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Pinterest and a Chickpea and Avocado Sandwich

August 13, 2012

If you haven’t yet taken a trip down the rabbit hole that is Pinterest, I suggest you join the trend. When the website became popular last year there was much discussion about the gender of the user and the use for the site. Belittled as a place for women to bookmark outfits and cheesy parenting advice, critics liked to describe it as a purposeless, apolitical, female place on the web. Besides the sexist nature of marginalizing women’s interests (I am not sure decidedly “male spaces” on the web are necessarily productive), I disagree.

Pinterest is not a gendered website, it is a place designed for visual learners, which means it has endless potential. In the days before Pinterest, I would litter my web browser with bookmarks and my desktop with pictures. Interested in remembering the various ideas on the web, I had no organized way of saving everything I found. From recipe to artistic endeavors, I immediately forgot everything I read. I tried online bookmark organizers, but really if I couldn’t see the picture, I had no memory of which website was which. So, despite hundreds of bookmarks, I never could find anything on the web. When we moved and were thinking about ways to improve the house, I started dragging pictures to my desktop, probably clogging up the network. There is good reason I was an art history major. When I discovered my talent for remembering every detail  about a photograph or work of art, I could organize all of history in my head. This late discovery, occurring my senior year of high school, reconfigured my path as a student from a mediocre performer to a student who realized her potential. It is a story I often tell my students to help them understand that learning about how you learn is a process of mini discoveries which keep happening even as an adult. Pinterest helped me discover how my experience of the internet had been disjointed until now.

Although I definitely have folders that might pigeonhole me as a traditional domestic (sewing, toddler activities, gardening, etc), I also use the website to organize all my teaching resources. Many of my US history, World Cultures, and Media Studies websites were lost in the bookmark purgatory on my desktop. Now, I flip through the folders on Pinterest, and can explore new ways to add visual lessons to my classroom- making history more accessible to my students. Finding new ways to activate the teenage brain into passionate learners is most definitely a way to engage in the political. Almost always, I change what I see on Pinterest, but the website helps me visualize options and look at new approaches.

This summer has been filled with us completing a to do list with style. Ironically, I have not really gone crazy over the recipes. Don’t get me wrong, I have pinned a few, but I have not been totally inspired, which might be the result of how I approach recipes. Most nights, I throw together dinner based on what is in the fridge, paying little attention to the details. If I hit writer’s block, I use cookbooks for inspiration, and the internet for clarification. When my cooking gets boring, I throw in a recipe from a gifted book, and this helps me see food in a new way. If I come up with an idea, but I am not sure about the cook time of an ingredient or a proportions of a dressing, I google things.

The recipe below is my first attempt of a recipe I “pinned” then tried, and wow am I glad I did. We are always looking for healthy sandwich options, and this is an especially tasty one. Much like when omnivores try to eat vegetarian more often, we have been making an effort to eat vegan as often as possible. I am not sure we will ever make the full switch, but reducing dairy has really made both of us healthier. You will probably find that I will still post recipes with dairy, but that is because we have found ways to cut dairy out of the other meals of the week. When I saw this recipe I knew it would immediately become a lunchtime favorite– we had two each! I mean seriously, each ingredient is phenomenal on its own, and the combo is a super tasty treat. The pin originally comes from the cute website “Two Peas and their Pod.” I altered the prep of the recipe and ingredient portions, so feel free to do the same.

Smashed Chickpea and Avocado Sandwich

  • 1 can chickpeas, drained and washed thoroughly
  • 1 large ripe avocado, chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons chopped green onion
  • 2 tablespoons of lime juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon of sea/kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ground pepper
  • slices of whole wheat bread
  • baby spinach
  • sliced tomatoes

1. In a non-metal bowl, add the chickpeas, green onions, cilantro, salt, pepper, and lime juice. Smash them together with a fork until all chickpeas are broken.

2. Stir in the avocado with a wooden spoon, letting the avocado blend into the chickpea mixture.

3. Serve on bread with baby spinach and tomatoes.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Nicole Roth permalink
    August 15, 2012 10:47 am

    Wow! This looks terrific. I can’t wait to try it.

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