I have been polling some friends lately and this seems to be the norm. Like me, everyone I talk to just doesn’t know what to cook. Uninspired, we’re all in a slump. A cooking slump. Rather than the jovial, loving way we approach mealtime, it’s now a job. An effort.
Maybe it’s the change of the seasons, but I hope it doesn’t last long.
When we’re going through this “funny food stage,” I tend to nibble more than I eat a full blown meal which means I am constantly on the look-out for unique eats. It needs to be easy to make, hopefully with ingredients I already have and satisfying.
I try and keep several cans of beans in the pantry. Always no salt added and always the Whole Foods’ 365 Brand. Black beans and garbanzo beans are my favorites. They are a great go-to. Beans can be heated, mashed, pureed and prepared in so many different ways for whatever meal you need–breakfast, lunch or dinner. They are full of protein, have no fat and add great flavor, texture and are inherently satiating.
If you are looking for delicious ways to pump a bit more protein in your diet, this chickpea and avocado mash is up to the challenge. It requires no cooking. It’s quick to make as a snack and can be used as an incredible sandwich filling as well. Or serve it as a dip with raw vegetables, tortilla chips, Siete cassava chips (carb free) or add a dollop on top of your salad.
The only problem is that it needs to be eaten on the day you make it, so you may want to invite a friend to share this with you. If that’s not a fine excuse for having to eat it all, I don’t know what is.
Chickpea and Avocado Mash (Guac Plus)
- 1 15 ounce can chickpeas or garbanzo beans, no salt added is preferred
- 1 large ripe avocado
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro chopped
- 2 tablespoons green onion chopped
- Juice from 1 lime
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Finely diced jalapeno or serrano chile optional
Rinse and drain the chickpeas. Place the beans in a bowl and, using a fork, gently mash the beans and toss them so they move around. You'll immediately see how the skins come off, but you do need to press lightly on the beans so the skins pop off. Using your clean fingers, carefully remove the skins from the beans (many of the skins will collect on the fork tines) and place to the side--I use a bowl and then discard when you are done. Keep mashing the beans and stirring and more and more of the skins will pop off. This is a tedious step that takes about five minutes but an important one. And once you do it, you'll know why you did.
Now cut the avocado in half and remove the pit. Carefully spoon the avocado halves from the shell and place in the bowl with the chickpeas.
Using the back of the same fork or get a potato masher, mash the chickpeas and avocado together. Once well combined, add the cilantro, green onion, lime juice and chile, if you are inclined.
Stir well and add salt and pepper. Taste to adjust the seasonings--a little more lime juice or salt, perhaps?
Serve on a sandwich, as a dip with veggies or crackers or plop a big spoonful on top of salad. Or serve with tortilla chips for a fabulous take on guacamole.
If you do go the guac way, you could replace the green onion with diced red, yellow or white onion. Or use half green onion and half regular onion. You choose.