Beans are a superfood. Tell me I’m wrong. They are packed with protein and fiber. They have been shown to lower bad cholesterol and help with weight loss and general healthy diets. On top of a long list of health benefits, beans are cheap. While dried beans are, per serving, cheaper that canned beans I don’t mind paying for the convenience. I still manage to find them for a around a dollar, and can get 2-3 meals out of that can.
With all of this pro-bean information, and a desire to pack a few lunches for outdoor eating while the weather remains nice, I spent a solid 20 minutes last week just staring at a can of navy beans I had accidentally picked up at the store. (I wanted cannelli beans, but that’s another story for another day). I thought about putting them in a pasta salad, then I though about some type of chilled soup. Then it hit me – sandwich spread. Who doesn’t love a sandwich packed full of veggies with a creamy spread to hold it all together? A little more rooting around in the kitchen,produced some sundried tomatoes, a can of artichoke hearts, spring greens, and a red pepper. This was an ingredient list I could work with.
White Bean Spread and Artichoke Sandwich
Two slice wheat bread
Spring green salad mix
Canned artichoke hearts
White bean sandwich spread (recipe below)
Lightly toast wheat bread. Spread a thick layer of the white bean spread on both slices of toasted bread. Top one side with spring green mix, artichokes, red peppers, and additional veggies if desired. I didn’t have any olives at home, but I think black olives would have add a nice saltiness to the sandwich. Place second slice of bread, spread side down, on top. Enjoy!
White Bean Sandwich Spread
1 can of white beans (Navy, Canelli, or Great Northern Beans), drained
2 heaping tablespoons julienned sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil
1 tablespoon sun-dried tomato oil, in addition to above
3 tsp fresh or frozen basil
3 cloves of garlic
good quality olive oil
In a food processor, chop tomatoes and garlic, add beans and process until smooth.Once smooth, add olive oil, about a tablespoon at a time, to reach desired consistency. I wanted a thick spread for sandwiches, so I add 2.5 tablespoons olive oil. If you want a dip for veggies, you will need to add more oil. Depending on how thin you want the spread, you may want to add water to the spread after 4 tablespoons or so of oil total, to avoid it being to greasy.