Falafel Sandwich with Maple Dijon Tahini Dressing

Fresh lettuce leaves, sweet and tangy tahini dressing and crispy falafel in pita bread are how to make a delicious falafel sandwich. We show you how easy it is to make this popular Middle Eastern vegetarian street food from scratch. Do you need more id…

Fresh lettuce leaves, sweet and tangy tahini dressing and crispy falafel in pita bread are how to make a delicious falafel sandwich. We show you how easy it is to make this popular Middle Eastern vegetarian street food from scratch. Do you need more ideas to serve with falafel? Take a look at these gorgeous...

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The post Falafel Sandwich with Maple Dijon Tahini Dressing appeared first on My Pure Plants.

Bún Chả (Vietnamese Meatballs)

Bún chả (Vietnamese Meatballs) are simple, light, fresh, and perfect for a hot summer day or as a make-ahead meal.

The post Bún Chả (Vietnamese Meatballs) appeared first on Budget Bytes.

This light and fresh Bún Chả recipe features flavorful and juicy pork meatballs paired with vermicelli noodles and plenty of herbs and vegetables. Bún chả is light yet filling and it comes together effortlessly in a few straightforward steps. Served with a homemade dipping sauce, this refreshing recipe is perfect for a hot summer day or as a make-ahead meal.

Close up of Bún chả in a bowl with rice noodles and vegetables.

What is Bún Chả?

Growing up, I didn’t realize there was a name for these delicious juicy pork meatballs. They were just something my mom made for me because it was one of the five things that I was willing to eat without question. It’s a recipe that you can easily make, you can scale it up or down, and most importantly, it’s super flavorful. 

Bún chả, also known as Vietnamese pork meatballs with vermicelli noodles, is a popular Vietnamese dish that is thought to have originated in Hanoi. You can find them served anywhere from street food stalls to restaurants in Hanoi. While a popular lunchtime recipe, you can enjoy this recipe any time of the day. I love how refreshing the noodles, vegetables, and herbs are on a hot summer day. You can even find Anthony Bourdain and Barack Obama enjoying it on an episode of Parts Unknown!

What is fish sauce? 

Fish sauce is the secret ingredient of this entire recipe. It goes into the meatballs as well as the dipping sauce (nước chấm) and is an absolute umami bomb. It is a liquid condiment that is made from fermenting fish over time. It adds major savory, salty, and general deliciousness to the overall dish. You can find fish sauce in the international aisle in most grocery stores, or at an Asian grocer.

Bún chả being dipped in a bowl of sauce with ingredients on the sides.

What is lemongrass? 

Lemongrass is an aromatic herb that has a fragrant complex flavor that is bright and citrusy. You can purchase lemongrass fresh or frozen. I usually find frozen lemongrass at Asian grocers and like to stock up my freezer with them. If you can’t find lemongrass, lemon zest and some ginger could work in a pinch, but I highly recommend not substituting the lemongrass because it is key to achieving the authentic Vietnamese flavor profile.

When using fresh lemongrass, keep in mind that the bottom woody section should be discarded. I’ve been noticing more chain grocery stores carrying fresh lemongrass so you should be able to find it relatively easily. If not, check where the ginger paste is kept and you might find lemongrass paste instead for an easy swap!

How to store leftovers

This recipe is perfect for meal prepping! Store the rice noodles, veggies, and herbs in one container and the pork meatballs in another container. This makes reheating the meatballs much easier, especially at work. Everything should keep and stay fresh for up to 4 days when stored in an airtight container in the fridge. 

Tips for Making Bún Chả

  • Do not overpack the meatballs while shaping the meatballs as you do not want them to be dense. 
  • For uniformed meatballs, use a cookie scoop. This helps them cook evenly as well. You do not want to go any larger than around a golf ball’s size.
  • For the nước chấm, feel free to adjust the ingredients to suit your tastes. 
  • While I use a non-stick skillet, you can use a grilling pan or cast-iron skillet as well. 
  • When buying rice vermicelli noodles, make sure to double-check the ingredients. At first glance, they look similar to cellophane noodles but they are not the same.
Close up side view of Bún chả in a bowl with rice noodles and vegetables.
Close up side view of Bún chả in a bowl with rice noodles and vegetables.

