Carbonara Tramezzini

I remember my first tramezzino.
We were out-skirting the Northern edge of Parma in a silver Fiat Panda on our way to a quaint place called Bagnacavallo. We made a pit stop at an Autogrill, my first brush with Italy’s famed road side stop.
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Banh Mi? Oui, Oui

What’s packed with flavor, can be eaten on the go, is made fresh right before your eyes and only costs $2.50… did I mention that it comes on a delicious French baguette?
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10 Sandwiches That Have Lunch Meat Beat

The World Health Organization’s declaration that bacon, sausages and other processed meats are carcinogens and red meat may cause cancer, is an open invitation for us as a global community to reflect and change our eating habits. Keep Reading!

Smashed Avocado and Chickpea Salad

If you are akin to me then lunch is something to look forward to, a mid-day stretch for the mind and energizing the belly. I’m not one who can handle the doldrums of eating the same peanut butter and jelly sandwich for lunch everyday and feel that a packed lunch should be something to look forward to, it should inspire and satisfy.  Get creative, re-purpose leftovers and pack a lunch that excites you!

This electrifying green salad is great for perking up a brown bagged lunch.  Versatile in use, it can be used as a sandwich filling or dip for veggies and pita chips.  Light up your day with a Smashed Avocado and Chickpea Salad Sandwich.

Smashed Avocado and Chickpea Sandwich

Smashed Avocado and Chickpea Salad 

1 (15oz) can chickpeas 
1 ripe avocado
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
2 tablespoons green onion, chopped
Juice from 1 lime
Salt and pepper, to taste
Bread of your choice 
Fresh spinach/lettuce leaves or other fave sandwich toppings

***I’ve also substituted parsley for the cilantro and lemon juice for the lime juice which is equally GOOD!

1. Rinse and drain the chickpeas. 

2. In a medium bowl, using a fork or potato masher smash together the avocado and chickpeas. Add in cilantro, green onion, and lime juice. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

3. Spread salad on bread and top with your favorite sandwich toppings. 

Note: This salad also makes a great dip served with veggies, crackers, or pita chips. It is best eaten the day it is made because it can turn brown due to the avocado.  If you do make it the night before I’ve had success in maintaining a vibrant green hue by  placing the salad in a glass Tupperware dish and covering with plastic wrap (not the top of the container but actually compressing the plastic wrap atop the salad) this seals out any air which oxidizes the avocado causing it to turn brown, then cover with a Tupperware lid and refrigerate.

Scrambled Tofu Breakfast Bahn Mi

The title may say breakfast but this bahn mi can be enjoyed at any meal.

The bahn mi is synonymous with the submarine sandwich, hailing from Vietnam. It was born when the French introduced the baguette to the country; a salad sandwich on crusty bread filled with greens, pickled vegetables, chiles, and tofu, seafood or meat.

Don’t skimp out on the Star Anise Daikon Pickles they make this sandwich!  The day before you make the bahn mi take 15min to prepare the daikon pickles:

Star Anise Daikon Pickles
Star Anise Daikon Pickles

For the Star Anise Daikon Pickles:
From Vegan Eats World by Terry Hope Romero

1/2 pound daikon radish (about one slender 10 inch radish)

1/4 pound carrots (about 2 large carrots)

6 large green jalapeño or serrano chilies, stems removed

1 cup rice vinegar

1/2 cup sugar

1/4 cup kosher salt

1 teaspoon whole peppercorns, black or mixed color

4 whole star anise

Make the pickles ahead of time:

Peel daikon and carrots and slice into thin long matchsticks no thicker than 1/4 inch: I use a mandolin for this but you can take your time and use a chef’s knife. Or even better, use a Y-shaped julienne peeler. Slice the chilies in half, remove the seeds (or keep them in for really hot pickles), and slice into very thin slivers. Toss everything together and pack into a clean, dry 1 pint glass mason jar.

In a small saucepan bring to a gentle boil the vinegar, sugar, salt, peppercorns and star anise and boil for 2 minutes. Stir to dissolve the sugar and salt and then pour everything over the vegetables in the jar, including the star anise and peppercorns. Cover very tightly and chill for 30 minutes before using. Keep tightly covered and chilled when not using.

Bahn Mi
Bahn Mi

It may look like a lot of steps but this sandwich comes together quickly and it’s just too darn amazing to pass up!  I promise your taste buds with thank you—now onto the Bahn Mi:

Scrambled Tofu Breakfast Bahn Mi
From Vegan Eats World by Terry Hope Romero
Makes Four 8-inch, overstuffed sandwiches

For the tofu:

2 tablespoon vegetable oil

1/2 pound cremini mushrooms, cleaned and thinly sliced

3/4 cup thinly sliced shallots

4 scallions, white and green parts divided and sliced very thin

4 cloves garlic, peeled and mince

1 pound firm or extra firm tofu, drained

1/2 cup vegetable broth

3 tablespoons soy sauce (preferably Thai thin soy sauce ) or tamari

2 tablespoons lime juice

2 teaspoons ground coriander

1 teaspoon ground white pepper

1 teaspoon curry powder, any variety

For assembling:

4 six to eight inch crusty sandwich rolls or sliced from 2 baguettes

Vegan mayonnaise

Cilantro springs

Thin slices of ripe tomato

Paper thin slices of red radish or matchsticks of daikon or jicama

Asian garlic chili sauce (such as Sriracha or sambal oelek)

Make the sandwich:

Heat a wok or cast iron skillet until nearly smoking, then sauté mushrooms with 1 tablespoon of oil until tender and browned, about 4 to 6 minutes. Remove from wok, wipe down the surface and add remaining oil. Add the shallots and stir-fry until golden, about 4 minutes, then add white parts of scallion and garlic and stir fry for 1 minute. Crumble in tofu, add the mushrooms and stir-fry for 2 minutes. Whisk together vegetable broth, soy sauce, lime juice, coriander, white pepper, and curry powder and pour over tofu. Use a large wooden spoon or rubber spatula to stir fry tofu until all of the liquid has been absorbed and tofu is golden, about 8 to 10 minutes. Tofu should be moist, but not wet. Add the green tops of the scallions, fry for another minute and remove from the heat.

Slice rolls in half and toast if desired. Spread insides with mayo and distribute the tofu evenly on the sandwiches. Top each sandwich with cilantro, tomato, radish, chili sauce, and daikon pickles if using. Eat immediately but over a plate…these are messy goodness.