Category Archives: Healthy

Banh Mi (Vietnamese-Style Pork Sandwiches)

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I can’t remember the first time I had a Banh Mi and it certainly wasn’t at a restaurant.  In fact, now that I am dusting away at my memory cobwebs, I think I was searching in my Google Reader for a recipe when I had a pork tenderloin to use-up a while back and came upon Bridget’s recipe for Banh Mi and knew I couldn’t go wrong.

Why couldn’t I go wrong…because the flavours are oh-so-right (lame, I know!).  But Banh Mi has a flavour profile that just has to be given high-praise and as a bonus, it truly is a quick and easy meal to prepare.  As Bridget describes in her post, it isn’t the most authentic recipe, but I agree with her that “taste will trump authenticity every time”.  Don’t get me wrong…this is pretty close to authentic (although I am soon to test that statement when I finally get over to Banh Mi Boys in Toronto).

Nonetheless, this is a great recipe.  I, like Bridget, made a few switches, didn’t bother with a mandoline – hand-slicing worked just fine and I used greek yogurt to lighten-up the mayo.

Definitely give this inexpensive meal a shot if you are looking for a new twist on your pork tenderloin recipes, or just a delicious sandwich to impress!

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Banh Mi (Vietnamese-Style Pork Sandwiches)

Yield:  4 servings
Prep Time:  20 minutes
Cook Time:  20 minutes

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup rice vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons sriracha
  • 4 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 3 regular red radishes, sliced
  • 15 baby carrots, julienned by hand
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup greek yogurt
  • 1 pork tenderloin (about 1 pound)
  • 2 teaspoons five-spice powder (I was a little more generous)
  • 4 hoagie buns (or 1 24-inch baguette, cut into 4 pieces and split partially open lengthwise)
  • 1 cup fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1/2 cucumber, sliced thinly

Directions:

1. Combine vinegar and sugar in microwave-safe bowl. Heat until sugar has dissolved, about 90 seconds. Add 1 tablespoon sriracha, 2 tablespoons fish sauce, radish and carrot to bowl and toss to combine. Set aside for 15 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, whisk mayonnaise, remaining 1 tablespoon sriracha and remaining 2 tablespoons fish sauce together in second bowl.  Set aside.

3. Ensure your pork is dry (rub with paper towel) and rub pork with five-spice powder.

4. Cook Pork (choose whichever method you prefer – I’ve done both and they are equally as good).

  • Grill pork over hot burner until browned on all sides and pork registers 145 degrees, 12 to 14 minutes.
  • Heat a cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat and grill pork for approximately 6-7 minutes, per side, or until pork registers 145 degrees (I rotate my pork 4 times, so each side is nice and brown).

Transfer cooked pork to cutting board, tent with foil, and let rest 5 minutes. Grill bread until lightly toasted, about 1 minute (not essential).

4. Slice pork crosswise into thin slices. Drain vegetables. Spread mayonnaise on inner sides of bread halves. Arrange slices of pork on bread and top with vegetables and cilantro. Serve.

Enjoy!

Recipe slightly adapted from The Way The Cookie Crumbles, originally from America’s Test Kitchen Feed

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Filed under Appetizers, Bread, Healthy, Mains, Thai, Vietnamese

Smoked Salmon, Spinach and Goat Cheese Pizza

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Remember in this post when I said that my Spinach and Goat Cheese Dip was versatile?  Well, here is one example of that (and I have another great use for it coming soon!)

I had left-over smoked salmon after a bridesmaids brunch I hosted, so I was trying to figure out what to do with it.  Instead of simply serving it over bagels for dinner, I prepared a batch of thin-crust pizza dough, made a quick batch of the spinach and goat cheese dip and voila, an easy, quick and delicious dinner (not to mention quite healthy too!)

It’s a great way to use-up spinach that is nearing the end of its life, however it looks incredibly fancy and I would consider serving this as an appy at my next get-together.  The onions (and capers – which aren’t photographed here) are a great touch and finish it off just perfectly.

Enjoy!

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Smoked Salmon, Spinach and Goat Cheese Pizza

Serving Size:  1 medium pizza
Prep Time:  20 minutes, excluding the pizza dough preparation
Cook Time:  10-15 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 batch of your favourite thin-crust pizza dough, or store-bought crust
  • 1 batch of Spinach and Goat Cheese Dip
  • 10-15 slices of smoked salmon
  • 1/4 cup red onion, diced
  • 1/2 jar capers, drained and rinsed (optional – not shown)
  • Additional goat cheese for topping, if desired
  • Olive Oil

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 500 degrees (and if you have a pizza stone, preheat that as well).  It is good to allow your pizza stone to pre-heat in a 500 degree oven for at least an additional 15 minutes.

If you have a pizza peel, lay that on the counter.  Otherwise, prepare a sheet of parchment paper (either square or cut to shape of your dough).

Prepare your dough. On top of your parchment paper or your pizza peel, roll out the dough into a round pizza shape.  Leave an edge around outside for the crust. Once you’ve achieved the shape you desire, pinch the outside of the dough to create a crust. Then pierce the crust with a fork all the way around (this will prevent large air bubbles from forming in your crust while it bakes!).

Brush the dough with a light coat of olive oil.

Bake the plain crust in the oven for about 7-9 minutes.

Remove the crust from the oven, spread the spinach and goat cheese sauce onto your crust and place back in over for an additional 7-8 minutes, or until crust is golden brown.

Remove the crust from the oven, immediately top your pizza with the smoked salmon, onions and capers.  Serve immediately.

Enjoy!

JBean Cuisine original recipe

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Filed under Appetizers, Bread, Healthy, Mains

Quick Vietnamese Chicken Pho

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One thing that I’ve loved over time is experiencing new foods and new regions of cuisine.  Vietnamese became one of my favourites – but I cannot remember when/where I first tried it.  I think it became a regular cuisine choice while we lived in Ontario while CH was in law school – there was a great place not too far from us and it became a date “lunch” venue – cheap, delicious and time together.  It has actually also become a comfort food to me, because nothing cures a cold, allergies or stuffy nose like Chicken Pho (at least to me!)

Making this recipe was a two time attempt – I first tried the traditional method of making pho, which involved roasting beef bones, many upon many hours of simmering and lots of little steps.  The result was fabulous, but with pho being so accessible and reasonable, making it myself like that wasn’t going to happen again.

And THEN, came this recipe.  When it popped into my reader, I was intrigued – could it really be as good as said?  One try of the recipe and we were hooked.  Yes, yes it could be.  It is everything pho should be – simple, delicious flavours, comforting and now, quick from my own kitchen!

Definitely give this soup a try – you won’t be disappointed.

Enjoy!

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Quick Chicken Pho

Yield: 2 servings for us, original recipe states 4
Prep Time:  10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 – 25 minutes

Ingredients:

SOUP BASE

  • 2 tablespoons whole coriander seeds
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 2 whole star anise
  • 2 quarts chicken stock (store bought or homemade)
  • 1 whole chicken breast
  • 1/2 onion
  • 1 3-inch chunk of ginger, sliced and smashed with side of knife
  • 1-2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1-2 tablespoons fish sauce

ACCOMPANIMENTS

  • 1 lb dried rice noodles
  • 2 cups bean sprouts, washed and tails pinched off
  • fresh cilantro tops
  • 1/2 cup shaved red onions
  • 1/2 lime, cut into wedges
  • sriracha chili sauce
  • hoisin sauce
  • sliced fresh chili peppers

Directions:

In a large pot – add the coriander seeds, cloves, and star anise and toast until fragrant, about 3-4 minutes.

Immediately add the chicken stock, chicken breast, onion, ginger, sugar, and fish sauce. Bring to a boil.

Reduce heat to medium-low and let simmer for 20 minutes, skimming the surface frequently. Use tongs to remove the chicken breasts and shred the meat, discarding the bone (if you used a bone-in breast).

Taste broth and add more fish sauce or sugar if necessary. Strain the broth and discard solids.

Prepare the noodles as per directions on the package and spilt between desired serving bowls.

Ladle the broth into bowls and divide the shredded chicken breast into each bowl.

Top with bean sprouts, cilantro, red onion, and other accompaniments as desired and enjoy.

Recipe from Love and Olive Oil

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Filed under Healthy, Mains, Soups & Stews, Uncategorized, Vietnamese