Bún chả

Bún chả (Vietnamese Meatballs) are simple, light, fresh, and perfect for a hot summer day or as a make-ahead meal.
Course Dinner, Lunch, Main Course
Cuisine Vietnames
Total Cost $16.22 recipe / $4.06 serving
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 469kcal
Author Carmy Do

Ingredients

Meatballs

  • 1 lb. ground pork $4.49
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped $0.24
  • 1/4 cup chopped shallot $0.68
  • 4 Tbsp minced lemongrass $0.60
  • 2 Tbsp honey $0.24
  • 1 Tbsp fish sauce $0.23
  • 1 tsp salt $0.05
  • 1/4 tsp pepper $0.02

Dipping Sauce (​​Nuoc Cham)

  • 1/4 cup lime juice (about 2 limes) $1.20
  • 3/4 cup water $0.00
  • 3 Tbsp fish sauce $0.68
  • 1 Thai red chili pepper $0.10
  • 1 clove garlic, minced $0.08
  • 2 Tbsp sugar $0.02
  • 1 carrot, thinly sliced $0.16

Bowls

  • 8 oz. rice vermicelli noodles $2.99
  • 1 head butter lettuce $1.59
  • 1 handful fresh mint $2.19
  • 1 carrot, sliced $0.16
  • 1/2 cucumber, sliced $0.50

Instructions

For the Meatballs:

  • CHop the garlic and shallots, and mince the lemongrass.
  • In a large mixing bowl, mix together the pork, fish sauce, salt, pepper, honey, lemongrass, shallots, and garlic. Set the mixture aside for 1 to 2 hours in the fridge.
  • Shape the mixture into small meatballs (about 20 meatballs), and then gently flatten them a bit.
  • In a large skillet over medium heat, heat the oil and add the meatballs in a single layer. Cook the meatballs until they are golden and caramelized, around 2 to 3 minutes per side. Set the cooked meatballs aside.

For the Sauce:

  • Whisk the sauce ingredients together and adjust to your tastes. Optional: heat the water and whisk the sugar in to dissolve before adding the rest of the ingredients.

For the Bowls:

  • Prepare the vermicelli noodles according to package instructions (usually cook 2-3 minutes in a pot of boiling water).
  • Serve the noodles with the meatballs along with a handful of lettuce, mint, carrots, and cucumbers with the nuoc cham on the side.

Notes

Editor’s note: The prices listed above are from U.S. chain grocery stores. If you have an Asian market in your area you’ll be able to source ingredients like fish sauce, lemongrass, limes, Thai chilis, mint, and rice noodles for much cheaper and often with much higher quality.

Nutrition

Serving: 1bowl | Calories: 469kcal | Carbohydrates: 40g | Protein: 22g | Fat: 24g | Sodium: 2098mg | Fiber: 3g
Overhead view of Bún chả in a bowl with rice noodles and vegetables.

How to Make Bún chả – Step by Step Photos

Prepared aromatics for the meatballs on a cutting board.

First, prepare the aromatics for the meatballs. Mince three cloves of garlic, ¼ cup shallots, and 4 tablespoons lemongrass.

Meatball ingredients in a bowl.

Add the garlic, shallots, and lemongrass to a bowl with about one pound of ground pork, 2 Tablespoons of honey, 1 Tablespoon fish sauce, 1 teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Mix the ingredients together then set the mixture aside for 1 to 2 hours in the fridge so the flavors can blend.

Shaped meatballs in a casserole dish.

Shape the mixture into small meatballs, and then gently flatten them a bit. To help divide the mixture evenly, first, dive the meat into four equal pieces, then divide each quarter into five pieces to yield 20 meatballs.

Cooked meatballs in a skillet.

