AVOCADO CHICKPEA SALAD SANDWICHES & LETTUCE WRAPS

Avocado Chickpea Salad Lettuce Wraps - The First Mess
Avocado Chickpea Salad Sandwiches - The First Mess
Avocado Chickpea Salad - The First Mess
mashing chickpeas - The First Mess

Part of my morning and evening routine is writing in this gratitude-focused journal. One of the evening prompts is to note how you could have made your day better, which I love because there’s always room for improvement. I find myself writing this one at least once a week: “Sit down for actual meals rather than snacking all day.” This is a bad habit that I’ve had a really hard time breaking since I started 100% working from home and gaining all of my income from my blog and Instagram.

I usually do the breakfast thing because it’s easy. Either some muesli that I’ve mixed up the night before or a quick smoothie. No problem! Lunch is a whole other thing though. I find my most productive hours for working are between 8am and 1:30-ish pm, so I’ll work straight through and by about 2pm I think about sitting down to eat something. But then I talk myself out of it because it feels too late to cook something AND actually stop to eat it. So then I start snacking and I just don’t stop.

By the time dinner rolls around, I am straight up ravenous and cooking with a noticeable sense of urgency and hangry-ness. I’m on edge! Then Mark thinks that I’m mad at something, the dogs start picking up on my vibe, and then I feed back into those feelings… ALL BECAUSE I DIDN’T EAT LUNCH. It’s so silly and probably not an issue for 99% of functional adults.

So I’m trying to love myself and everyone else in my immediate vicinity by actually eating lunch now. We can do hard things! Sometimes I’ll batch cook a grain salad, fix up a chickpea flour pancake with toppings, smush some stuff on toast, or I’ll make a delicious salad/spread kinda deal like this avocado chickpea one and eat it on a sandwich or in crunchy lettuce wraps. It’s got a lot of protein, fibre, and healthy fat, so it really sustains me through the afternoon. No hangry freakout cooking sessions at dinner anymore!

The idea here stems from a traditional egg salad (which I was never really into even in my pre-vegan days, can’t explain it). You’ve got the broken up bits of chickpea all surrounded by a creamy mix of avocado, lemon, and dijon mustard. Then we mix in celery, pickles, capers, and chives for flavour and texture. Layered into a sandwich or on a crisp lettuce leaf, this avocado chickpea salad is creamy, tangy, slightly crunchy, and just so flavourful. Along with the act of eating lunch itself, it’s my latest obsession. Hope you’ll give it a try!

mashing avocado - The First Mess
Avocado Chickpea Salad Prep - The First Mess
Avocado Chickpea Salad - The First Mess
Avocado Chickpea Salad Lettuce Wraps - The First Mess

AVOCADO CHICKPEA SALAD RECIPE

Print the recipe here!
SERVES: Makes about 3 cups of salad
NOTES: If you’re lettuce-wrapping the salad, any sturdy lettuce leaf that you like is great. I love the bitter edge of radicchio leaves, but understand that this isn’t for everyone. Iceberg, romaine, and Boston/bibb are all great.
-The avocado chickpea salad is also delicious dolloped into a grain bowl setup
-There’s a good amount of acidity in this salad to keep the avocado from browning. If you want to have some leftover, I recommend tightly packing it into a storage container and sprinkling the top with a bit of extra lemon juice. Also, an appropriately sized container where the salad goes right up to the lid is ideal. Less air = less chance of serious browning/oxidizing.

AVOCADO CHICKPEA SALAD:
1 ½ cups (1 15-oz can) cooked chickpeas, drained
2 medium-large ripe avocados
¼ cup fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste
1 stick celery, finely chopped
2 tablespoons finely chopped dill pickle (from 1 medium pickle)
2 tablespoons capers, minced
¼ cup chopped chives

FOR SERVING:
Boston/bibb lettuce leaves OR radicchio leaves
fresh bread
sliced cucumber
sliced radishes
etc!

In a medium bowl, slightly mash the chickpeas with a fork. You still want pieces of chickpea, so don’t fully mash to the point of pureeing.

Cut the avocados in half, remove the pit, and extract the flesh with a spoon. Transfer the avocado to another medium bowl. Add the lemon juice, dijon mustard, salt, and pepper to the bowl and then mash the avocado mixture until mostly smooth. To the bowl, add the mashed chickpeas, celery, pickle, capers, and chives.

Fold the avocado chickpea salad mixture together with a spatula until just combined. Check the mixture for seasoning and adjust if necessary. Serve the avocado chickpea salad with lettuce wraps or in between fresh bread slices with other accompaniments. Salad keeps in a tightly sealed container (see recipe headnotes) for up to 3 days.

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