Healthy Lunch Recipes

Healthy Lunch in 5 Minutes? Try This RD’s Easy Avocado White Bean Sandwich Recipe—It Packs 22 Grams of Plant-Based Protein

Photo: Stocksy/Ina Peters
If you’ve ever considered going plant-based (or are a full-fledged PB pro), one of the most common myths you’ll come across is that your protein intake will inevitably take a hit. However, this idea is far from true, and fortunately there’s no shortage of experts who are ready and willing to put this myth to rest once and for all.

One such expert is Catherine Perez, RD, aka @plantbasedrd, who shares tons of mouth-watering recipes on her Instagram feed—including this avocado white bean sandwich recipe, which just so happens to pack up to 22 grams of plant-based protein. We repeat: up to 22 grams of plant-based protein.

Whether you’re committed to a plant-based diet or simply want to try out new and tasty lunch options that’ll fuel the rest of your day, we’re confident that you’ll want to take this sammy for a spin.

Why we love this plant-based sandwich recipe

“There’s this belief that when you go plant-based, you'll struggle with getting in enough protein,” Perez says in her IG video. “But truly with any way that you eat, if you know what to pair things with, you can hit your protein goals.”

Perez continues to say that the secret to getting adequate protein intake on a plant-based diet is to mix and match your food sources, as she does with this recipe. (That’s because many sources of plant-based protein aren’t “complete,” meaning they don’t contain all nine essential amino acids. However, it’s possible to get these essential aminos by diversifying your diet; and to make things easier, you can also opt for complete plant proteins in your meal rotation.)

Now, back to the recipe of the day: “The majority of protein comes from both the beans and whole grain bread, but you also get some extra points of protein when you add in the veggies and nutritional yeast,” Perez explains. Beyond their impressive plant-based protein content, the beans and whole grain bread pack plenty of fiber as well, which can support everything from satiety and heart health to regular BMs.

From there, creamy avocado also takes a lead role in this recipe. It’s a valuable source of heart-healthy monounsaturated fats, fiber, antioxidants, and a host of other micronutrients. Plus, a full avocado (which this recipe calls for) offers three grams of protein to the mix.

Better yet, this recipe doesn’t skimp on flavor. Everything from the acidity of the lemon/lime and the herbs (oregano and dill) to the sharp zing of the mustard make this sandwich equally delicious and nutritious.

Tips to make this recipe your new go-to for lunch

While Perez’s recipe is tantalizing as is, feel free to customize according to your preferences (or whatever goods you have stocked in your kitchen). “You may find that other food combinations work better for you, and that’s cool,” Perez writes in her caption. Some tips and modifications to make this recipe your own include:

  • Swapping chickpeas or other white beans for cannellini beans
  • Adding in your favorite herbs, such as brain-boosting parsley
  • Using garlic powder or minced garlic if you don’t have a clove on hand
  • Tossing in extra veggies to your heart’s content
  • Subbing the bread of your choice (just note that the protein and fiber content may vary)

Want to whip up this recipe ahead of time? You can prep it all sans the avocado, only mixing it in once you’re ready to chow down. Otherwise, to make it grab-and-go ready, rest assured that the citrus will help prevent the avocado from browning too soon. Just be sure to store the mash in an airtight container and eat up within three to four days.

Now, for the main attraction: a clean, green dose of plant-based protein.

Plant protein-packed white bean avocado sandwich recipe

Ingredients
1 15-ounce can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1 medium avocado
1 scallion, sliced
3 marinated artichoke hearts plus more as desired, roughly chopped
Zest and juice of one small lime or lemon
1 chili pepper or 1/2 a deseeded jalapeno, finely chopped (optional)
1 Tbsp nutritional yeast
1 clove garlic, crushed or finely minced
1 tsp dry oregano
3 Tbsp fresh minced dill
Salt and pepper, to taste

For Sandwich Assembly
4 slices of whole grain bread
1 cup of green lettuce
Mustard
Cucumber slices
Extra artichoke hearts

1. To a medium bowl add your beans, avocado and a pinch of salt and pepper. With a fork, lightly mash the beans and avocado together to your desired consistency. (Perez prefers it half mashed with some chunks of bean in it.)

2. Top the mash with the scallions, artichokes, pepper, nutritional yeast, garlic, oregano, dill, zest and juice. Give everything a good mix to combine, adjust salt and pepper to preference and set aside.

3. To assemble the sandwich, spread both slices of bread with mustard, top with greens, the avocado white bean mash, artichokes, sliced cucumbers and the other slice of bread and enjoy.

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