Heat a large skillet over medium. Once hot, add a tablespoon or two of cooking oil and swirl to coat. Add the meatballs to the hot skillet in a single layer. Cook the meatballs until they are golden and caramelized, around 2 to 3 minutes per side. Set the cooked meatballs aside.

Prepared dipping sauce in a small container with a whisk.

For the sauce, whisk together ¼ cup lime juice, ¾ cup water, 3 Tablespoons fish sauce, 1 minced clove of garlic, 1 finely chopped red chili, 2 Tablespoons of sugar, and some thinly sliced carrots (optional garnish). Taste the sauce and adjust the ingredients to your taste buds.

Cooked rice noodles draining in a sieve over a bowl.

Prepare the vermicelli noodles according to package instructions (they usually require cooking for 2-3 minutes in a pot of boiling water). Drain the noodles and set them aside.

Chopped vegetables on a cutting board.

Prepare the rest of the vegetables for your bowls. Slice a cucumber, slice a carrot into matchsticks, pull a handful of mint leaves from the stems, and wash some tender lettuce.

Finished Bún chả bowl from above.

Build the Bún chả bowls by adding the rice vermicelli noodles to a bowl along with some lettuce, cucumber, carrot, and Bún chả. Dip the Bún chả into the sauce, or drizzle a little over the bowl.

Bún chả in a bowl of dipping sauce.

SO fresh and so GOOD!

Overhead view of Bún chả in a bowl with noodles and vegetables, dipping sauce on the side.

The post Bún Chả (Vietnamese Meatballs) appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Fresh Spring Rolls with Peanut Sauce

Fresh Spring Rolls are probably my favorite appetizer of all time! I don’t know if it’s the fresh and colorful veggies or the dreamy peanut sauce that they get dunked in. This peanut sauce is SO good you will want to drink it and lick the b…

Fresh Spring Rolls are probably my favorite appetizer of all time! I don’t know if it’s the fresh and colorful veggies or the dreamy peanut sauce that they get dunked in. This peanut sauce is SO good you will want to drink it and lick the bowl clean!  I love to pick a variety of…

BLT Pasta Salad

You can’t go wrong with a classic BLT sandwich. My boys request them often, especially during the summer months when our garden tomatoes are in abundance. We also love making our BLT Salad, it’s a family favorite and a blog favorite. Well, …

You can’t go wrong with a classic BLT sandwich. My boys request them often, especially during the summer months when our garden tomatoes are in abundance. We also love making our BLT Salad, it’s a family favorite and a blog favorite. Well, if you are a BLT fan, you are in luck because we have…

Hearty White Bean Caesar Salad Bowls

Nourish bowls are the best. Grab yourself a grain, a protein, some veggies, and sauce — and you’re set with a flavorful, filling, and balanced meal! This Caesar Salad Nourish Bowl is no exception. 
It’s fresh, vibrant, satisfying, meal-prep friend…

Hearty White Bean Caesar Salad Bowls

Nourish bowls are the best. Grab yourself a grain, a protein, some veggies, and sauce — and you’re set with a flavorful, filling, and balanced meal! This Caesar Salad Nourish Bowl is no exception. 

It’s fresh, vibrant, satisfying, meal-prep friendly, and super versatile (use up whatever root veggies you have on hand). Just 10 ingredients required for this delicious plant-based and gluten-free meal packed with protein, fiber, and minerals.

Hearty White Bean Caesar Salad Bowls from Minimalist Baker →

Vietnamese Spring Rolls (Vegan)

Wrapping fresh julienne vegetables, fresh herbs like basil and mint, rice vermicelli noodles and crispy mushroom shreds with rice paper wrappers will make for a delicious vegan Vietnamese spring rolls also known as fresh summer rolls. They are a popula…

Wrapping fresh julienne vegetables, fresh herbs like basil and mint, rice vermicelli noodles and crispy mushroom shreds with rice paper wrappers will make for a delicious vegan Vietnamese spring rolls also known as fresh summer rolls. They are a popular appetizer or snack that you can also easily prepare at home. Are you looking for...

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The post Vietnamese Spring Rolls (Vegan) appeared first on My Pure Plants.

