Spring has arrived! I used to be a lover of fall and winter, but as I get older, the spring season has become more appealing to me. Maybe it’s because some of my favorite produce starts to come into season, like pears, asparagus, and the best green veggie of all time: artichokes. YUMMMMMM! Springtime makes me want to eat light and fresh tasting foods. Maybe it’s my body’s way of saying “Bathing suit season is right around the corner. Get it together girl!”
Enter Banh mi tacos with strong flavors of Chinese 5 spice pork in a whole wheat tortilla, lightened up with sweet carrot slaw, cucumbers and fresh crisp cilantro. Oh how I love you cilantro. If that doesn’t get you excited, I will have to say it. Two words that make it impossible to turn away: Sriracha Mayo.
Oh yes I did.
This recipe takes on a cleaner version from the original with the use of Veganaise instead of regular mayo. I really tried to love traditional mayonnaise. I did. But I can’t get past the ingredient list, number one being canola oil in almost all the products offered. The last time I perused the mayo isle, this was the conversation between me and every jar: “No. Nope. Ummm, no. OH HECK NO!” Sadly, I can’t remember if the conversation was in my head or if I said it out loud….
Stick with veganaise. It is has a much cleaner ingredient list, and believe it or not, tastes amazing.
I love the traditional Banh mi, stuffed into a big fluffy roll, but springtime does not want a heavy sandwich. Springtime beckons for lighter. I shall not argue with you springtime. You win.
SEASONAL NUTRITIONAL HIGHLIGHT – FRENCH RADISHES
Radishes can come off really strong and spicy depending on how they are consumed. This recipe uses french radishes, which have a much milder, sweet flavor compared to the traditional red radish. They are available year round, but in abundance throughout the springtime. They are easily recognized by their shape, similar to a small carrot, as well as the red color that blends into white from top to bottom. Radishes are considered a member of the cruciferous vegetable family, much like broccoli and brussels sprouts. They are often used in Eastern and Ayurvedic medicine to help eliminate toxins from the body. Low in calories, radishes are a great addition to any meal as they have a soothing effect on the digestive system. Packed with nutrients such as vitamin C, phosphorus and zinc, they can help to keep the body hydrated. It is no coincidence that these little babies are available to our body during the warmer times of the year. It never ceases to amaze me how we are given the perfect produce each season to create the most effective health for our bodies.
Go getcha some springtime flava my friends!
- 4 pounds thin boneless pork chops
- ¼ cup sesame oil
- 2 tbsp Chinese 5-spice
- Radish/ Carrot Relish
- 5-6 french radishes
- 1 cup carrots
- ½ cup cilantro
- ¼ cup honey
- ¼ cup white wine or rice wine vinegar
- ¼ cup water
- 1 tsp salt
- Sriracha Mayo
- ¼ cup veganaise
- 1-2 tsp homemade Sriracha or fresh small red hot pepper, to taste based on spicy preference
- Fresh sliced cucumbers, cilantro and sesame seeds for topping
- Coat pork in sesame oil and 5 spice rub. Grill on med high heat for 3-4 min on each side or until browned on outside and cooked through. Don't overcook, as pork will become tough. Cut into 1 inch cubes and set aside.
- Shred carrots and radishes in food processor.
- Whisk remaining slaw ingredients together and pour over shredded ingredients.
- Mix veganaise with Sriracha according to your taste. Alternatively, take veganaise and fresh pepper and blend together until smooth.
- To build tacos: Place Sriracha mayo on tortilla. Add pork. Top with thinly sliced cucumber. Add relish. Garnish with cilantro and sesame seeds.