Exploring the Vegan Pizzas at Tutta’s in Dallas West End

Hey Dallas pizza lovers, mark your calendars for August 9th, because Tutta’s is having a pizza party, to celebrate the addition of 9 vegan pizzas to their menu! I’m not a party person…but if you’re having a 4 course vegan pizza party, you can count me in! Last week, my dear friend Courtney Garza (@colormecourtney_) invited me and the girls to check out the new vegan pizza menu at Tutta’s in Dallas West End to promote this event, and we were all thoroughly impressed. You can get tickets here!

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Vegan pizza spread at Tutta’s! Photo by @beetsbybrooke.

Tutta’s owner and head chef, Jeremy Scott, is really creative about their toppings and they make everything from scratch, in house! For those wondering, the vegan cheese they use is Teese–I loved it because it’s not too heavy or greasy. You must come to the pizza party and try all their new vegan pizzas! Tutta’s vegan menu isn’t on their site just yet, but not to worry, I got you covered here! Here’s everything we tried… Continue reading

Eating Vegan in East Africa

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On the road in Kenya | Veggie samosa from a gas station in Kenya–filled with potatoes and spinach! I loved the addition of greens, since I don’t usually see samosas with greens in the U.S.!

Hi friends! Ever wondered what it’s like being vegan in East Africa? Read on, I’m about to tell you all about it. But first, you may be wondering, what in the world was I doing in East Africa, and why has my blog been silent for so long?! Well, after graduating in May (yes, y’all, finally!) I had the great opportunity to participate in a study abroad session in Tanzania with UT Arlington and the University of Cincinnati. I asked my mom if that could be my graduation gift–to go to Tanzania with my classmates and learn how to give back using my recently acquired landscape architecture skills. My mom was absolutely supportive of this idea, and she also suggested that I expand my trip to include Taiwan (for a personal meditation retreat) and Vietnam (for vacation with family), before embarking to Tanzania. So I have been abroad for a month this summer, and am finally back home now, settled enough to start blogging more about the experiences! Continue reading

Green Papaya Salad | Gỏi Đu Đủ

Summer is almost upon us! Time for all the refreshing foods, like this green papaya salad!

Green Papaya Salad | plantcrush.coMy apologies for the huge hiatus on the blog, y’all, my design thesis has been my main priority for about a year now! I am happy to report that I have successfully defended my thesis to graduate. This past weekend, I finally graduated with my Master’s in Landscape Architecture! It still feels so surreal to type those words. I’ve been an emotional, nostalgic mess, and am preparing for an international trip to 3 countries, but that didn’t keep me from getting back in the kitchen!

I’ve had a few potlucks in the past couple weeks, so I’ve been making this green papaya salad a lot. Everyone has been loving it! It’s a classic Thai/Vietnamese dish, and yesterday I made it again for mom for Mother’s Day. Besides spring rolls, Vietnamese salads are one of my mom’s favorite things to eat! Continue reading

Lemongrass “Beef” Spring Rolls | plantcrush x It’s Jerky Y’all

What’s the one food you could eat everyday? For me, the answer would be spring rolls! There have been weeks where all I eat for dinner are spring rolls, especially during the long blazing heat of Texas summer. There are just so many ways to make them–they’re so fresh and fun! Plus, I think it’s the best way to get a lot of greens in (I’ll take spring rolls over salad any day).lime

It’s actually amazing that I don’t have a spring roll recipe on the blog yet, considering how much I eat them. Today, I am happy to share this spring roll recipe with you, in collaboration with one of my favorite vegan brands based in Texas: It’s Jerky Y’all! My dear friends at Sprinkles Creative and I teamed up to make this adorable how-to video for the recipe. I’m so happy my friends and I got to work together on this; we all had a blast. For the full written recipe, scroll down.

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Nana-politan Ice Cream Parfaits | plantcrush x Beets by Brooke

Who else gets excited when they can sneak veggies into their desserts? I like to make healthy choices most of the time, but I’m also not opposed to treats, like this nana-politan ice cream parfait I whipped up with my friend Brooklynne (@beetsbybrooke)!process-3.jpgWe got together to create a Galentine’s Day menu featuring beets! We made a divine heart beet pizza and salad for the main meal, and for dessert, we decided to go crazy and put beets in our banana ice cream too! Beets have a lovely sweetness that is truly marvelous. #beetcrush Continue reading

Heart Beet Pepperoni Pizza | Plantcrush x Beets by Brooke

 

IMG_0487This recipe is for that girl you can’t live without. Final Process PicYour best friend, your sister, your mom, whomever it may be–show them you love them by making this delectable heart beet pizza, complete with a side salad! Ok, you can also make this for your male/other friends too, but the point is, this pizza came about because of the spirit of Galentine’s Day! Continue reading

Q&A With a Pig | BB Addresses Her Fans

For those of you who celebrate, I hope your Lunar New Year week has had a beautiful start! I’ve been spending a lot of time with family, eating great food and treats, and re-visiting childhood memories. In honor of the year of the pig, I asked you guys on Instagram to send in your questions about BB, the adorable pig I fostered a couple years ago. She has graciously taken the time to answer your queries below–enjoy!

How did Ann end up fostering you?

I was found wandering the streets in Fort Worth, and was taken to the Fort Worth Animal Care and Control Center. I had a couple scars…we’re not sure what happened to me, but thank goodness the animal shelter took care of me. They posted a picture of me on Facebook, and Ann found it through a local vegan group. Those people were so nice, helping me when they didn’t even know me! Ann shared the post with her former boss, V, who has had a pet pig before. V wanted to adopt me, but she was in the middle of moving, so Ann offered to foster me! She became my foster mom. 🙂 We lived together for about 3 months! Continue reading

UT Arlington gets Down to Earth | Finally, a vegan place on campus + a giveaway!