Butter Lettuce Salad with Parmesan Dressing

This crisp butter lettuce salad is simple and fresh! Dress this delicate lettuce with Parmesan dressing, chives and breadcrumbs. There’s…

A Couple Cooks – Recipes worth repeating.

This crisp butter lettuce salad is simple and fresh! Dress this delicate lettuce with Parmesan dressing, chives and breadcrumbs.

Butter Lettuce Salad

There’s nothing lovelier than the bright chartreuse of young lettuce leaves, and we can never resist a head of butter lettuce at the store or spring farmer’s market. Here’s a simple way to make it into an impressive side dish: this Butter Lettuce Salad! These delicate lettuce leaves are irresistible coated in creamy, savory Parmesan Peppercorn dressing and topped with a few simple veggies and Parmesan shavings. A sprinkle of crunchy breadcrumbs seals the deal: you won’t want to put down your fork! (At least, we didn’t.)

Ingredients in butter lettuce salad

Butter lettuce is a variety of green lettuce that also includes Bibb lettuce and Boston lettuce. It has a soft, delicate texture and a mild flavor, ideal for simple salads. It’s often sold as a small head with the roots still attached to keep it from wilting. You can often find this type of lettuce at farmers markets, especially in the spring when tender greens are in season. Here’s what you’ll need to whip up a quick salad with this tasty lettuce:

  • Butter lettuce (like Bibb or Boston)
  • Shallot
  • Cherry tomatoes or radishes
  • Fresh chives
  • Italian panko
  • Parmesan Dressing (see below)
  • Parmesan shavings, for garnish (optional)
Butter Lettuce Salad

For the creamy Parmesan dressing

This Parmesan Peppercorn Dressing is ideal for a butter lettuce salad: it’s just light enough in texture to coat the delicate leaves but doesn’t overwhelm them. It also has the most irresistible, creamy flavor that you’ll want to bathe in (sorry not sorry!). Here are a few things to note about the dressing:

  • The dressing is like a simpler form of Caesar dressing. Lose the anchovies and swap in red wine vinegar for lemon, and you’ve got this dressing! It’s one of our favorite salad dressings to date.
  • It Greek yogurt instead of sour cream to make it creamy. Using Greek yogurt makes for less calories than a standard creamy dressing, but still keeps the rich, smooth texture. It’s a solid healthy dressing for your repertoire!
Parmesan Peppercorn Dressing

A vegan alternative

Want to make a vegan butter lettuce salad? Use this fresh and creamy Cilantro Sauce instead for a light green dressing, or try it with Vegan Ranch or Vegan Caesar. They’re all tasty creamy vegan salad dressing ideas that will give a slightly different character to this salad.

Instead of croutons, try breadcrumbs!

Ever tried breadcrumbs on a salad? Lately we’ve topping salads with a sprinkle of panko. It brings a crunchy texture that spreads out into every bite, and it’s so simple (not to mention shelf stable). Here are some notes on panko and Italian panko to use in this butter lettuce salad:

  • Panko is a Japanese-style breadcrumb mixture that is airier and lighter than traditional breadcrumbs. It has a crunchy texture which is more satisfying on salads (breadcrumbs are much finer with almost a sand-like texture).
  • “Italian” means herbs and salt are added. You should be able to find Italian panko or panko easily at your local grocery store.
  • Only have plain panko? Mix ½ cup panko with ⅛ teaspoon kosher salt and ½ tablespoon Italian seasoning (or 1 teaspoon dried oregano and ¼ teaspoon each dried basil and thyme).
Butter Lettuce Salad

More green salads

Butter lettuce is one of our favorite types of salad greens. But there are so many more to explore! Here are a few more tasty green salad recipes and spring salads:

This butter lettuce salad recipe is…

Vegetarian. For gluten-free, use gluten-free panko. For vegan, use Cilantro Sauce, Vegan Ranch or Vegan Caesar Dressing.

