Rose Petal Spread

With a bounty of roses in our front yard I decided to make an Ayurvedic recipe for Rose Petal Spread, also known as Gulkand, Read More

Roasted Tomato & Butternut Squash Soup

duo soup 3 (1 of 1)

Yoga may have killed my burger mojo. Read More

Phrench Dip (Pho + French Dip)


My All-Time Favorite Market Stand for Greens and Herbs

Recently we went to a Vietnamese restaurant I’ve been wanting to try for some time, not only because I like vietnamese food, but also to try their stand-out sandwich they call “Pho Baguette.”  It’s Pho-simmered-beef meets Bahn Mi.  A departure from tradition, to be sure, but what sounds wrong about brisket, pickled vegetables and pate on a french baguette moistened with broth?  Nothing!!

Unfortunately, we happened to pick the hottest day of the year, and one of the busiest for restaurants in general (Mother’s Day), for our visit.  The wait would have normally been a nice opportunity to catch up with my son, but the restaurant was entirely outdoor and it was sweltering.  I suppose it could have been an authentic Vietnamese street-food summer experience, you know . . . to have a cold sweet drink and wait in the heat, but nobody was up for it.  Since then I’ve been curious about that sandwich, so I decided to make one myself.  Except it’s all Pho and no Bahn Mi, save the bread.  Oh, and there’s no meat. I know, I know, but 4 lbs of meat and marrow bones went into the broth, so the beef’s there in spirit.

It turned out to be a very delicious dish indeed, and right in keeping with birgerbird style — inspired by restaurant food, highly adapted . . . and a little all over the place.  It’s really easy to make if you have homemade bone broth on hand.  Here’s the recipe:

Yield:  4 servings


4 cups bone broth, or substitute purchased chicken or beef broth

1 inch piece of ginger, peeled and sliced thin

1 stick cinnamon

1 piece lemongrass, whacked with back of a knife

1 piece star anise

4 long baguettes

1 jalapeno

1 cups bean sprouts

1 green mango, cut into matchsticks

1 carrot, grated

1 bunch basil

1 buch thai purple basil

1 bunch mint

1 bunch rau ram

1 bunch cilantro

4 large red leaf lettuce leaves

8 oz tofu, weighted down between 2 books or a brick and a pan, you get the picture

2 Tbps olive  or coconut oil

2 Tbsp sriracha

2 Tbsp mayonnaise with a drop of sriracha mixed in

4 oz peanuts, crushed

2 Tbsp fish sauce

Juice of 1 lime

2 Tbsp sweet chili sauce

2 Tbsp soy sauce

4 Tbsp rice vinegar

1 tsp sugar

2 Tbps minced red chile


Heat up broth with cinnamon, star anise, ginger and lemongrass and season with salt and pepper.  Bring to a boil and take off heat.  Drop a few leaves of each herb into the broth and let infuse.

Meanwhile, mix jalapeño, bean sprouts, all herbs, carrot, lime juice, fish sauce, chili sauce, soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, peanuts and chile.  Toss with hands and make sure all leaves are coated.  Split baguettes lengthwise, hollow out a little bread and pack herb mixture into top half of bread.  Really press the herbs into the bread.  Place a lettuce leaf on top.  If there is leftover dressing from the herbs, pour over herbs on bread.

Spread bottom half of baguette with mayo.

Slice tofu into several pieces, about 1/4 inch thick and spread with sriracha.  Broil briefly.

Lay tofu onto bottom half of baguettes.  Place onto top baguettes and weigh down with a heavy skillet or other makeshift weight.

Gently heat up the broth, strain herbs out, and ladle into bowls.  Serve broth with sandwiches and dip away!





Juicy Red Salad, Buttermilk Dressing; and, May I Rant?


Without Avo

Without Avo

Here’s a fresh and beautiful springtime salad inspired by the early Brooks Cherry appearance in our farmer’s markets this week.  It’s crunchy, creamy & juicy, and sweet, tart & peppery, all in one bite.

The sweet and juicy fruit pairs well with the crunch and grassyness of the black eyed pea and english pea sprouts; and the avo and creamy dressing, tangled with the shock of peppery arugula, rounds everything out in balance.

That's Better

That’s Better

This Friday at my favorite farmer’s market, I was so excited about these cherries, harbinger of summer, that I literally just threw together a salad idea in my head, made a few more purchases with the cash I had left, and biked all the ingredients to work in my backpack.  I figured I could snap some pretty good photographs in our office kitchen, which encompasses one quarter of one entire building floor, and has 2 floor-to-ceiling windows as its 2 out of 3 walls.  Great light, juicy cherries, some sprouts, my iphone camera, and all of a sudden I have a chance at making it to Fiesta Friday after all!

I artfully assembled my salad, moved it around to scout lighting, and then it happened.  That person, you know the one . . . the one that every office has who is miserable . . . she snarked me!  She rained on my sunny disposition.  Really staring deeply into my salad (and getting into my personal space) I believe what she said was, “That looks so disgustingly healthy,” with a tinge of sincere scorn and mockery. Plus maneuvering around me with a step-ladder and crowding me big time.  I mean, can you give a girl a little happy privacy . . . or wait 2 minutes until the space is free?  I know I’m a little weird with my food but . . . can’t we all just get along? 🙂


On that note, I would like to wish all of my fellow “food obsessed” or “food interested” bloggers and Fiesta Friday #13 co-guests a very happy weekend filled with lots of good food, companionship, gratitude and love!!!!!!!

Here’s the Salad Recipe:

*Please note that the dressing recipe is adapted from Ina Garten’s recipe published on the, and it will make much more dressing than you need for this salad, but it is a WONDERFUL salad dressing to have on hand.  I use Thai basil instead of regular basil because I like it better! I keep a jar in my refrigerator at work and at home.


3 cups wild arugula

1 cup mixed sprouts (I used black eyed pea and english pea found at my farmer’s market, but please feel free to use bean sprouts, radish sprouts, whatever you can)

1/2 cup fresh cherries, pitted

1/2 cup strawberries, halved

1/2 avocado, sliced

Arrange all ingredients in a nice big bowl.  Sprinkle with salt and let sit while you make the dressing.

Ingredients for the Dressing:

1/4 cup buttermilk

1/4 cup mayonnaise

1/4 cup yoghurt, drained for half an hour

1/4 cup olive oil

2 scallions

1/2 bunch Thai basil

1 Tbsp mustard

1 clove garlic, smashed

1 Tbps lemon juice

1 tsp honey

pinch salt

Place the scallions, basil, lemon juice, mustard, olive oil, garlic, salt, and pepper in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Puree for 15 to 20 seconds to make a smooth mixture. Add the mayonnaise, yogurt, and buttermilk and blend until smooth. Transfer the dressing to a container, cover, and refrigerate for 1 hour for the flavors to develop.

For one gigantic salad as listed above, I use about 1/4 to 1/3 cup dressing and mix really well with my hands, then eat with a spoon!  Don’t forget to top with freshly cracked black pepper.

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The Many Lives of Beets

Here are a few things I’ve done with beets in the past 2 weeks: