jackfruit and potato pals

It’s been nearly a year since Pure Luck closed and I still miss it all the time. The only thing that takes the edge off is that it’s not too hard to recreate their menu at home. It’s not quite the same obviously, but works when you’re desperate for a jackfruit burrito.

There is not much to making your own, the key ingredient of course being the jackfruit carnitas. So, to make your life a little brighter, I’ve included the recipe below.

Pure Luck Jackfruit Carnitas

1 20 oz can Jackfruit in brine, drained and rinsed
1 bottle Mexican coke
3 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, minced
2 heaping teaspoons Better than Bouillon mixed with 2 cups water (I used the No Chicken base, but could be done with the No Beef base I’m sure)

Generally speaking, I like to make this in my crock pot, because it’s easy to just let it cook overnight, but you could also just let it all simmer for 20-30 minutes on the stove.

Heat 1 Tbsp of oil in a pan over medium flame. Add onion and garlic to the pan and saute until the onions have softened, stirring so that the garlic doesn’t burn. Set aside.

Break up the jackfruit a little with your hands, separating the flesh (don’t worry too much about the core, it will soften up when cooked). Add jackfruit, cooked onions, garlic and all other ingredients to your crock pot and cook on high for 4-6 hours or on low overnight. You can keep the jackfruit in this broth until you are ready to eat it.

In an iron skillet or heavy bottomed pan, heat the remaining oil over medium high flame. Add the jackfruit and saute until browned. You’ll want to break up the jackfruit even more at this point, particularly the cores. Toss in your burrito and enjoy!

The other majorly important side dish from Pure Luck is the potato pals. Someone asked for the recipe to make these, but honestly, they’re basically premade. I suppose you could get all fancy and make some gnocchi from scratch, but that’s certainly not what Pure Luck did. So just pick up a package of gnocchi from the market (make sure they don’t have eggs in them), cook them following the instructions on the package, and then fry them up. I don’t have a deep fryer so, I just fry them in some oil in a skillet. They still taste awesome. Missing the dipping sauce? It’s just vegenaise and bbq mixed in equal parts.

I’m still dreaming that one day Pure Luck will reopen it’s doors somewhere else, but until then, I’ll just go on making jackfruit carnitas and potato pals at home. Now if only I could crack their caesar dressing I’d be set.

ice cream snowballs

One of the people I’m saddest I never was able to meet is Shawn’s mother, Sharon. She passed away a few years before Shawn and I met, and though I was never able to know her, I feel that she still has an impact on our life together. Shawn always tells me stories about her and it’s easy to see how much she did for her five children. She was a talented cook and went out of her way to make celebrations special. When Shawn and some of his siblings went vegan, she would adapt her recipes to make vegan versions.

Often times, Shawn will tell me something she used to make and we’ll try to recreate it. These snowballs fall into that category. A simple to assemble treat that is exponentially more tasty because it is fun to eat. With warmer weather rolling around (maybe?) I can see we’ll be making more of these.

Start with a scoop of your favorite non-dairy ice cream.

Roll it around in some coconut. Use your hands. It’s not even that messy.

Place on a cookie sheet and freeze for 10-30 minutes. That’s it! You now have a snowball.

Now personally, I’m not a fan of coconut, but I didn’t want to be left out of the snowball fun, so I made some “dirty snowballs” with crumbled cookies instead.


Thank you Sharon for still being an inspiration, even though we never met. Mostly though, thank you for raising such an amazing son who I adore so much.

primo passo

This past week I was able to visit the new Primo Passo Coffee Company on the west side. It’s a beautifully modern space with delicious coffee. I was pleased with the subtle flavors of their espresso. I’ve notice recently that coffee roasters have edged towards more bold brews to make their coffee stand out, ranging from strong citrus notes to intense woodsy flavors. My latte from primo passo, on the other hand, had a delicate blend of flavors that make it enjoyable the whole way through. Beyond just good coffee, I loved the open design of the space and hope to visit there often. And now, I think I’ll go have another cup of coffee.

apple butter

We had a bunch of apples and they were coming to that point where something had to be done with them. I knew they weren’t going to be eaten on their own as I really only like the tart green apples. As much as I enjoy apple pie, I just wasn’t in the mood to make one. It had to be something new. So despite the fact that it’s not really the season for apple dishes, I thought it was finally time to try my hand at apple butter.

I blended the apples into a sauce, and simply cooked it down with a bit of sugar and some spices in my slow cooker. 24 hours later I had creamy, delicately sweet apple butter. I didn’t get all fancy and preserve the jar, I just popped it in the fridge as there’s only enough to last about a week (less at this rate).

As a complement, I made some simple English muffins so I wasn’t just eating the butter out of the jar. I love the combination of the savory muffin and earth balance with the apple butter. I think it would also be great stirred into some oatmeal or in the middle of a layer cake. Yes please.

With summer fruits around the corner, maybe I’ll get daring and try my hand at some jellies and jams.

Austin food and drink

With a schedule full of film watching in Austin, I didn’t expect to do a ton of restaurant sampling. Shawn, on the other hand, plotted out the best places to go based on everyone’s recommendations. Thank goodness for a husband that balances out my movie madness, since some of the meals were not to be missed.

Possibly my favorite of the restaurants was Bouldin Creek where I had two of the most delicious breakfasts. The first, a vegan benedict, was so good I insisted we go back another day. I’m not sure exactly how they prepare their tofu, but it is amazing: seasoned and lightly coated in nutritional yeast. Their potato cakes are also worth a mention as they’re far beyond any hash brown I’ve ever had.



I was also a big fan of Veggie Heaven. In particular the tangerine mushrooms were the kind of thing I crave often. It is the sort of dish I see on a menu in many places but never lives up to what I’m imagining in my head. Yet, these saucy & perfectly breaded mushrooms were everything I hoped they would be. The steamed buns were also very good. Let’s not forget the bubble tea, it was the best.

We also happened upon this adorable place that had just opened called Hillside Farmacy. There were only a couple of vegan options on the menu, like the soup of the day, which happened to be carrot cardamom, but the interior is lovely and they have Stumptown coffee and a bar. It’s definitely worth a visit just to check out the beautiful renovation they’ve done of the space, and of course, have some coffee. I wanted to live inside this shop.

Not only does Austin have some lovely vegan friendly restaurants, there are also some very nice bars with mixed drinks I love. The drink menu and atmosphere at the East Side Show Room was by far my favorite. And of course, as I mentioned before, Austin will now be known to me as the first place I ever tried boba and subsequently fell in love with it.

Even though we’d visited Austin before, it was great to go to a completely new set of restaurants and food trucks. Can’t wait to go back and try some more.