Kimchi ‘Bella Burgers

This post has been at least a year in the making. Last summer, I made some Asian-inspired portobella mushroom burgers for a friend and he told me they were the best burgers he’d ever tasted! I’ve since then made the recipe several times, tweaking things and adding different toppings.

This year, I’m participating in #VeganMofo for the first time! I’m mostly posting quick micro-blogs on Instagram, because grad school is my #1 priority at the moment. My life since last week: studying + studio all day every day (with breaks for food *photography* + quick runs to the gym). However, Vegan Mofo’s theme for Day 5, “best sandwich ever,” prompted me to create an entire blog post dedicated to this beautiful burger. 🙂

Burgers are sandwiches, right? 😉 I stepped up my game this time with double the ‘bellas, a creamy avocado basil sauce, and delectable caramelized kimchi (inspired by this dish made by ELY of Buzzfeed). This may be the best reincarnation of this burger yet!  Continue reading

Kimchi & Tofu Lettuce Wraps

The warm spring weather has prompted my sister and me to put many spring rolls and lettuce wraps on the menu lately. My cousin Jackie introduced us to kimchi tofu wraps last month and we’ve been hooked. Savory dry-fried tofu and fiery kimchi provide the main flavors in these wraps, while add-ins like basil, sprouts and cucumbers add green freshness.

Kimchi & Tofu Lettuce Wraps | plantcrush.co

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Bite-Sized Coconut Macaroon Nests

Say hello to the cutest dessert I’ve ever made, inspired by spring and nature!
Mini Coconut Macaroon Nests | plantcrush.coCrunchy on the outside, tender and chewy on the inside, these little coconut macaroon bites are best enjoyed soon after they’re taken out of the oven. They are decadent and delicate at the same time. To compliment the macaroons’ rich coconut flavor, I topped them with fresh juicy blueberries for some tart sweetness.

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Green Pear Flatbread Pizza

Happy National Pi Day! Let’s celebrate with pie. Pizza’s a pie, right?
Green Pear Flatbread Pizza | plantcrush.co
Fragrant pear slices + savory cilantro pesto + a toasty herb crust. I’ve been dreaming of this green pizza. When the idea for this recipe formed, I was feeling in between two things: inspired by the color green and craving a friend’s beloved apple pizza. Pesto-based pizzas may be above classic pizzas in my book of flavor cravings.

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Green Tofu Scramble

Growing up as a lacto-vegetarian, I remember feeling left out of a lot of food events in elementary school. On the day after we read Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss, I walked into the classroom and was met with the nauseating smell of eggs and ham.

On principle (and to avoid gagging), I didn’t try any, but I was pretty intrigued by the idea of green food. As repulsive as the smell was to me, green food sounded fun, so my child self felt left out. Even back then I knew it was ridiculous to feel like I was missing out, since it was basically chicken periods with green food coloring. Gross. Plus, I still didn’t understand how people could eat animals in the first place. It was absolutely weird to me (still is). We’ll have to re-visit this topic later–I have a cool discovery to share! Continue reading

Lunar New Year | Sweet Celebration Bowl

Chúc Mừng Năm Mới!
Happy Lunar New Year!

For today’s post, I considered making something savory, but we’ve been having some mildly warm afternoons here in Texas, so instead, I will share a refreshing fruity recipe. This recipe showcases lucky fruits with meanings for Tết (Lunar New Year): soursop (custard apple), coconut, papaya, and mango.
Sweet Celebration Bowl

In Vietnamese, the names of these fruits create a pun, “Cầu Dừa Đủ Xoài (Cầu Vừa Đủ Xài).” This phrase means “[Let’s] pray for just enough [resources/money/food, etc.] to use”–a wise wish for the new year.

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Rustic Savory Mushroom & Green Bean Crostata

The holidays are here and that means it’s pie season. I much prefer galettes and crostatas, though, and they are so much easier than pie!

