Bacon, Sweet Potato and Chickpea Sandwich Filling – Carol McFarland

Here’s a bit of delicious, mid-week inspiration. I made this yummy dish for a picnic last weekend and it turned out to be one of the most delicious things I’ve cooked recently! It is really versatile and can be eaten alone, with your favorite bread as a sandwich/wrap/pita etc… or over something like rice, quinoa etc… and likely would even be delicious on top of salad.

While going on our picnic, we got ourselves lost down in Wawaiwai canyon and wound up out by the Omache Farm where we saw some of their pigs happily basking in the spring sun after their hard work naturally tilling their pasture. Who doesn’t love bacon – and when you see this, you just have to love it even more! If you can’t get enough of cute photos from the farm definitely go check out the Omache’s website in a couple weeks to see their new babies on their fresh, spring pasture.

This recipe uses a pack of their “bacon ends” rather than sliced bacon. We often buy these because they are a bit cheaper, and add a great chunky texture to dishes. I find them to be great for things like soups and baked beans. Here, I filled out the bacon with some pre-cooked (in my crockpot) chickpeas from the PNW Co-op and some admittedly not-local, organic sweet potatoes. I suspect that if you wanted to use something like a delicata winter squash in this it would still be really good.

It is pretty quick and easy if you have the cooked chickpeas on hand:

1 pack bacon ends

1 medium onion

2 cloves garlic – minced

3 c cooked chickpeas

2 sweet potatoes cut into small cubes

Start by frying up those bacon ends and when there gets to be some good fat moving into the pan add the onions. Sautee those about 3 minutes before adding minced garlic. Sautee the mixture for another couple minutes and then add the sweet potatoes. Sautee those with everything for about 10-15  minutes, until they are starting to get tender. Then add the chickpeas and cook everything together for another 5-10 minutes. Add this to your picnic basket (or Sunday brunch) with some bread, spinach and mustard and you have a sandwich filling similar in form to sloppy joes but with a delicious sweet potato – bacony twist! The leftovers from this were also really good, as this is one of those things that seemed to benefit from the flavors mingling.

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And just for fun here’s a few shots from our Sunday picnic at Palouse Falls State park – we can tell it is spring by the blooming of the lovely yellow native wildflower Arrowleaf Balsamroot and the cool geometery of the emerging native wavy leaf thistle

With Gratitude- especially to Shane McFarland for always helping to clean up the mess I make!

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