Eating better food for less and other tales from a no-moneymoon

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Banh Me

I mentioned that after the Chopped Liver vs. Pâté experiment, I found some other ways to use the leftovers.

One of the tricks I've picked up over the years, not just on the no-moneymoon, is to mix up national cuisines within the same week. It keeps me from ordering in more than I should (and now not at all), and it means the same ingredients and leftovers can feel a little less repetitive.

Fresh herbs play a huge part in how I switch up my cooking--but they also don't last very long in the fridge, so I buy them in pairs. For example, if in winter I buy mint, I'll also buy cilantro. Mint and cilantro partner in Thai food. Cilantro on its own brings a big flavor to Latin and Southwestern dishes. Mint on its own is lovely with fruit and finds its way into my attempts to go "Greek." In one week I've hopped three continents without leaving my apartment.

Mint and cilantro are also happy partners in Vietnamese food. Here's my pork-less take on the Banh Mi sandwich. These divine creations are known for their perfect combination of French and Asian ingredients. Pate and leftover baguette, please meet mint and cilantro. Wonder-herb powers activate! Take the form of a Banh "Me."

Or you can just spread pate on a split baguette. Add chopped mint and cilantro, sliced onions. You can also add in lettuce, thinly sliced red pepper, cucumber and carrot.

I was a little bummed I didn't have any roast pork or these veggies on hand, so I just stuck with the herbs. In turned out to be more than enough flavor for one sandwich.

Leftovers make a splashy second appearance
Herbs offer some green goodness as well as major flavor
Inexpensive lunch option with lots of protein
Baguette = not so healthy. Oh well.

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