What comes to mind when you think of your local farmer’s market? I think of cucumbers, which makes me think of pickles! They’re one of my favorite things to get. You can get so many of those little guys for cheap. Cucumbers are made up of 95% water and pack plenty of vitamins.
Let’s Talk About Pickles
There are so many fun things you can do with this healthy and refreshing veggie, but today I’m going to talk about PICKLES. Whether you slice them for sammies, use it as a garnish or just eat it for a snack, they are delightful. Trav and I like to experiment with flavors by adding different ingredients to each jar. The typical pickle has dill and garlic, but try adding basil, rosemary, jalapeno or habanero to (literally) spice things up or create a different flavor.
Cut off the ends of the cucumbers to help keep them crisp. The ends hold onto a lot of water and can make them soggy if you leave them on. Keep some whole and/or slice some (horizontally or vertically) for sammies, burgers etc. Make sure you get the cucumbers that are small and bumpy. The smooth and waxy kind do not work for pickles. Now grab your farmer’s market bag and fill it with the best little cucs you can find!
1 small bunch of dill (rosemary, 2-3 basil leaves)
Bring H20, Vinegar and Salt to a boil. Mean while put pickles into a mason jar. Hint: Cutting of the ends of pickles will supply that crunch you desire! Peel and crush garlic with the edge of your knife. Don't mince the garlic just squish it once or twice with the flat side of your knife. Add garlic and herbs of choice to jar and pour salt/vinegar/H20 combo over the cucumbers.
I love each of the individual ingredients in this sandwich, but together they’re even better. This is healthy, vegetarian and has a good amount of protein. If you want even more protein, you could add turkey! I like to make this open-faced for less carbs, but you can of course make it with 2 slices of bread if you prefer.
A note about bread:
Maybe you already know this, but if not, bread is actually one of those items in the grocery store that can have A LOT of sneaky additives and chemicals. I use Great Harvest bread (a Minnesota whole grain bread company) because their bread has 5 simple ingredients and no artificial additives or preservatives. If you know where to get bread like this near you, please do! I always encourage people to make yourself aware of the ingredients in your food and support local companies who produce food made with natural ingredients.
The chickpea spread in this recipe is basically a hummus so you could buy hummus instead for more convenience, but I always like to make any spreads/sauces myself if it’s not too complicated. That way you know exactly what’s in it and you can control the flavors. I like to just pulse the chickpeas a for a few seconds so that they stay a little chunky. Enjoy your healthy lunch!
2 slices Wheat bread (4 if you want 2 slices per sandwich instead of open-faced)
1 Avocado, sliced
1 thin slice of red onion
Handful of sprouts of your choice
1 can or less of chickpeas or garbanzo beans
Juice from 1 lemon
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small garlic clove, minced
Salt to taste
About 8 thin slices of cucumber
Put about half of the can of chickpeas / garbanzo beans in a food processor or blender along with the garlic, lemon juice, olive oil and salt. (If you want to have leftovers for sandwiches later, you can use the whole can). Blend just a few seconds. I like when it’s chunky, but you can blend it longer if you prefer it to be smoother.
On a slice of toasted bread, smear some of the chickpea mixture. Add 4 slices cucumber, some of the red onion, sprouts and lastly avocado slices on top. Add a squirt of fresh lemon juice and voila!