Beans are packed with lean protein and make a versatile spread for all kinds of sandwiches. Mix and match with the vegetables your child enjoys and you've got a delicious, vegetarian, kid-friendly lunch.
- 1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas or white beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 to 2 tablespoons water
- 1/4 cup grated manchego or pecorino romano cheese
- 2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for seasoning
- Pinch red pepper flakes
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 ripe Hass avocado, pitted and sliced
- 1 small cucumber, sliced or 1/2 bell pepper, seeded and sliced
- 10 to 12 whole-wheat pita minis (3 inches), lightly toasted
Combine the chickpeas, water, cheese, lemon juice, salt and red pepper flakes in a food processor and puree until completely smooth, about 5 minutes. While the motor is running, pour in the olive oil and process until fully incorporated and velvety. Season with pepper, to taste.
Spoon a scant tablespoon bean spread into toasted pitas. (Put remaining bean spread in an air-tight container.) Add avocado and cucumber slices, or other vegetables of choice and season, to taste, with salt and pepper. Wrap in parchment or butcher paper, and pack in a plastic container to keep from getting squished. Pack in a lunch box and send to school.
TIP: Remaining bean spread becomes a dip for vegetables or pita chips, or as another dimension layered in your child's favorite cold cut sandwich.
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