Reads, Writes, Eats and Cooks
The Emergency Munchie Food Truck or EMT truck runs on owner Amber’s ideal of scratch-made vegetarian comfort food. The food she considers emblematic of her philosophy is Vegetarian Lasagna with a white cream sauce and roasted vegetables, other examples would be Poutine and Indian sweet potato and chickpea curry. All of her examples are hearty, luscious, flavorful and vegetarian.
The duality of Midwestern practicality and her own playfulness are childhood gifts from the strong, supportive women in her life. She remembers visiting her paternal grandmother who lived on a farm and had kitchen counters full of rising dough. There she discovered the joy of experimenting with gathered ingredients. From her working mom and grandmother she learned the practical comfort of casseroles. As the only vegetarian in her family she found herself challenged to make hearty comforting dishes for meat eaters without making vegetables mimic meat. Her menu for the food truck include traditional comfort foods in vegetarian form such as, Chili Blanco, Waffle Melts, the “B” Burger and the Mac Nugget Poppers I found her preparing in the kitchen during this interview. All her recipes combine peppery heat, grilled warmth, melting cheese and fresh veggies.
Although she grew up and now lives in Indiana, she also lived in Florida and California before returning. She loves to travel, experiment with new recipes for her family and garden at home. Gardening, cooking and travel are common foodie side affects.
She ascribes her attention to detail, branding and style, having managed the Reeda Todd Salon in Indianapolis for years. The design of the food truck experience combines the simplicity of the color black with the square shape and extends from the shape of her waffles to the recyclable, biodegradable service items. The idea of the food truck itself is a combination of a late night fantasy for an emergency ambulance delivering comfort food with a very practical and healthful approach to eating. A former ambulance, the food truck embodies the theme of an urgent need for culinary comfort.
She doesn’t actively market the food truck as vegetarian or vegan or the fact that she sources locally. Instead, she insists on the idea of comforting updated traditional treats with a personal commitment: “I don’t want to serve people what I wouldn’t eat.” And, I must say she has good taste. If you’re in the area try hungry philosopher Amber’s tasty strategies to eat the irony of mid-western vegetarian comfort.
This summer I enjoyed a quick afternoon snack at the EMT Truck with my daughter at the West Lafayette Farmer’s Market: Sweet Potato Fries, seasoned with cinna-spice, served with chipotle ketchup sauce alongside a cool refreshing lemonade. Notice the square produce basket and the checkerboard pattern. Nicely and deliciously done.
Dear Hungry Philosopher Amber,
Thank you for sharing your story and pictures!
Wishing you more cheese wheels and fresh vegetables,