Author: janessapk

Food Fun Friday: Mexican Love

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If you like Mexican food, raise your hand.


*raises hand*


I hope every single one of you reading this post has your hand raised right now. Because 1.) If you don’t, what kind of monster are you? (I don’t  even want to know) and 2.) I’m about to blast all ya’ll with some mouth-watering pictures.


Whether it’s tacos, nachos, burritos, enchiladas or just a simple chips n’ guac, there is something so beautifully simple and satisfying about vegan Mexican food.

I’m a simple girl (*cough* just don’t ask my ex-boyfriends) who likes simple fare. Give me a corn tortilla, beans, avocado and cilantro, and I’m happy. You can get fancy and throw in jalapeños, cabbage, nutritional yeast, hot sauce, fakey melty cheese, pico de gallo, or spinach, and I’m an even happier girl. Just don’t put rice in the mix, I’ll glower at you.

Here’s some of my favorite dishes:




homemade jackfruit carnitas tacos



Nachos from El Nutri, my favorite vegan Mexican food in Portland.  (Ordered with refried beans instead of black beans, because let’s be honest: pinto beans are the bomb.)



Green Taco from El Nutri, with a side of fresh jalapeños



Tri-colored chips and bean salsa from Beaches Restaurant in Vancouver WA (Why was I at Beaches in Vancouver? Don’t ask.)



A build-your-own spread at Who Song and Larry’s in Vancouver Wa. Nothing vegan on the menu, but you can annoyingly build your own meal. They love us there.



Homemade enchiladas. Half with olives, half without (the roomie doesn’t like olives; she calls them ‘the devil’s eyeballs’)



Slightly blurry pic of enchiladas. My hands were shaking in anticipation, probably.



Green Taco and Potato Taco from El Nutri



Homemade tacos



Tortillas and guac from Gracias Madre in San Francisco



Tacos from Gracias Madre in San Francisco



Nachos from El Nutri


Nachos from El Nutri (Instagram Pic)



CHIMICHUNGA from El Nutri. Oh, yes I did go there!


dessert rito

I gotta include this one. This is Amber’s award-winning dessert burrito from 2011.

The description, from her blog:

Warm cinnamon and chili apples wrapped in a cinnamon sugar glazed tortilla, topped with vanilla So Delicious ice cream, drizzled with homemade dulce de leche (HOLY SHIT.) and sprinkled with coconut.


What are some of YOUR favorite Mexican dishes, recipes and restaurants?

Seattle Spotlight: Vegan Foodz

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Hi, vegans!

Have you been to Seattle? Have you tried all the yummy foodz?

We haven’t tried them all—YET—but we’ve tried a fair amount.

There are tacos:






…and bagels:




…and coffee galore:





…and fried pickles:


….and deep fried goodness at a sadly now-closed location:




….and don’t forget the cocktails!:







Places seen in this post:

Speaker Spotlight Thursday: Grant Butler

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In February 2010, Grant Butler, food writer at The Oregonian (yes, print still exists, guys, geesh!), went vegan for a month in a self-described ‘”journalistic stunt”. (Read about his reasons here.)



A couple of years later, and here we are: Grant Butler is The Oregonian’s resident vegan, and he even moderated a couple of panels at 2011’s inaugural Vida Vegan Con. Attendees of The Dating and Mating Panel and The Nutrition Panel may remember his thoughtful and engaging questions.

When applications started rolling in for Vida Vegan Con 2013, Jess, Michele and I were stoked to see that Mr. Butler applied.

As a journalist, and a vegan professional working in a very non-vegan world, his proposals intrigued us and we’re really geekily excited to have him as a speaker for the 2013 conference.

His topics (stay tuned for class announcements, sooooon!) will be engaging, thoughtful and professional, just like the man himself.


Only seminally related, I saw a few weeks ago on his Facebook page the most delicious looking  vegan cinnamon rolls everrrrrrrrrrrrrr. If that man can bake like that, we want him involved in as many vegan events as he can stomach!



Tickets available for Vida Vegan 2013 here.

{and tickets still available for the Vida Vegan Tech Seminar in Seattle on November 3 here}

Speaker Spotlight Thursday: Dawn Quinn and Helen Pitlick

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For VVHQ’s first special speaker spotlight during Vegan MoFo, we thought we’d pick two ladies dear to our collective hearts.

Dawn Quinn of Vegan Moxie and Helen Pitlick of Vegtastic!, both hailing from the Seattle, WA area, are speaking at Vida Vegan’s first ever one-day seminar in Seattle this November, focusing on technical aspects of blogging (their specialty: social media, naturally) AND at Vida Vegan Con 2013 in Portland.

Dawn is an expert in social media, copy editing, and champagne cocktails; so naturally we love her and want her involved in whatever we do as much as possible. She’s also adorable and is starting the  MCDM program at University of Washington this fall, so she’s suuuper smart and stuff.


Dawn in the kitchen..


Helen is a social media maven; her tweets could make me want to attend a golfing conference with glee, which is saying a lot, considering golfing is like the boringest.

