Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Lunch in a Box: Chickpea Spread

The current book for my Cookbook Club is Super Natural Every Day, by Heidi Swanson. It's unusual that we've had back-to-back vegetarian books, but I've certainly enjoyed it. This one is full of fresh, healthy dishes and I have yet to have made one that I didn't really like. It's divided by Breakfast, Lunch, Snacks and Dinner- and there are some perfect "make ahead" recipes that are great for lunches. It's also one of the prettiest cookbooks we've had in awhile. You can download a sampler here if you're interested in seeing more.

The Chickpea Wraps from the lunch section is one of the first recipes I made, and it has been repeated a few times since. It's easy to put together, you can use the spread in a variety of ways, it's tasty, and also really healthy! What I also love about her recipes is that it's really easy to improvise depending on what you have on hand.

For this lunch, I made the spread and served it over spinach with some naan bread on the side so that I could make my own little sandwich when I got to work. I also put some red bell pepper strips and sliced cucumber on the side, along with mango for dessert. It was delicious and filling!

Chickpea Spread
(adapted from super natural every day)

2 cans chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 chopped shallot
2-3 stalks chopped celery
2 T chopped fresh dill (rosemary or tarragon is also nice)
2 T dijon mustard
1 cup fat-free Greek yogurt (I use Fage. Plain soy yogurt will work, too. It's just a little sweeter.)
sea salt to taste
juice of 1 lemon

Pulse 1 1/2 cans of chickpeas in food processor, and then pour in a bowl with the remaining chickpeas. Add chopped shallot, celery, and herbs.

In a small bowl, whisk the yogurt, mustard and salt. I also add just a touch of lemon juice to the mix (and maybe some chopped garlic if I have it). Add 2/3 of the yogurt mix to the chickpea mix, and stir to combine. Add salt and lemon juice as needed.

You can use the remaining yogurt mix to spread on whatever type of bread you choose to make a sandwich. Or just serve a dollop of the chickpea spread on a bed of greens, and top with a spoonful of the yogurt mix.

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