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)!

Continue reading

Ginger Mung Bean Soup

In the dead of winter, there are few things more comforting than a piping hot bowl of soup to warm you up from the inside out. I put ginger in almost everything I eat, especially in the cold seasons, and this soup is no exception. I was looking for a way to use up the surplus of split mung beans I had in my pantry (thanks mom), and this nourishing, spicy ginger mung bean soup came to be.

Ginger Mung Bean Soup | plantcrush.co

Note: you will need split mung beans for this recipe, as shown above (not whole ones).

Continue reading

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

Citrus Persimmon Bread Pudding

Growing up, my cousins and I saw many seasons pass through my grandparents’ house in Oklahoma. Winter nights meant steaming pots of my aunt’s phở chay and whispering under warm blanket forts. In the spring, our fingers became green and fragrant from plucking Vietnamese herbs for spring rolls. We spent our summers making our own adventures in the closets and under the tables (and doing math). In the fall, we were filled to bursting with ripe trái hồng (Fuyu persimmons) from my grandmother’s tree. No matter the season, our cheeks were always full of laughter, and our grandparents were always full of love for us, to the brim and more.

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Fuyu persimmons were my favorite fruit growing up, especially the ones from my grandmother’s tree. When eaten young, Fuyu persimmons are crisp and refreshing. At full ripeness, their texture becomes deep and tender–gelatinous globs of honeyed sweetness that melt in your mouth and make a mess when you eat them. My favorite stage to eat them is the middle stage, in which the fruit retains some bite, while still being delectably fleshy and succulent in texture. Persimmons are also amazing when dried–they are a gooey treat with a really satisfying texture. Continue reading

One Pot Unicorn Blood Soup | Beet Ginger Veggie Soup

“It is a terrible crime to slay a unicorn. Drinking the blood of a unicorn will keep you alive even if you are an inch from death, but at a terrible price.

You have slain something so pure that from the moment the blood touches your lips, you will have a half-life. A cursed life.”

— Firenze | Harry Potter + the Sorcerer’s Stone

I’ve always loved this quote from Harry Potter, especially the part about the karmic consequences of slaying a pure being. It certainly meshes well with my convictions about ahimsa and veganism!

Unicorn Blood Soup | plantcrush.co
Don’t worry, no unicorns were slain in the making of this soup. It’s raining hard here in Texas, so I made a quick batch of this colorful one pot soup. I decided to call it unicorn blood soup because I was feeling spooky! I know unicorn blood in the HP movies is silver, but we can just pretend it turns bright pink when cooked…haha. 🙂 Enjoy!!


One Pot Unicorn Blood Soup | Beet Ginger Veggie Soup
makes 2 servings


Time: 15-20 minutes
Ingredients:

  • 4 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon roughly chopped ginger
  • 3 – 4 oz of your favorite pasta (I used Banza’s chickpea pasta!)
  • 1 medium carrot, julienned (about 1/2 cup)
  • half a beet, julienned (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1 cup frozen edamame
  • 1.5 teaspoons mushroom powder, or to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon liquid aminos, or to taste
  • white pepper, to taste
  • toppings: chives, purple shiso leaves, cilantro, and scallions

Method:

  1. Blend 4 cups of water with the ginger until the ginger is pulverized (I used the whole juice setting on my Blendtec).
  2. Bring the ginger juice to a boil, and add the pasta. Cook according to package directions, adding all the veggies and seasonings halfway through the cooking process.
  3. Once the pasta has been cooked, bring the heat down low and add more seasoning to your taste, if needed.
  4. Enjoy!

Happy Halloween, y’all!