Monday, December 23, 2013

Nando's Copy Cat Beanie Pita

I really enjoyed my time in Ireland, but as an 85% vegetarian I struggled to find food that appealed and wasn't fish and chips (I love fish and chips, but I cannot handle eating it every day.) I have really relaxed my picky eating ways in the past few years, but I still don't eat most meats other than fish and poultry. I felt a little off the first few days in Dublin, so I stuck to porridge and cheese sandwiches, but when I finally felt better and had traveled back and forth the width of the country, I was starving for a 'real' meal.

Then I noticed Nando's. I thought I heard of it somewhere. Then I overheard some people complimenting the food. I scoped that menu and put it on reserve for when A joined me in town. 

Oh my god. Joyful tastiness in a warm pita! Lemon-y pepper-y chicken wings! Cider! It was the best meal I had eaten in days (no offense to Irish cuisine, really) and I could have eaten another round almost as soon as I had finished my first.

A few days later, we did go back. It was still amazing - too bad there isn't full Nandos in the U.S. (and none whatsoever near us)! But they do have locations in London and we'd be there shortly! It seemed so simple, except for one little thing: the price. I consider Nando's a kind of upscale fast food restaurant and while it was very good, each of our two meals were well over the money I had spent on food for the three days' prior meals in total. On vacation that's fine, but what about the rest of the time?

Challenge Nando's Beanie Pita Re-creation was born. 

...and in the second go around, I created something that came pretty close and satisfied all hungry parties:

Seasonal plates! There's moose hiding under there.

What you need for Copy-cat Nando's Beanie Pita:

2 Trader Joe's garden variety veggie burgers (light green package)
2 pitas of your liking (I used Trader Joe's 'pocketful of fiber'
Handful or two of mixed greens (I used a variety of red cabbage, romaine, carrot shreddings)
A bit of cheese, cheddar or colby jack both worked nicely
Sriracha ('cock') sauce

1. Cook the veggie burgers to your liking. Put the pitas in the oven to warm.
2. When cooked, chop up the veggie burgers and divide them evenly between your warmed pitas, along with the sliced cheese and a generous helping of greens.
3. For the sauce (the most important step): mix together equal parts mayo (I used light) with the sriracha sauce. You can add more sriracha, depending on your taste for spiciness. 
4. Apply the sriracha mayo generously and serve some on the side for additional dipping (you're going to want it).

It's that easy! It may not be an exact replica, but it is very tasty, pretty healthy, and can be easily made in larger quantities. And there is definitely some more uses for that sriracha mayo...


Look at that  pita, bursting with flavor.

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