Last Thursday was a cold and snowy day. I had planned on going out of town but due to the weather reports was abnormally cautious and stayed put. It was an enjoyable day otherwise relaxing at home watching the glistening white confetti fall from the sky just beyond the kitchen windows. I did venture out in the afternoon to visit a sick friend that was at home recovering from surgery and to make a quick trip to the store. I had planned on making dinner for my Dad that night, while my Mom was away helping out family, and was picking up a few things for dinner. Due to the weather and the beautiful but icy snow falling swiftly all day, the roads turned for the worse and my Dad also did not feel like venturing out. I didn’t have the heart to tell him that I had made a special trip to the store to get his favorite vanilla porter to go with my ridiculously delicious homemade baked mac and cheese. I understood his cautiousness, as I had done the same thing that morning, changed my plans, but the child in me was a little disappointed her Dad wouldn’t be making it for dinner.
After I arrived home from the early afternoon errands, I was famished and needed a healthy snack as I was the absent minded girl and forgot to eat lunch. I needed some nutrition to pick me up from the cold, distract my mind from the disappointment of changed plans, and also wanted to make something to feature for today’s Meatless Monday. Like a hungry cheetah I raced around the kitchen to make this fabulous sandwich that would make any human cheetah, aka meat eater, change their ways. In fact as soon as Eric arrived home from work that evening, I retrieved the rest of the salad from the refrigerator and suggested he try it. He ate it with a fork out of the container, gobbling up every last bit and declaring how wonderful it was.
Avocado replaces mayo in this version of a vegan salad sandwich. Using a hot iron skillet over the stovetop burner I dry roasted the garbanzo beans, or chick peas as we always grew up calling them, which brought out a subtle nuttiness. Smoked paprika, lime juice, cilantro, and red onion added warmth, brightness, and a little crunch to the sandwich. Additional nutrition is packed into this powerhouse of a sandwich with the addition of baby spinach. Use any type of bread your heart desires or your diet calls for. This would also be special stuffed into a grilled pita. The greatest thing about this little sandwich is that after eating it I felt energized, in no way was I sluggish and ready to crash on the couch. This salad will easily make 4 sandwiches but can be adapted to make 2 sandwiches with a generous amount of filling.
- 1 can garbanzo beans
- 1 avocado
- ¼ cup diced red onion
- ¼ cup chopped cilantro
- 2-4 tbsp lime juice
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- Kosher salt to taste
- Freshly ground pepper to taste
- Baby spinach leaves
- 8 slices toasted bread
- Dijon mustard
- Drain and rinse garbanzo beans.
- Add garbanzo beans to hot sauté pan with ½ teaspoon of smoked paprika, tossing to coat beans with spice.
- Roast beans in pan for 10-15 minutes stirring often, until beans are dry and lightly browned.
- Prepare avocado. Cut in half, remove pit and with small pairing knife and cut ½ of avocado into thin slices while still in skin.
- Using spoon remove avocado flesh carefully from first avocado half reserving 4 of the slices to top sandwich.
- Place all the rest of avocado flesh from both halves on large plate and completely mash with fork.
- Add 2-3 tbsp of lime juice (this is a loose direction add less or more as needed) to mashed avocado and mix to combine thoroughly.
- Season with salt and remaining ½ teaspoon smoked paprika.
- Add diced red onion and chopped cilantro to avocado and stir to combine.
- Place roasted garbanzo beans over top avocado mixture.
- Using fork mash some of beans into avocado mixture until mixture is desired texture.
- Add additional 1 tbsp lime juice depending of how dry the mixture is.
- Season to taste with salt and freshly ground pepper.
- Place ¼ of salad on each slice of bread, followed by desired amount of baby spinach, and avocado slice.
- Schmear Dijon mustard on top piece of bread and place overtop sandwich.