spin on other recipes, allowing for my creative side to shine through a bit. I decided I would top the sandwich with pea shoots, a little bit of a sweeter, thicker version of bean sprouts. It adds a wonderful crunch and lots of flavor to any sandwich. I had multi-grain bread already at home, and checked out of Trader Joe’s with ease, and a lot of other groceries for additional meals this week.
I woke up early this morning to put this together my concoction. It’s a few simple steps, starting with rinsing and draining the can of garbanzo beans. Next, you add the ripe avocado (I like to cut it in half, and with my knife, cutting the avocado into a cross-hatch pattern, then scooping out with a medium size spoon). With a fork, mash the beans and avocado together. You want some chunks to remain and not make this completely pureed.
Then the fun part. While the recipe puts specific measurements for cilantro and green onion, I just added until I loved the taste. I absolutely love cilantro, so I added a lot of the fresh leaves and green onion. Next, I squeezed the juice of two limes into the mixture (using fresh lime juice makes a world of a difference). Finally, a bit of salt to taste. And voila! You’re mixture is done. I could have just eaten the salad plain, but for lunch a sandwich was ideal.
I toasted the bread until lightly brown, then added about half of the mixture onto the sandwich (saving the rest for later tonight). Finally, I added some pea shoots on top and then put the other piece of bread on top. The perfect lunch sandwich.
This was extremely easy to make, absolutely delicious and completely vegan. The avocado is creamy and light, acting almost like the mayonnaise of the sandwich. The subtle crunch of the garbanzo beans and pea sprouts play perfectly with the creamy texture. Finally the sweet acidity of the lime and bite of the green onion (I added a lot of green onion), come through completing the whole dish. Next time you have no idea what to make for lunch, definitely try this recipe!
Avocado and Chickpea Salad Sandwich
Adapted from Love & Lemons
1 (15 ounce) can chickpeas or garbanzo beans
1 large ripe avocado
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
4 tablespoons chopped green onion
Juice from 2 lime
Salt and pepper, to taste
Bread of your choice (I use whole wheat bread)
Pea Shoots or any other sandwich toppings: lettuce, tomato slices, spinach, etc.
1. Rinse and drain the chickpeas. Place on a paper towel and remove the outer skins. You can leave them on, but I like to remove them.
2. In a medium bowl, using a fork or potato masher smash the chickpeas and avocado together. Add in cilantro, green onion, and lime juice. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
3. Spread salad on bread and top with your favorite sandwich toppings. I like to add fresh spinach leaves.
Note: This salad also makes a great dip. Serve with cut up veggies, crackers, or pita chips. Also, this salad is best eaten the day it is made because it will turn brown due to the avocado.