I love winter. As a New Yorker, does that make me a psychopath? Who knows! Anyway, I find soup to be the most perfect food to warm you up from the inside out. Last summer I was at a Greek restaurant and ordered french onion soup (???) and when the waitress arrived with the crock I came to my senses and realized it’s made with beef broth. Whoops! So I sent it back and I’ve been craving it ever since.
Banh mi is a Vietnamese sandwich, typically made with pork but since I was pescatarian for a few years before becoming vegan I’d never had the “real thing”. And yeah, it’s pictured with kimchi which is Korean, not Vietnamese, but I’ve been on a real kimchi kick after going to Franchia Vegan Café in the city. I could have very well served it with a simple salad, but to be honest I’m a vegan who doesn’t like salad. If you ever dare to make me one, it better be the best damn salad I’ve ever had. But I digress. You can serve this banh mi with fries, or whatever floats your boat. This can be made GF, so I will asterisk substitutes. And honestly, if you want to change anyone’s mind about tofu, this is the perfect recipe.
I’m really excited about this recipe, because although it might not be as healthy as a $14 kale salad, it’s amazing and makes for a great party appetizer, or even a meal on its own with a side of rice. I usually end up making the same boring broccoli, and I was getting bored of it so I took some inspiration from a dish I had out at a restaurant years ago and created a vegan version. This would definitely work well with cauliflower too.
One of my favorite soups of all time has always been New England clam chowder, so much that I brought it for lunch in elementary school pretty much every day. From a can, no less, *cue barf noises* but it was cheap and we can’t forget the fact that I’m a product of the 90s where convenience was everything. However, my mom always made really good food, so for now I’m just going to blame canned clam chowder on the decade.
In New York, the phrase “BECSPK” is of it’s own language. Standing for “bacon, egg, cheese, salt, pepper, ketchup”, it’s a classic New York breakfast that’s entirely unrivaled. Served on a kaiser roll, it sounds simple, and that’s because it is, but many out-of-state delis and diners have failed at recreating it. Being vegan doesn’t mean I can’t have any of the things I used to have, it just means I have to find a way to make it work. And while this isn’t a replica of the breakfast sandwich of my childhood, it still hits the breakfast sandwich spot.
So my original intent with this recipe was to make eggplant rollatini, but it didn’t stay rolled so it magically became eggplant parm. Growing up, my family never breaded and fried eggplant rollatini, but roasted it with olive oil, salt and pepper instead so this is perfect for all my gluten free folks.