I can almost guarantee you that I’ll glance over anything sandwich on café menus as I always envision nutrient stripped white bread with mundane ingredients, that never seem to truly satisfy my taste buds. I decided to come up with my own nutritious vegetarian-friendly chickpea salad sandwich; one that offers diverse flavors and is jam packed with health benefits.
Chickpeas just have to be one of vegetarians’ best friends. This is mainly due to their high protein count, where you can find around 15g of protein per cup. Chickpeas, along with other legumes, contain high amounts of manganese, folate, copper and a mystery mineral called molybdenum, which you may not have even heard of before!
This mineral helps to mainly break down essential amino acids, certain fats and carbohydrates for use within the body. One cup of chick peas contains over 270% your recommended daily intake of molybdenum.
Walnuts are the go-to nut for brain health and increased longevity. This is due to their rich omega fatty acid profile, with 0.25 of a cup of walnuts offering well over 100% of your recommended daily intake of omega-3. Omega 3 is essential for optimal health and has been linked to numerous health benefits including improved mood, protection from inflammation and even in cancer prevention.
If you’re as crazy as I am over a healthy diet, then you’ll probably also find any excuse to use delicious, creamy avocado in many of your meals. I find it adds great texture and flavor and is a great source of vitamin K, copper, folate and vitamin B6. Avocados are also rich in anti-inflammatory properties which helps to protect against many diseases that are borne out of our fast paced lifestyles.
If you’ve never tried a basil, mint and parsley combo then here’s your chance! Sometimes it’s just a matter of trial and error when it comes to herb combinations and that’s exactly how I stumbled upon this tasty trio. Basil is another excellent source of vitamin K, with only half a cup offering almost 100% of your recommended daily intake.
Basil also carries unique anti-bacterial properties which is great for clearing up skin problems and any bacterial growth within the body. Mint has been shown to carry anti-cancer properties, while parsley is rich in antioxidants.
- 1 cup chickpeas, cooked, drained
- ½ cup lightly toasted walnuts
- 1 ripe avocado, peeled, pitted and cut into chunks
- 1 bunch fresh parsley, chopped
- 5-6 fresh mint leaves
- Handful fresh basil leaves
- 1 green onion stalk, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- ½ lemon, juice only
- ¼ tsp sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- For the beet chips
- 2 medium beets, cut into very thin slices (with a very sharp knife or a mandolin)
- olive oil
- pinch sea salt
- To assemble: Whole wheat bread slices, fresh spinach leaves, red onion rings
- Preheat the oven to 200C/392F.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and add the beet slices.
- Drizzle with olive oil, season with salt and toss to coat evenly.
- Arrange the slices into one layer and roast for 30 minutes.
- Remove and set aside to cool.
- Crush the walnuts into a mortar with pestle, then transfer into a food processor, together with the parsley, basil, mint, garlic, onion and lemon juice.
- Process to incorporate, then add the avocado chunks and pulse to obtain a creamy sauce.
- Add the chickpeas, and pulse two or three times to incorporate.
- Transfer the mixture into a large bowl, and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
- Assemble the sandwich - spread 1 tbsp chickpea salad onto a bread slice, then topp it with onion rings, beet chips, and spinach leaves.
- Spread 1 tbsp chickpea salad onto another bread slice and close the sandwich.
- Serve immediately or pack to-go.