Eating healthy as a taste snob can be a chore. But not at Tru Veg.
Crystal DuBoyce and Brian Igarta, and their 12-year-old daughter Skye, serve up plant-based foods packed with both flavor and nutrition from a tiny white trailer in the parking lot of an automotive business on Chambers Street. They’ve divided the menu at Tru Veg in two: cooked vegan food and raw, or living, food.
“We like to offer our customers good, wholesome, healthful plant-based food because we like to eat it ourselves,” DuBoyce says. “We know what it does for our health, and we know what it does for other people as well.” The couple’s Hawaiian roots inspired the menu, and they say their heritage does, too: Igarta is of Portuguese, Puerto Rican, Hawaiian, Chinese and Filipino descent, and DuBoyce is of Korean, Japanese, French and Irish descent — a lot of cooking styles to pull from.
Tru Veg stays away from soy, and it’s friendly to the gluten-free, as well. It’s about 95 percent organic and strives to buy food that’s grown locally. Its cooked vegan food includes meals such as the Thai coconut curry: a medley of carrot, onion, potato, broccoli cauliflower, bell pepper and cabbage in a creamy but mildly spicy coconut curry sauce served over brown basmati rice. The rice, beans and greens bowl contains brown rice, seasoned black beans and steamed kale with home-cooked garlic-cashew sauce.
The living food section starts with the live burger and the live tacos, which use lettuce leaves instead of shells and buns. The live burger is a patty made from carrot pulp and flax and sunflower seeds. Its ketchup, made from sun-dried tomatoes, bursts forth with flavor.
“I don’t feel like our menu is big enough,” DuBoyce says, laughing. “There’s so much more we could do, but being in a food trailer we’re limited in what we can serve, especially since we’re just getting started. We’re still kind of taking it slow and easy.”
Slow and easy might be true, but the Tru Veg philosophy begins with taking care of the customer through nutrition. The mind, body and spirit are all connected, DuBoyce says, and enjoying fresh, healthy food spreads to the other aspects of our lives. “If we are fed well, we are able to perform well and live our lives well and be happy.”
Tru Veg is open 11 am to 7 pm Monday through Thursday and 11 am to 5 pm Friday, at 780 Chambers St. Check its Facebook page at wkly.ws/1hr for closures due to catering and other events, plus announcements of cooking workshops.
Pictured above: Live burger and kale salad. Photo by Todd Cooper