Meet Alex Caspero
Alex Caspero is a Registered Dietitian, New York Times Bestselling Chef, and mom of two. She aims to cut through the nutrition noise by providing real-life, nourishing tips for body and mind. Learn more about Alex.
I arrived back from California this morning and while I already miss my old home, it feels good to be back in St. Louis. It’s crazy that in less than two years I’ve gone from dragging my heels to move here to being happy to land in the Midwest. Proof, once again, that if you stay in anything long enough, the experience changes.
It’s kinda how I feel about being a vegetarian. I’ve been at this game so long that it’s second nature. I can scan almost any menu in less than 15 seconds to find a vegetarian entree and know how to read labels for hidden ingredients. And while I feel like the rest of the world is catching on to the idea that some of us are sans-meat, there’s one area that always feel lacking: the vegetarian sandwich.
Even this morning, sleepwalking through the Phoenix airport looking for a grab-and-go option, I came up short with any vegetarian options. Finally, in the coroner of this tiny stall market, I was able to snag a hummus and vegetable wrap. And yes, hummus and vegetables will always do but I’d like to send a message to the larger universe: vegetarians like more than just hummus and roasted vegetables.
So, I created a sandwich that I wish I could find on a menu. A simple, unique take on a vegetarian sandwich, complete with all the things I’m craving right now: creamy, spicy, tender and pickled.
I know it’s beyond cliche for a pregnant women to crave pickles, but my goodness, I cannot stop. I go through a costco-size jar of pickles almost weekly and my sandwiches have been packed to the brim with pickled jalapeños, banana peppers and of course, more pickles.
I found these hot and sweet cherry peppers a few weeks ago at Trader Joe’s and to say they have been life-changing might be accurate. I put them on everything when I’m not eating them straight from the jar. When I was creating this sandwich, I knew I had to make amble room for these.
I mentioned before how difficult vegetables have been these last few months, and that’s not an understatement. Salads, be gone. I’m hopeful I can enjoy you again soon. But charred broccoli that doesn’t really taste like a vegetable? I can do it. In fact, I’ll use the word like it. I really like broccoli like this, super tender with crispy edges. It’s the perfect filling for a vegetarian sandwich that’s not the typical vegetarian sandwich.
Fresh mozzerella is the final touch here because, again, cheese has been my BFF. I kinda hate this fact as I was doing so well on reducing dairy in my diet before I got pregnant but, the cravings have been out of control. I like my cheese slightly melted, but not gooey. To do this, I microwave (or toast) the pita just before the broccoli comes out of the oven. Then, I place a few slices of fresh mozzerella in immediately, as the heat from the broccoli and bread melts the cheese. I then stuff as many peppers in as possible before wolfing this down. (Um, this ravenous appetite doesn’t make for dainty bites.)
Hope you enjoy this one as much as I do!
If you try this recipe, let me know! Leave a comment, rate it, and tag your Instagram photos with #delishknowledge . I absolutely love seeing your creations. Happy cooking!Print
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Charred Broccoli and Mozzarella Sandwich! A unique take on a vegetarian sandwich. Spicy, creamy and delicious.
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