It was a chilly, drizzly West Texas day when we stumbled upon the bright green 1973 Shasta travel trailer parked at 5th and Murphy Street in Alpine. We’d been hearing about Chop’d, the newest soup and salad food truck, for some time, and were excited to try it out.
Emily and Jonathan Herrera outside of Chop’d. I made them get out of the warm food truck for a picture in the cold drizzle. Sorry, guys… but this is so cute!
Food trucks are typically started by folks who love cooking and serving food, and who want to work for themselves in the food industry. With less overhead and more flexibility when it comes to location, it’s no wonder foodies are converting trailers and box vans to mobile kitchens to serve up their culinary creations.
The food truck craze as we know it started in Los Angeles in 2008. Selling food out of a moving vehicle has been common for hundreds of years. Back in the 1860s, the chuckwagon was invented to feed cattlemen and wagon trains traveling through the Old West. By 1872, the first diner was created in a horse-drawn freight wagon. And I dare not forget to mention taco trucks and lunch trucks often found at construction sites.
Emily and Jonathan Herrera, owners and operators of Chop’d, are Sul Ross alumni. They’ve spent 10 years in Alpine, but lived in Dallas for a couple years before returning home to West Texas. Emily worked at Sul Ross with a fabulous job, and the two were always on the lookout for healthy food that you can grab quickly during the lunch hour.
“It was really hard for me to find healthy food for lunch… food that didn’t make me feel guilty. Then we said, ‘Why can’t we be the ones that make healthy meals?’” They found the 1973 Shasta travel trailer, and Emily and her father got to work on converting it to a food trailer.
Personally, I’m thrilled about the food truck scene that is transforming the face of food in Alpine, and am eager to test them all out. Just when I think I’ve tried everything, a new one pops up, and I have another new-favorite-place-to-eat to add to the list. It’s becoming more difficult to answer the question, “Where do you want to eat?” than it ever was before the food trucks came to town.
At Chop’d, we ordered the Feel Good Soup (a soup with chicken and veggies that include kale, mushrooms, chickpeas, garlic and other good stuff) and the Cranberry Almond salad (loaded with feta and bacon and dressed with olive oil and red wine vinegar), and had a picnic in our car on the cold, drizzly afternoon. There are picnic tables at Chop’d, so you can enjoy your lunch there.
Below, Feel Good soup and the Cranberry Almond salad… so yummy 🙂
Chop’d serves mostly organic food, and the menu provides the information about their selections of soups and salads. Typically, there are two soups to choose from, and they also serve Greek salad, Caesar salad, Spring salad and the Cranberry Almond salad that we enjoyed.
I look forward to more of the tasty soups and salads Emily and Jonathan create. Fresh, flavorful and healthy… hurry up and check out Chop’d. Located next to PrintoCo at 5th and Murphy Street, Chop’d is open Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Give them a “like” on Facebook for daily specials!
UPDATE: New additions to the menu after press-time – wraps and black bean salsa!!!
Healthy Chicken & Kale Soup
(Not the Chop’d recipe, but this will make you feel good eating it)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 medium onion, minced
1 pound boneless skinless chicken breast (or boneless thigh meat), cut into small bite sized pieces (or leftover turkey if you prefer)
1 large carrot, chopped
1-inch knob ginger, peeled & smashed
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon soy sauce (Use Tamari for gluten free)
4 cups chicken stock
1 bunch of kale, ribs removed and leaves chopped
salt to taste, depending on how salty your stock is
In medium stock pot, heat the pan on medium heat, then add olive oil. Add onion and cook until translucent.
Add chicken and cook for about 3 minutes or until brown on the outside. Add carrots, ginger, ground cumin, chili powder and soy sauce. Stir and cook for about 2 more minutes.
Add chicken stock. Turn heat to high and bring soup to a boil. Once it begins to boil, reduce heat to low.
Simmer soup on low for about 15 minutes. Skim fat from top of soup occasionally, if needed.
Add chopped kale and cook for 2-3 minutes or until kale becomes tender.
You can also add cooked noodles or rice to make an even heartier bowl of soup.
Printed with permission of the Alpine Avalanche 😊