Vietnamese Paleo Sandwich
If you read the title of this dish and are getting excited then right on! If you read it and are confused then allow me to enlighten and enhance your sandwiches FOREVER! The “Banh Mi” is a Vietnamese term for any type of bread but more specifically the French baguette, which was introduced in the Colonial period. The typical ingredients are pan or oven roasted pork belly, Vietnamese sausage, grilled pork or grilled chicken. In addition to the meat, there is also sliced cucumber, pickled carrots, shredded daikon and cilantro.
I will never forget the first time I tried one these beauties! My obsession started immediately and was followed by a 3-4 times a week addiction. The place was this little Vietnamese place that was in a small shack that was converted to a walk up restaurant. The reason I finally decided to try them out was because every time I drove past the little shack, there was always quite a line and tons of people sitting wherever they could eating up these sandwiches.
I think there are a couple reasons why I love these sandwiches and the main reason was the delicate French baguette. It was a sturdy baguette, thick but easily chewable because the crust was thin and fluffy almost. I had never had a baguette so soft, typically they are too tough to bite into. So now being Paleo, I’m obviously not eating the baguette but I can still enjoy the insides!
The combination of the cucumber, carrots and cilantro is incredibly fresh! It makes you want to put it into every single sandwich you will have for the rest of your life, it just makes sense. The key to getting a great flavor with the carrots is to soak them in a vinegar mixture for at least 15 minutes. You get this incredible punch from it that pairs perfectly with all the ingredients.
Sadly, I drove past the little shack the other day and it no longer exists!? I was so shocked and confused, to the point of needing to do some Internet research to find out why on earth such a popular place would ever leave us. I still don’t know why but I hope it was because they outgrew their little place.
½ c. coconut vinegar
1 ½ Tbs. coconut sugar
¼ tsp. salt
1 c. carrots, peeled and julienned
1 eggplant, sliced into ¼” thick pieces
1 c. cucumber, thinly sliced
1 c. fresh cilantro
jalapeno, thinly sliced (optional, great kick!)
1 Tbs. coconut oil
1/3 c. almond butter, or any other type of nut butter
¼ c. green onions, minced
1 Tbs. fresh ginger, peeled and minced
1 tsp. fresh lime juice
Combine vinegar, sugar and salt in a bowl and stir until sugar dissolves. Add carrot and let sit for at least 15 minutes. Stir occasionally, drain and set aside
Heat a pan over medium high heat and spray with coconut oil spray and cook the eggplant for about 7 minutes or until tender.
Combine almond butter, onions, ginger and lime juice in a bowl, stir well and set aside
Spread the nut mixture on the bread, place the eggplant on top and layer on the carrots, cucumber and cilantro and ENJOY
Also Check Out This Recipe: Paleo Princess Paleo Pizza Recipe