Bánh Mi Wannabe

Planned to make bánh mi,
But too many substitutes
No bánh mi for me.

Just a stacked sandwich,
So ban me for no bánh mi,
Though not a bad sub.

I had no baguette,
I used pain de campagne,
A pseudo-bánh mi.

My bánh mi wannabe ingredients for this classic Vietnamese sandwich:

  1. Sautéed Swiss chard, onions, and fresh basil sprinkled with tamari sauce
  2. Thinly sliced cucumbers
  3. Fresh mint
  4. Sweet pickle relish
  5. Leftover roasted chicken
  6. Mayo mixed with sriracha sauce spread on two slices of pain de campagne (aka “French sourdough”)

Chicken Chop Soupy

chicken chop soupy
This recipe is similar to the Americanized concept of Chop Suey; its name based on a province in China where it originated. The dish is simply whatever you have on hand or leftovers assembled in one dish. What I had in the kitchen were white and sweet potatoes and 1 ½ cups of cooked chopped chicken. And so, Chicken Chop Soupy was borne, or made (but not in China). Continue reading

Chili w/Shredded Beef & Spinach topped with Popcorn


Sometimes the winter chill can only be warmed by eating a hot bowl of chili. Here is a complete meal in one pot with lots of fiber, vegetables, protein, and grain. I find the best meat to use is shredded beef, which I had pressure cooked the day before making this meal. However, you can use ground beef, turkey, or chicken. Or, even make it vegetarian. Continue reading

Iron Skillet Deep Dish Vegetables and Pepperoni Pizza

Image contributed by Hymn

Image contributed by Hymn

Depending on how many shortcuts you take, this can be quite a quick meal to prepare by starting with a 1-lb. bag of fresh dough from Trader Joe’s, or any of your favorite brand. You may also have pre-made your fresh dough by using a bread maker, or simply by hand. In any event, we will prepare this pizza, assuming the dough is already made ahead of time. The amount of dough should be at least 1 lb. in weight since that would be enough to fully line an 8- or 10-inch cast iron skillet. Continue reading

Ground Beef with Peas, Carrots, and Mung Bean Sprouts

This ground beef recipe is a filling for egg rolls. Let’s start with the wrappers.

There are different types of egg roll wrappers. There are thick ones made of wheat that tend to overpower the filling and there are paper thin ones like rice paper or lumpia (loom-pyah) wrappers, both of which are found in Asian grocery stores. You can also use phyllo dough if you wish, but you would bake rather than fry them. The one type typically found in regular grocery stores is made of wheat. Whichever you prefer, the ideal taste I find is one with thin wrapper so the filling is the dominant texture and flavor rather than the wrapper. Continue reading

Ground Beef with Kale and Carrots

Summer meals tend to be grill heavy, but after burgers and steaks almost every day, one can get weary of the same preparation. How about a change of pace?

Using fresh or frozen kale, take a bunch and chop (if fresh) and set aside; you can also use pre-cut bagged kale too. Peel and chop 5 carrots, 1 onion, and if you happen to have 2 yellow squashes or zucchinis, chop those also, but they’re optional. Mince 4 cloves of garlic. Chop 1 or 2 plum tomatoes. If you don’t like tomatoes, replace this part with a sprinkle of lemon juice or zest. If you go the lemon route, just add this ingredient after everything is cooked. Continue reading

Fruit Pizza on Cassava Bread

As an alternative to a wheat base, try cassava bread. I found it in the Produce section of a grocery store (Market Basket). The bread has only one ingredient—cassava pulp, or yuca. A product of Dominican Republic, the brand name is Caridom. It’s flat and triangle shaped, like a big pizza slice, so it’s perfect for this recipe, which is great for snacking. The recipe also makes for a nice breakfast, lunch, or dinner now that summer is here and if you are so inclined to have a smorgasbord of fruits in one sitting.

Fruit Pizza

Image contributed by Hymn

Continue reading