Print
Butter Lettuce Salad

Butter Lettuce Salad


  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 4

Description

This crisp butter lettuce salad is simple and fresh! Dress this delicate lettuce with Parmesan dressing, chives and breadcrumbs.


Ingredients

  • 5 ounces butter lettuce (Bibb lettuce or Boston lettuce)
  • 1 shallot
  • 1 handful cherry tomatoes (or radishes)
  • 1 handful fresh chives
  • ¼ cup Italian panko*
  • ½ cup Parmesan Peppercorn Dressing (recipe below)
  • Parmesan shavings, for garnish (optional)

For the Parmesan Dressing

  • ¼ cup mayonnaise
  • ½ cup Greek yogurt
  • ¼ cup Parmesan cheese, finely grated
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • ½ tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon each kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon water

Instructions

  1. Wash and dry the lettuce (a salad spinner makes quick work). Then tear it into pieces.
  2. Thinly slice the shallot. Slice or quarter the cherry tomatoes or thinly slice the radishes. Finely chop the chives.
  3. Make the Parmesan dressing: whisk together the mayonnaise, Greek yogurt, grated Parmesan cheese, red wine vinegar, Dijon mustard, garlic powder, salt, black pepper and water until a creamy dressing forms.
  4. Place the butter lettuce on salad plates or a large platter. Top with the sliced tomatoes or radishes, shallot, chives, and Parmesan cheese shavings. Drizzle with about ½ cup of the dressing and sprinkle with Italian panko.

Notes

*Panko is a Japanese-style breadcrumb mixture that is airier and lighter than traditional breadcrumbs. It has a crunchy texture which is more satisfying on salads (breadcrumbs are much finer with almost a sand-like texture). “Italian” means herbs and salt are added. You should be able to find Italian panko or plain panko easily at your local grocery store (often they also sell gluten-free). If all you have is plain panko, you can season it: mix ½ cup panko with ⅛ teaspoon kosher salt and ½ tablespoon Italian seasoning (or 1 teaspoon dried oregano and ¼ teaspoon each dried basil and thyme).

  • Category: Salad
  • Method: Raw
  • Cuisine: Salad
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Keywords: Butter lettuce salad, lettuce salad

A Couple Cooks - Recipes worth repeating.

Italian Herb Tofu Wraps with Garlicky Hummus Sauce

Friends, is this the perfect plant-based lunch? We’ll let you be the judges, but we definitely cast our votes (heck YES) after the first bite. These wraps are bursting with fresh, savory, satisfying flavors, and they’re so quick and easy. 
They’re…

Italian Herb Tofu Wraps with Garlicky Hummus Sauce

Friends, is this the perfect plant-based lunch? We’ll let you be the judges, but we definitely cast our votes (heck YES) after the first bite. These wraps are bursting with fresh, savory, satisfying flavors, and they’re so quick and easy

They’re perfect for lunch or dinner, and yes, they’re meal-prep friendly! Make the tofu ahead of time and these plant-based wraps come together in just 15 minutes for effortless meals throughout the week.

Italian Herb Tofu Wraps with Garlicky Hummus Sauce from Minimalist Baker →

Romaine Lettuce Salad with Green Goddess

This romaine salad is simple and stunning! It pairs the refreshing lettuce with creamy Green Goddess dressing and crunchy breadcrumbs.…

A Couple Cooks – Recipes worth repeating.

This romaine salad is simple and stunning! It pairs the refreshing lettuce with creamy Green Goddess dressing and crunchy breadcrumbs.

Romaine Salad

We’re always on the hunt for a great salad around here, and this one is simple and stunning. Try this refreshing Romaine Salad! The electric green of the romaine leaves, pale green dressing and delicate pink radishes have a fresh monochrome effect tastes as good as it looks. The Green Goddess takes it over the top, slathering it all in herby, savory creaminess. To take it over the top, sprinkle with crunchy breadcrumbs, an ingenious alternative to croutons. Great as a spring salad or in any season, you’ll be head over heels (we were).

