Cannellini Bean Sandwiches

Cannellini Bean Sandwiches

Frankly, I’m not exactly sure how I came up with these, but it went something like this:

A few years ago, there was someone on a morning show showing off some lower-fat ideas. One of them was a cannellini bean spread instead of butter on toast. A year or so later I came across a “mock tuna salad” recipe using garbanzo beans. Remembering the bean spread, I combined recipes and made it into something new.

It’s not a “mock tuna” or a “mock chicken” salad anymore. It’s just a “cannellini bean salad”. And it’s delicious.

I used to use canned beans, but since I’m avoiding all canned goods I started from dry beans this time. They were a little crunchy (I should have boiled them longer), but that didn’t stop me from eating the entire batch.

Anyway, I boiled the beans, drained (though not enough, apparently) and cooled them. Then I take my chef’s knife and with the blade perpendicular to the cutting board begin to smash the beans. You can make them into as coarse or smooth as you want them to – I typically leave about half pretty coarse and half really smooth so when it blends it has a nice texture.

Smashed Beans

With all of the smashed beans in the bowl, I add a small amount of Vegenaise. Be careful with this step as you can easily make the salad too wet (unless you live in the South and then you could make a “mayonnaise salad” and be thought of as a four-star chef). I used to use three cans of beans and 3-4 tablespoons of Vegenaise. From here, it’s up to you on how to season. If you want more of a chicken flavor, use poultry seasoning. If you want more of a tuna flavor, use dulse. Me? I go an entirely different direction.

Obviously salt and black pepper are key ingredients here, but what I love using is a ton of fresh cilantro. And you can see it in my picture – I mean a lot. Some roasted garlic and cumin and that’s pretty much it. If I have some leftover onions or peppers I’ll add those as well.

Really, you can experiment however you want to get it to where you want it. I haven’t tried it yet, but I think I could turn this into a really killer vegan crab cake. Hmmm….

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