She has a Master of Communication in Digital Media from the University of Washington, Instagrams a lot, and even has time to blog. She’s got the smarts and the drive, and we’re super thrilled to have her involved with Vida Vegan for two different events.


Helen in the kitchen too!

For the One Day Tech Seminar on November 3 in Seattle, Helen and Dawn will be speaking on Next-Level Social Media:

How do you connect your blogging goals with social media? This intermediate-level session for people already active with Twitter, Facebook, and other social networks will explore the use of these tools to build community and craft your personal vs. blog identity. We’ll look at identifying and utilizing emerging social media platforms such as Tumblr, Instagram, and Pinterest. We’ll also touch upon best practices for sharing content across these different platforms.

{Tickets available here}

For Vida Vegan Con in May 2013, you’ll have to stay tuned to the blog to find out what they’re speaking about (schedule coming soon!). Rest assured, everything these ladies do is wicked smart, organized, enthralling and educational.

We love Helen and Dawn, and heck, all of our speakers, and are super proud to have them involved with Vida Vegan.


August Happenings

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Hi guys!

Wow, just to think, this time about a year ago, all y’all were converging upon Portland, not yet having consumed chia pudding, any Voodoo Doughnuts or the treats at Upton’s Pop-Up Sandwich Shop. And now, a year later, here we are. Gearing up for Vida Vegan Con Numero Dos in May 2013 and the first (of many to follow) one-day seminars in Seattle this November.

August is a busy month for us at Vida Vegan HQ.  We’ve got several fun happenings.

Tech Seminar

We’re SO EXCITED (so excited)  for our one-day tech seminar in Seattle on Saturday November 3.  We just released class descriptions and speaker bios on our blog; check it out here if you missed it.

We’re covering everything from social media to graphic design to podcasting; basically, everything you ever wanted to know about blogging tech but were afraid or didn’t know to ask.

Plus, if you haven’t heard yet, the one-and-only-just-opened Veggie Grill will be providing lunch for all attendees <insert squee here>.

Plus, if you like, totally want to come, but totally can’t afford it, we’re offering two sponsorship opportunities.


Foodista’s  International Food Bloggers Conference (IFBC) is descending upon Portland TODAY for a weekend of fabulous  food-blogging nerding out.  The ladies of Vida Vegan HQ are thrilled to have been asked to speak at a breakout session called “Niche Blogging.” We’ll be discussing:

…the methods and reasoning behind niche blogging–vegan, gluten-free, kosher, they’re not for everyone! As a niche blogger, how do you define your focus? How do you handle the extra pressure of writing for those outside your niche? Is your blog part of a mission? How do you develop a sense of community among like-minded bloggers?

Stay tuned to our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram feeds to follow along with our adventures.


Speaking of Instagram, Vida Vegan now has an account! Michele runs the Vida Vegan HQ Instagram feed.


As for the other organizers, Jess, @jdfunks, Instagrams pics of cats, Portlanding and her ongoing 100 Days of Homemade Series. A few pics:


Janessa, @janessapk, Instagrams homemade and resaturant-made vegan food and cocktails and pretty pictures of Portland.

The Peach Blendy with mint at The Rum Club
Portland from the Broadway Bridge
El Nutri
El Nutri Vegan Nachos

Vegan Talk and Presentation at Rose Schnitzer Manor

Rose Schnitzer Manor, an assisted living home in the suburbs of Portland, recently asked the ladies of Vida Vegan Con to present information and recipes about vegan proteins in their “Epicurean Delights” series.

We’ve created a couple of recipes (NW Berry Salad and Classy Tofu Mac & Cheese topped with crispy shallots) and are headed out to Beaverton this Tuesday, August 28, to speak with the residents who are very curious and interested to learn about vegan food. Needless to say, we’re super excited for the opportunity to talk with dozens of folks who don’t have too much experience with or knowledge of vegan proteins.


Quick Links:

Read about our Tech Seminar speakers and in-depth class descriptions.

Buy  Tech Seminar tickets.

Apply for a Tech Seminar scholarship.


Find out more about the IFBC conference taking over Portland this weekend.


Instagram Stalk Us.


And if you are planning on visiting us and attending the 40+ classes (OMG so many classes, WE KNOW. Schedule post coming soon.) for Vida Vegan Con in May 2013, and haven’t bought your ticket (they’re going fast!), click here.

Reminder: Speaker Deadline is May 1

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Hi guys!

Now that you’ve all read the big announcement (we’re SO EXCITED), we want to share this reminder with you:

Potential speakers:  your applications are due by MAY 1.  This is for everyone; those of you who spoke in 2011 and want to speak again, and those of you who didn’t speak in 2011 but want to in 2013.


The Travel Panel, 2011. Photo courtesy of Veg News.

Remember that we’re aiming for a smaller speaking pool this time around, and you’ll be likely asked for involvement twice, if not three times or more, during the weekend conference. Think talks, panels, discussion groups, etc. Keep an open mind–and get ready to talk.

Please remember that all speakers are subject to approval. All traveling speakers will be offered a limited travel credit reimbursement.

With that, please see this link, and we welcome past speakers, attendees, and new folks to apply away!

See you guys in May 2013 in Portland!