I’ve made a few versions of smashed chickpea avocado sandwiches. It’s been a try this with the recipe, try that with the recipe, using whatever’s at hand. I haven’t come up with an actual “recipe” that I wanted to share, though, until I hit upon a combination of Southwestern flavors. So here’s my Southwestern Smashed Chickpea Avocado Sandwich.
I’m all about the chickpea in my everyday life, which is kind of funny because I don’t have a lot (follow the link at the bottom of the page for more) of chickpea recipes on my site. I’m usually just tossing them in salads and sometimes leftover soups, just to work a few servings in every week. Most of those little additions just don’t seem “blog worthy” but my Southwestern Smashed Chickpea Avocado Sandwich definitely is!
About Southwestern Smashed Chickpea Avocado Sandwich:
What sets this sandwich above and beyond the rest of the ones I’ve tried is those Southwestern flavors. Chickpeas, healthy as they are, can be a bit dull. And while I love avocado, it’s smooth and creamy and doesn’t add as much to the party, flavor-wise, as you might think. But spice those simple ingredients up and it’s a whole different story – all of a sudden you’re going from ho-hum to crave-worthy.
If you’re going low-carb, you absolutely don’t have to make your Southwestern Smashed Chickpea Avocado Sandwich into a sandwich. It’s going to be fantastic in a lettuce wrap and a great candidate for wrapping in collard greens – the flavors would be fantastic and strong enough to stand up to the collard’s own bite. And if you’re of the healthier bent, a good whole grain bread will be great, too. Or, you could just eat it from the bowl, or serve it on little toasts or crackers for a munchy appetizer.
The great thing about Southwestern Smashed Chickpea Avocado Sandwich is how good both Avocado and Chickpeas are for you. According to the World’s Healthiest Foods, as little as 1/3 of a cup of Chickpeas eaten daily, in addition to all their other health benefits, can help regulate blood sugar and insulin. As far as the Avocado, you’ll want to make sure to get all the avocado that’s closest to the skin, and if you think you know all the health benefits of avocado, you might be surprised when you see what the World’s Healthiest Foods has to say about them.
About Southwestern Smashed Chickpea Avocado Sandwich:
Making Southwestern Smashed Chickpea Avocado Sandwich is so super easy. Just smash up your chickpeas to the consistency you want and mix everything up. The chickpeas can be amazingly indifferent to attempts at smashing, though. I found a big serving fork worked best and it was easiest to smash them in a small, flat-bottomed casserole. I hate to dirty up an extra dish but smashing them in a bowl just was a lesson in frustration for me! I suppose if you’re really determined to have fine little chunks of chickpea, you could pulse them in food processor, but I like the variation of some smashed and some whole.
Feel free to tinker with the spicing and jalapeno amounts in this recipe to suit your taste. It’s not hot, by any means – I just used a smidge of jalapeno and a bit of cayenne, but up that heat, if you’d like. I used garlic powder specifically because I can’t finish this recipe in one sitting, and fresh garlic can get quite a bit stronger in the mix if it’s stored in the fridge. About a clove works, too, minced very finely.
While any chickpea works in this recipe and canned are just so super easy (and I always have a few cans around) I love using my chickpeas braised in herbs and bay. It’s kind of amazing how good chickpeas are when they’re treated lovingly and given just a bit of attention and those gorgeous, flavorful chickpeas bring a whole new dimension to the Southwestern Smashed Chickpea Avocado Sandwich. It’s cheaper to cook your own chickpeas from scratch, too, but more on that, below. Here’s the recipe for Chickpeas with Bay Leaves & Herbs if you’d like to take a gander at it.
Saving Money on Southwestern Smashed Chickpea Avocado Sandwich:
Avocados can be pricey little devils but finding a few strategies in buying can help lower the cost. First of all, look for them on sale, and buy them at various stages of ripeness. Get a couple close to being ripe fr the current week, then several kind of ripe and some hard. Then you’ll have sales prices avocados for a week or two. Once they’re soft and ripe (they yield when pressed very gently) put them in the fridge. If you need avocados to ripen faster, store in a bag with a banana. Microwaving or baking them does soften very had avocados, but doesn’t ripen them, btw.
I’ve spoken all about the cost of chickpeas and did a pretty good comparison over the price of various cans compared to the equivalent amount of dried and cooked at home chickpeas in my post on Make Your Own Hummus & Vegetarian Wraps. The bottom line? While making your own Chickpeas can be a savings, buying them usually won’t break the bank. Generally, for most beans, expect the cost of canned to be about 3 times the amount of making your own, when the equivalent amounts are compared. I like to cook my chickpeas up and bag them in 1 1/2 cup portions, then freeze them so they’re at the ready.
As I said at the bottom of the post, While the numbers look dramatic (oh my, three times the amount) if you were to eat a can’s worth of chickpeas once a week, you’d be paying about 67 dollars a year if you bought your chickpeas at $1.29 a can, and $18 dollars if you bought them at the $1.49 a bag price. Canned or dried, chickpeas are a great food value!
Southwestern Smashed Chickpea Avocado Sandwich
Chickpea & Avocado Filling:
- 1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas or 1 can (15 oz.), drained and rinsed
- 1 to 2 avocados, seed removed
- about 1/3 chopped jalapeno, seed and ribs removed and finely minced
- 1 lime, juiced & zested
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
- dash or two of garlic powder
- pinch of red pepper flakes
- salt & pepper, to taste
- 1 1/2 tablespoon each of thinly sliced green onion or chives
- 1 tablespoon cilantro or parsley, chopped
- Bread of choice
- thinly sliced radish
- thinly sliced red onion
- micro greens
- spinach or lettuce
Place chickpeas in a bowl and with a large fork, smash them to desired consistency; be patient and smash as many or as few as you’d like. Add the remaining ingredients and stir in. Assemble sandwiches with your choice of bread & garnishes.