Ingredients in this romaine salad

No matter how many salad recipes we make, we’re always on the lookout for those easy, go-to recipes that are versatile enough to pair with loads of meals. This romaine lettuce salad is that: a quick 5 minute dressing and a handful of components make salad magic. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Romaine hearts or a mix of hearts and dark green leaves
  • Radishes
  • Shallot
  • Green Goddess Dressing
  • Italian panko
  • Parmesan shavings
Romaine lettuce

For the dressing: a lighter Green Goddess

This Green Goddess dressing is a revelation: once you try it, it will become one of those go-to recipes you keep in your back pocket. This deliciously creamy dressing features loads of fresh herbs and optional anchovies for savory notes (just like a good Caesar dressing). Here are a few things that stand out about this dressing:

  • Uses Greek yogurt instead of sour cream. Classic Green Goddess dressing is made with sour cream, but this one uses Greek yogurt as a great stand in! It has less calories than the standard, making it a solid healthy dressing for your repertoire. It also brings in extra tangy notes.
  • It takes just 5 minutes! Throw it all in a blender and whiz it up. It’s quick and easy for big flavor that’s loads better than store-bought.
Romaine lettuce salad

Italian Panko stands in for croutons

The best innovation for replacing croutons? Breadcrumbs on a salad! Lately we’ve been topping all our salads with a sprinkle of panko. It brings a crunchy texture that spreads out into every bite, and it’s so easy (and very shelf stable). Here are some notes on panko and Italian panko:

  • Panko is a Japanese-style breadcrumb mixture that is airier and lighter than traditional breadcrumbs. It has a crunchy texture which is more satisfying on salads (breadcrumbs are much finer with almost a sand-like texture).
  • “Italian” means herbs and salt are added. You should be able to find Italian panko or panko easily at your local grocery store.
  • Only have plain panko? Mix ½ cup panko with ⅛ teaspoon kosher salt and ½ tablespoon Italian seasoning (or 1 teaspoon dried oregano and ¼ teaspoon each dried basil and thyme).

And that’s it! We hope you love this romaine lettuce salad as much as we do: let us know in the comments below what you think of it.

Romaine Salad

More salad recipes

This romaine salad is one of our top salad recipes to pair with meals because it’s so versatile! Here are a few more favorites:

This romaine lettuce salad is…

Vegetarian. For gluten-free, use gluten-free panko or croutons. For vegan, plant-based and dairy-free, omit the Parmesan shavings and use Cilantro Sauce as a dressing.

Print
Romaine Salad

Romaine Lettuce Salad with Green Goddess


Description

This romaine salad is simple and stunning! It pairs the refreshing lettuce with creamy Green Goddess dressing and crunchy breadcrumbs.


Ingredients

  • 2 romaine hearts (about 8 cups chopped)
  • 2 radishes, thinly sliced
  • 1 shallot, thinly sliced
  • ½ cup Green Goddess Dressing (or Cilantro Sauce for vegan)
  • ¼ cup Italian panko*
  • Parmesan shavings, for garnish (optional)

Instructions

  1. Chop the romaine hearts. Thinly slice the radishes and shallot.
  2. Make the Green Goddess Dressing.
  3. Place the romaine on salad plates or a large platter. Top with the sliced radishes, shallot, and Parmesan cheese shavings. Drizzle with dressing and sprinkle with Italian panko.

Notes

*Panko is a Japanese-style breadcrumb mixture that is airier and lighter than traditional breadcrumbs. It has a crunchy texture which is more satisfying on salads (breadcrumbs are much finer with almost a sand-like texture). “Italian” means herbs and salt are added. You should be able to find Italian panko or plain panko easily at your local grocery store (often they also sell gluten-free). If all you have is plain panko, you can season it: mix ½ cup panko with ⅛ teaspoon kosher salt and ½ tablespoon Italian seasoning (or 1 teaspoon dried oregano and ¼ teaspoon each dried basil and thyme).

  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Category: Salad
  • Method: No Cook
  • Cuisine: Salad

Keywords: Romaine salad, romaine lettuce salad

A Couple Cooks - Recipes worth repeating.