Healthy lunch recipe using leftover ham with mashed white beans, Spring vegetables including kale, carrots, and leeks (or spring onions). This lunch bowl has endless combinations so be sure to check out our section on ingredients and substitutions.
Growing up, Easter was strictly baskets filled with candy (preferably black jelly beans and malted milk eggs) and an Easter egg hunt. Followed by a delectable ham dinner and a then egg salad lunches for a week.
Shockingly, most of your co-workers don’t love it when you bring egg salad to work.. Something about the smell? Hmmm, not sure. So let's be kind to our co-workers and bring in a different kind of Easter leftover.
We opt for this filling lunch bowl using Easter leftovers. White mashed beans, shredded ham, our simple sautéed greens, and the most perfect carrot and leek sauté (which also doubles as a damn good weeknight side dish!).
What I love about this dish is it takes 4 individual dishes and combines them one fantastic spring lunch! Mix and match, make it yours!
Leftover Ham Lunch Ingredients and Substitutions
- Ham- Assume three to five ounces per bowl. If your ham had a savory marinade or sauce, like a mustard glaze, it should meld well with the overall flavors in this lunch recipe. If your ham was sweeter, like a honey-baked style, you may want to use more chunks from the inside of the ham closer to the bone.
- Mashed White Beans- To make quick work of the mashed white beans we use canned great northern beans, but any white bean will work. To the white beans, we add chicken stock, a clove of garlic, lemon zest. The addition of lemon zest is going to brighten up this dish. I think of lemons as the flavor that bridges winter to spring. But in a pinch, a teaspoon of bottled lemon juice works. We are warming the beans enough just to evenly mash them with a fork and work in the garlic and lemon. A good substitution for the mashed white beans is leftover mashed potatoes. Just add a little lemon juice, garlic, and a tablespoon of fresh chopped chives.
- Sautéed Greens - This 10-minute recipe is a go-to for many meals at the Peel house. You can use any greens you like but for reheating leftovers we prefer kale which can stand up to the extra heat. However, you can use any Spring green you like including spinach and arugula.
- Carrots and Leeks- Easy to make but the caramelizing takes time but not effort. I always give my leeks a double soak to ensure all the dirt and is removed. You can use shallots, spring onions or even ramps (wild leeks) as a substitute.
- Herbs- Thie recipe calls for parsley or chives. I use whatever is in my garden at the time but chives are my preferred. You can also use dried chives if fresh isn't available. When using dried I stir them into the mashed white beans to rehydrate them. The flavor will meld together.
- Other Vegetables- Missing a component? No worries if you are out of something. We often swap in other spring veggies like asparagus, radishes, and peas.
Ham and Mashed White Bean Lunch Bowl
- 16-20 oz shredded ham
- 1 recipe mashed white beans
- 1 recipe caramelized leeks and carrots
- 1 recipe simple greens
- 4 tablespoon chopped parsley or chives
Mashed White Beans
Caramelized Leeks and Carrots
- 2 leeks, thinly sliced and well cleaned
- 2 tablespoon ghee
- 1 ½ cups carrots, finely diced
- ½ cup filtered water
- Layer first 4 ingredients in a bowl and top with chopped parsley or chives
Mashed White Beans
- Combine first 4 ingredients in a small sauce pan, heat on medium for 5 to 10 minutes until beans are softened.
- Use a fork or potato masher to mash beans, adding EVOO to finish. Season with salt and pepper.
Carmelized Leeks and Carrots
- Combine ghee and leeks in a large saute pan set over medium heat, cook 8 to 10 minutes until softened.
- Reduce heat to low, add carrots and water. Cook 30 minutes until caramelized.