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.


Perfect.

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.

asparagus & broccoli risotto



This week, after seeing two recipes for risotto show up in my blog reader I thought to myself, maybe it’s time I try to make some myself. Despite needing a bit of attention on the stove, it was very simple to make and so rewarding to eat. One of my favorite meals is rice & broccoli, and this risotto is basically just the fancy version of that. This dish will easily impress any dinner guest.


I followed this recipe and just subbed out the zucchini for broccoli and asparagus (and of course, left out the pesto). It was creamy and so full of flavor, I just couldn’t get enough. I might have to make risotto all the time now. I’m ok with that too.

Mad Men Premiere Party


It’s time to get serious about the season premiere of Mad Men this weekend. Are you excited? I am! I don’t watch a ton of television, but Mad Men is just so darn good. More than that though, I’m really excited that we’re going to have a 60’s themed cocktail party and watch with our friends. Any excuse to dress up and have fancy drinks is good for me.

I’ve been brainstorming appetizers for weeks now and have settled on a few so far. When I asked my mom what appetizers were popular in the early 60’s, she responded with “Boring stuff.” Boring just doesn’t work for me. So here are some ideas that are simple and easy to make, but still fun.

Pigs in a Blanket – Tofu dogs wrapped in puff pastry, with a side of BBQ sauce. That’s about as easy as it gets.

Jello – There is actually such a thing as vegan jello. You can buy the boxed brand or make your own with agar-agar. The tricky part will be finding cute jello molds. Maybe top these with with some coconut whipped cream.

Deviled “Eggs” – I’ve always wanted to try this recipe. To make things easier though, I may just put the “yolks” on toast.

Obviously though, it’s essential that we have a well stocked bar to make cocktails. I’m thinking some Moscow Mules & Old Fashions. I suppose it’s appropriate to also have martinis but then I need to get some darn martini glasses that I may never use again. Don’t know how to make these classics? Recipes below!

I really want a punch bowl too. This isn’t exactly traditional cocktail party style, but it’s spring and it would be fun to have some citrus fruit drink.

Ok, let’s get on to those drink recipes.

 

Old Fashioned

  • 2 oz whiskey or bourbon
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 2 dashes Angostura bitters
  • 1 orange twist

In a cocktail shaker or large glass, muddle the sugar with the bitters and a splash of water or seltzer until the sugar is dissolved. Fill with ice and stir in alcohol until chilled. Strain into a double old fashioned glass filled with ice. Garnish with a twist.

 

Moscow Mule

  • 2 oz vodka
  • 1/2 oz lime juice
  • 4 oz ginger ale (chilled)
  • 1 lime wedge

In a tall glass, mix vodka and lime juice. Add ice and pour in ginger ale. Garnish with lime.

Then of course there is also the important element of what to wear. I’ll be a search for the perfect party dress. Can I make my hair into a beehive? I don’t know but I’d sure like to try.

 

Do you want to have a Mad Men party too? I hope so. What will you serve?

entertaining


I am by no means a social butterfly, but I love to play hostess. Often times, the menus I plan to make are often much grander than my capabilities. Sometimes you just have to make something simple.

For instance, this fantastic Spinach Dip that came together in about half an hour. I ate way too much of this stuff, but it was just so good, I couldn’t help myself. Not only is this recipe fast and easy, it’s missing a lot of the ingredients that freaked me out about other similar dips (like mayo, which sounds gross). Also, it has sauerkraut as a main ingredient; therefore, it’s extra awesome.


The other thing I’m learning is that you don’t have to make everything. Sometimes ordering native wings from Native Foods is the way to go. Pair that with some chips and guacamole from Trader Joe’s and you’re set. Now that’s easy.

Do you have any favorite easy recipes to share? Something good for sitting around and watching a movie with friends?