“The best feeling is when my customers tell me they feel the love I put into my cooking. The mission of Down to Earth is to bring you good food that’s good for you!”

— Alma Rangel, founder of Down to Earth

My university, UT Arlington, hasn’t always been the best place for vegans, vegetarians, or earth and health conscious folks. Having been a student there for almost a decade (yes, I’m in grad school now), I’ve seen it all–the struggle of choosing a bruised banana or a greasy hashbrown for morning fuel was real. I remember at orientation, I made my first friend over a sad/hilarious vegan bonding experience over the slim pickings at the salad bar. We rallied with other forward thinkers (veg and non-veg!), advocating for more plant-based options on campus in various ways, earning unanimous support from Student Congress.

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Photo courtesy of Richard Hoang (The Shorthorn).

Options got better overall, but they weren’t particularly amazing or consistent. La Blue Casa had a great run at College Park, until it went down in an unfortunate turn. If you wanted vegan tacos, your best bet would be to make your own (which we did). Now, with the arrival of Down to Earth at College Park, students can get a variety of vegan tacos and other authentic, plant-based Mexican fare on demand. Read to the end to find out how you can win a free meal at Down to Earth!

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Down to Earth offers a variety of taco fillings, including nopalitos (cactus), calabacitas (Mexican squash), spicy sweet potato and black beans, and aguacate a la Mexicana (avocado fans rejoice)!

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Chinese 5 Spice BBQ Jackfruit Bánh Mì Bites

Happy 2019, friends! I’m just popping on the blog to share a quick recipe with you today, as I’ve gotten many messages about these jackfruit bánh mì bites on Instagram. I made them for a vegan NYE potluck my friends Christina and Courtney hosted, and they were a hit! The five spice is the lingering aroma that makes this dish epically memorable. I’ve used this warming spice in literally everything, from my go-to peanut sauce, to gingerbread cookies to faux beef stir fries, jackfruit bao bites, and even protein bars! It’s been my recent obsession and also is an homage to a lot of the food I had growing up in a Vietnamese household. This spice holds the ultimate expression of nostalgia for me.Chinese 5 Spice BBQ Jackfruit Bánh Mì Bites | plantcrush.co

As I get older, I have really loved leaning into my Vietnamese roots more, after many younger years where I pushed my culture away in order to assimilate/avoid being bullied for being “different.” Now, it always feels so damn good to embrace my family’s heritage and blend it with my own personal experiences/influences. This dish is kind of a fusion dish–5 Spice BBQ jackfruit on bánh mì bites! I’ve made 5 Spice BBQ fusion jackfruit bao bites before, and this recipe is basically the same thing but with bánh mì fixings. Continue reading

2 Ingredient Chocolate Mousse With Citrus + Lychee

Lychee is one of my favorite southeast Asian fruits, second only to mangosteen. Its pink-white flesh is glossy, delicate and aromatic…the vibrant taste is absolutely unique. Think of a grape, but juicier, with smooth floral, rosy notes and pear undertones. Even comparing it to a grape is slightly insulting, because its freshness and flavor is on an entirely different level.

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Clearly, lychee is my valentine this year.  Lychee is also considered a lucky fruit in Chinese culture, symbolizing family abundance and harmony, so this dessert would be a fun fusion dish for Lunar New Year gatherings this weekend. Red and golden hues make a lucky color palette. Continue reading

Beet + Ginger Vitality Soup for Chinese New Year // A Cup of Joan Collab

The Lunar New Year (commonly known as the Chinese New Year) is tomorrow! I’m so excited to finally share this collaboration that my friend Joan La (A Cup of Joan) and I have been working on. Joan is an ethical, vegan fashion blogger. Her content exists in a genre somewhere between storytelling, activism, and art. Ultimate goals–I love this babe so much!

I love the way Joan expresses herself and stands up for what she believes in. I’m Vietnamese (with some Chinese, but culturally I’m Viet) and Joan is Korean. We have passionately discussed the need for a bigger presence of Asian American and persons of color in the vegan movement. We’ve both noted that vegan versions of traditional Asian dishes are not as widely known, and it’s especially irksome when our cultural food is either looked down on or appropriated by “trendsetters” with no cultural context (vegan fish sauce as a start up venture, for example…). I could go into it more but this post is going to be long as it is, so I must save that for another time–let’s get to the good stuff! For our CNY collaboration, we decided to each post a recipe and share interviews with our moms, to celebrate our different cultures and share the similarities. Yesss, Asian female empowerment and solidarity! I urge you to check out Joan’s post here, and follow her beautiful inspiring Instagram here–you won’t regret it. Continue reading

Lemon Lavender Candied Ginger (Mứt Gừng) for Chinese New Year (Tết) | plantcrush.co

Lemon Lavender Candied Ginger for Chinese New Year (Mứt Gừng)

Like any new year celebration, Chinese New Year is about new beginnings. Sweet treats are popular cross-culturally, as they symbolize a sweet, joyful start to the upcoming year. I think we can all agree that we definitely need more joy this year. This year, I was honored to be invited by the lovely Christine (Vermilion Roots) to participate in a Chinese New Year sweets party with several other Asian bloggers. It’s kind of like a virtual potluck—I urge you to check out the participating blogs below, to get a taste of the lunar new year from various parts of Asia! Continue reading

Fusion Jackfruit Bao Bites

Hi lovelies! It’s been way too long–I literally haven’t blogged since last year! I owe you a lot of recipes. But I will make it up to you guys, starting with these adorable little bao bites…yes, I knooow, they look incredible and more importantly, they taste just as delicious as they look–you’re welcome. 😉

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