A crostata (or a galette) is a free-formed pastry, which is why I love it so much. Usually it’s a dessert Savory Rustic Veggie Crostatadish, filled with seasonal fruits, like this apple galette I made, but it can also have a savory filling! Like potatoes, or tomatoes, for example. 🙂 I’ve been wanting to attempt a savory crostata for a while, and I finally got to make one and record the measurements this week!

Inspired by comfort food and pretty pastries, this is like a dressed up version of a green bean casserole. I actually like it better, because the herbed crust is so delicious! This is great for Thanksgiving, or for dinner on a relaxing Sunday evening.

Please note: the measurements below are for two crostatas (I couldn’t just make one!), but feel free to half them if you don’t want to make that much!

Rustic Savory Mushroom & Green Bean Crostata

Rustic Savory Mushroom & Green Bean Crostata
(makes 2 crostatas, 5-8 servings)
Total time: 2 hours

Herbed Crust 

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry purpose flour, chilled
  • 1 tiny pinch sea salt
  • 2 t organic sugar
  • 1 cup chilled non-dairy butter (I used Earth Balance this time–I want to experiment with a coconut oil crust in the future! Do any of you use Nutiva products for baking?)
  • 6 T fresh herbs, finely chopped (I used 2 T each of thyme, parsley and sage)
  • 4-5 T ice water
Method:
  1. Pulse the flour, sea salt, and organic sugar in a food processor until well incorporated.
  2. Cut the non-dairy butter into the flour mixture, using a fork. Don’t worry about making the butter pieces small—sugar cube sized chunks are fine.
  3. Process in the food processor until you get a coarse, crumbly mixture. Clumps are fine here. Halfway through, add the herbs.
  4. Add the ice water to the mixture, one tablespoon at a time. Pulse after each tablespoon & assess if you need to add more water each time you do–you want the dough to just come together.
  5. Divide your dough in half and carefully dump each half on two separate pieces of saran wrap. For each round of dough, take the plastic and wrap it around the dough, shaping it into a flat disc as you go. Watching Martha Stewart do it is helpful! 🙂
  6. Chill your dough in the fridge for at least an hour (or overnight). While your dough is chilling, you can prepare the filling!
Green Bean & Mushroom Filling

I used Fork and Beans’ Green Bean Casserole recipe, with several of my own adjustments (noted below).

Ingredients:

  • 10 oz fresh green beans, chopped and boiled until just tender—put them in ice after straining so that they stay fresh. Once they are cold, take them out of the ice and let them dry on a paper towel.
  • grapeseed or olive oil
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 8 oz sliced mushrooms
  • 2 T garbanzo flour (or regular all purpose flour)
  • 1/4 cup vegetable broth–all I had on hand was phở broth, so I just went with it, but it actually turned out amazing! It made everything very aromatic! 🙂
  • 1/2 cup plain, unsweetened almond milk
  • 2 T nutritional yeast
  • a generous dash of garlic powder
  • a pinch of nutmeg
  • salt and pepper to taste
After finishing step 3 on Cara’s recipe, I transferred the creamy mushroom sauce to a large mixing bowl and added the green beans to it. 

Assembling the crostataRustic Savory Mushroom & Green Bean Crostata

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Take the chilled dough rounds out of the fridge.
  3. On a floured surface, roll the dough rounds into rough circles.
  4. Transfer the dough rounds to two glass pie pans (mine were 8 inches in diameter), or a baking sheet.
  5. Spoon the green bean and mushroom filling onto the dough, leaving about 1 1/2 inches at the edges. Fold all edges of the dough towards the center. Food52 has some good tips for this.
  6. Brush the crust with some almond milk or melted nondairy butter.
  7. Sprinkle the whole thing with breadcrumbs or almond parmesan, to your taste. Last night, I made some herbed breadcrumbs with my favorite Ezekiel bread, so I used those! Check out my Facebook for the herbed breadcrumbs recipe.
  8. Lower the oven’s heat to 350 degrees F and bake the crostata for 30-35 minutes, or until the crust is golden. I let mine bake a little longer because I wanted it to be extra toasty!

Enjoy, and I hope everyone has a beautiful time with their family this weekend! Thank you for reading!