Garbanzo Melt Open-faced Sandwiches

Garbanzo Melts 2For some reason I had not made garbanzo melts in a long time.  When J and R asked what was for supper and heard this was it, they made the kind of loud, growly “OOOOHH’s” only teen boys tend to make.  I had no idea of the popularity of these, or I would have been making them more often!

The great thing about these is that any leftover filling works for a cold sandwich, too.  You can use your favorite bread, including an artisan variety, which will make these even more amazing!  Gluten-free bread will suffice here, too, as long as you have a tasty one.  The best thing is that these are simple to make, you probably have all of the ingredients in your cupboard already, and they can be quickly thrown together.  Win!

Another option for these is to make them into regular grilled sandwiches on a griddle, rather than open-faced.  They just tend to squish out when you bite them!

As usual, organic ingredients will give you the best flavor and nutrition.

This recipe uses 10-12 slices of bread, but you can easily cut it in half if you want to make less.  Remember ~ any extra filling keeps well in the refrigerator.

Garbanzo Melt Open-faced Sandwiches

  • 1/2 of an onion (red is best, but any will do)
  • 2 cans garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
  • 4 T. +/- Veganaise non-dairy mayo
  • 1 1/2 – 2 tsp. mustard (yellow will work, but spicy brown is great)
  • 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp. onion powder
  • salt to taste
  • 3-4 T. relish
  • 10-12 slices of bread
  • extra virgin olive oil in mist-er, or non-dairy butter
  • 15-18 slices of Tofutti vegan cheese or more (how many slices will depend on how big your bread is)

Preheat oven to 400°.

Mince the onion in a food processor.  Add the beans, mayo, mustard, garlic powder, and onion powder.  Pulse the food processor until the ingredients are well mixed and the beans are roughly ground.  The texture can be fairly rough to as smooth as hummus depending on your preference.  I like somewhere in between.

Remove mixture to a bowl.  Add 3 T. of relish.  Taste and add more relish and salt to taste.  Your brand of garbanzo bean will make the difference of how much salt needs to be added.

Spray one side of each slice of bread (or lightly “butter” it), placing it oil-side down on a cookie sheet.  Spread garbanzo bean mixture onto each slice.  Lay slices of cheese on top of the open-faced sandwiches, breaking slices in half or thirds if necessary to add enough to completely cover each piece of bread.

Bake for 15 minutes, or until the cheese is soft and melty looking.  The bottom of the bread will be toasted and crispy.

Quinoa Pilaf

Another night of staring into the cupboards trying to decide what to fix because what was on my planned weekly menu just wasn’t happening tonight (this seems to happen for various reasons way too often.)  Another episode with nothing jumping around in the pantry or freezer when I stared into them saying, “Fix me!  Fix me!”  😀

The great thing about this dish that I finally created is that it is super filling, fairly fast with little hands-on during the actual cooking time, and it is versatile.  If you like peppers, toss some in.  If you dislike mushrooms, leave them out.  If you have fresh mushrooms or frozen chopped onions, use them.  If you like ginger, try adding some of that with the onions.  Quinoa PilafAnd those cooked greens pictured on the plate next to the pilaf?  Well, right after the picture was snapped and I took a bite, they ended up tossed together with the quinoa ~ and they were spectacular together!  If you don’t feel like dirtying a second pan, you could just throw a bag or two of frozen spinach right into the quinoa while it is cooking along with a little extra salt.  Ta-da!  One-dish meal.

Quinoa Pilaf

  • 2 ribs of celery (I used celery hearts), split lengthwise and diced
  • 1 small-medium onion, diced
  • 2-3 T. extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 1 small can mushroom pieces, or 4 oz. of fresh ones, diced
  • 4 c. water
  • 2 c. quinoa, rinsed and drained
  • 3 T. chicken-style seasoning
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 tsp. dillweed
  • 1 can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained

In a large frying pan, saute the celery and onions in the olive oil while you dice up the carrots.  Toss the carrots in when you are finished, as well as the mushrooms.  When veggies are softened, pour in the water, quinoa, chicken seasoning and lemon juice; stir.  Cover and bring to a boil.  Turn heat down to medium and simmer for 10-15 minutes.  When the quinoa begins to show tiny little curls popping out, then sprinkle the lemon juice and dill over it all and stir.  Add the garbanzo beans.  Leave the lid off and simmer, stirring occasionally, until water is absorbed and the quinoa is fairly fluffy.

Serve with cooked greens and perhaps a slice of lemon to squeeze over it all.

Hummus

Everybody has a favorite hummus recipe, right?  Well…sometimes the answer is ‘no.’  This post is for those poor deprived souls who don’t already have their own go-to recipe for hummus.

This is super easy and so much cheaper than buying a tub of it in the store ~ some of them are quite pricey.  (And have you checked out the ingredients lists on some of those?  Ick.  I don’t like canola oil or vinegar.  I want healthier choices.)

Hummus

  • 1 can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 1/2-2 T. lemon juice
  • 2 T. tahini (Joyva is my favorite brand – for taste and ease of stirring)
  • 1-2 tsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 clove fresh garlic (2-3 for garlic hummus)
  • 1/4-1/3 c. chopped onion
  • heaping 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4-1/3 c. water (depending on how watery your onion is, and desired thickness)

Blend either in food processor or blender until very smooth.

Variations:  add in one or more of the following ~ roasted garlic, sun-dried tomatoes, basil, green onion, dillweed, spinach, etc.  Look at the flavors in the store and experiment with add-ins.  If you are adding in a slightly liquidy item, decrease your water.