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?

Speaker Q&A with John McDevitt of The Laziest Vegans

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In preparation for our upcoming Tech Seminar, we here at Vida Vegan HQ have been discussing blogging and the vegan internet non-stop (as usual), but with an even greater focus on the technical side of things; pondering just where we all see both long and short-form blogging evolving in the future. It’s a curious topic, to say the least. Since it’s so heavy on our minds, we reached out to our own experts, including speakers from November 3rd’s event and our 2013 roster*, to weigh in with their own thoughts on the state of blogging, technical insight, and their favorite Pacific Northwest vegan options. Of course.

First up, is the dedicated blogger who’s your go-to-guy for the latest on vegan snacks, and someone to ask for vegan survival thriving advice if you’re ever in Nebraska: 2011 & 2013 Vida Vegan Speaker John McDevitt of The Laziest Vegans in the World, where he’s currently featuring his thoughts on pumpkin spice coconut milk, and local vegan community hub, Vegan Omaha. John shares his honest thoughts on Tumblr, monetizing trends, the blogs he actually reads, and love for the vegan fishwich.

Q & A with John McDevitt

Where do you see blogging going?
I’m not a big fan of Tumblr, but it’s probably going more in that direction. Micro blogging or whatever is mobile friendly. I would probably blog more if Blogger had a decent app.

What’s your favorite photo editor?
I’m pretty boring, Picasa.

What blogging trends are you liking? Disliking?
I like that more people are getting into it. I dislike the ad/monetizing thing, it’s pretty annoying. If you get tens of thousands a views a month, ok, but most bloggers don’t. Has anyone ever clicked one of those ads? No.

What blogs/websites do you read? I don’t look at as many as I should. My favorite blogs are Post Punk Kitchen, Vegansaurus, Vegan Crunk, and The Gay Vegans.

What do you want to learn more about at the Tech Seminar?
How to monetize!?!?!?

In Portland?
Vita Fishwich

Thanks, John! Keeping it real.

Want to chime in with your own thoughts? Please do so below, or email us at VidaVeganConference [at]

*full 2012 line up being disclosed soon!

Tech Q&A: v.

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What’s the difference between and Which is better?

I don’t know if there’s a single “better” between the two, but there is probably a “better for you right now.”

The obvious plus for is that it’s a potentially free, user-friendly service. In less than an hour you can have a blog up and running. For $13 you can map to your own domain name (registered through WordPress or not)—no The drag-n-drop widgets make it pretty easy to add buttons, links, and social networking functions. It does, however, have its limitations, even if you upgrade for CSS design flexibility or video hosting. Also,, in exchange for this free to low-cost service, will run random ads on your blog. For $30 a year you can prevent this, but you are not allowed to run ads of your own. is not as simple, right out of the gate. You’re on your own for hosting, so to get it started, you’ve got to know a little something about FTP uploading, databases, and the like…or know someone else who does. But once it’s all set up and you’ve chosen your theme (of which you have many more choices and are free to customize) and plug-ins, it pretty much acts like With, you can install plug-ins for monetizing ads, stats analysis, and e-commerce.

What seems to make the leap to easier is a hosting service such as Bluehost. For $5-10 a month, you can choose WordPress scripting and it’ll take care of much of the nuts and bolts of it, making this pro option more accessible to the less tech savvy among us.

So what’s the tipping point? If you just feel a little penned in by the “.com,” and it’s worth upwards of $100 a year to you, then it might be time for “.org,” perhaps with the help of a hosting service or a super geeky friend. And if you get stuck or scared, WordPress has a huge support site and community.

Bottom line, don’t feel bad about taking your time. Plenty of respected bloggers use free blogs. Focus on your content and get to the flashy stuff when you can.

Have you got a tech question? Hit us up at VidaVeganConference [at] gmail [dot] com. We’ll dig up the answers!

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:

It’s Not You, It’s Facebook.

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So you have 500 Facebook fans but only 100 saw your post? Grrrrr. It may not be your fault, but it is your problem.

Facebook recently made some changes to clean up people’s news feeds…to keep them from being inundated by news they asked to see! Rather than unliking or clicking that little X to hide, Facebook has just decided to prevent posts from showing up in the first place.

What can be done?

Pay to play. You can promote a post on Facebook, to reach your fans—or even your fans’ friends. I am personally saddened by this. We aren’t huge companies trying to advertise; we’re bloggers trying to share information with like-minded folk. But the feature’s there, and if you’ve got a big announcement, it might be worth it for you. You’ve probably seen the little drop-down to promote. If you click on it, there’ll be a number of options, and $5 or $10 will make sure your post finds its way to a bunch more people.

Master the organic system. Facebook will continue to show posts in news feeds of fans who interact regularly with you. Your posts will also show up for more people if they are engaged with early. Most of the marketing information out there suggests a few general guidelines to make the most of your posts:

  • Short posts with pictures and a call to action (What’s your favorite seitan recipe? Caption this photo!) receive the most attention and engagement.
  • Learn what time your fans are most active. For some it’s Saturday night, for others Sunday around noon—experiment a little and see what happens.
  • Don’t post too often. More than two a day and you could make your fans feel spammed, then you can be met with resistance to engage, unliked, or hidden.

Food Fun Friday: Vegan Doughnut Takeover

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A couple of years ago, coming to Portland meant picking up a vegan doughnut—from Voodoo, Acme, or Sweetpea, if you were lucky. But as we travel around, it’s clear that vegan doughnuts are making their way all over this crazy little country of ours.

On our trip to Chicago, we picked up these Fritz square doughnuts at New Wave Cafe in Logan Square. I love that you get to keep the hole!

In Seattle, of course, you’ve got Mighty-O. In San Francisco, there’s Pepple’s Organic Donuts. As often as I go to Las Vegas, I can never seem to get over to Ronald’s. Someday.

Over on the East Coast, New York folk have Babycakes and Dun-Well, and there’s Cinnamon Snail over in Jersey.

The Midwest is not left out of the game. Missouri has Brody’s Bakery. Michigan’s got Happy Mouth Vegan Treats. And the Donut Whole in Kansas has vegan options!

I know we didn’t get ’em all. Do you have vegan doughnuts (or donuts) in your city? Let us know in the comments!

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}