Friday, June 29, 2012

Vegan Chicago: Restaurant Review of El Nuevo Mexicano

El Nuevo Mexicano is my go-to restaurant for some vegan Latino food. Of course, there is also several other places one could go like Quesadilla Mexican Vegetarian Cuisine and La Cocina. El Nuevo has vegan menu options throughout (marked "V") and they use Daiya cheese as well as local seitan heros, Upton's Naturals (chorizo seitan and chicken variety).

For appetizers, one could start with guacamole and chips. When I went, I asked them to make vegan quesadillas for an appetizer (as they had regular on the menu and I knew they had vegan cheese) and these were good although it's a lot of Daiya. I'd recommend splitting with a friend for sure!

Entree's include:
  • Enchiladas with seitan chorizo, potatos, and carrots with tomatillo salsa and topped with Daiya cheese. Side option of quinoa or white rice and beans.
  • Flautas filled with veggies, seitan chorizo, and Daiya. Served with chipotle and tomatillo sauce, spring salad with mango and jimica, and white rice or quinoa.
  • Chimichangas vegano: Flour tortillas stuffed with seitan chorizo, mango, plantain, bell pepper, onions, almonds, and raisins then flash fried. Served with chipotle peach salsa and spring mix of mango and jimica. Also served with yams roasted with agave nectar and dusted with chile powder.
  • Fajitas with a mixture of vegetables. Served with pico de gallo, guacamole, and tortillas. Ask for no sour cream.
  • Quesadilla vegano: tortillas stuffed with veggies, seitan chorizo, Daiya cheese, mango, plantains, and pico de gallo. Served with a spring mix of mango and jimica.
Of course, there are the tasty margaritas too! Can't forget those.

The quinoa that came with the entrees was spiced like Mexican rice so it has a kick to it, be warned! I prefered the white rice instead. It is nice they offer another type of grain other than rice, though. I do like that the entree's generally come with a spring salad mixture of mango and jimica. It gives the meal some lightness to it, especially if one gets the fried entree's. The flautas were really good, although I am not a huge fan of chipotle! The other picture at the top I don't think is listed on the menu. They use Upton's Naturals chicken style seitan that is marinated and put into the mini tortillas with some vegetables. I really liked these! I just wish I could find it on their menu online. Perhaps it was a new item when I went there.

Pricing is a bit on the moderate side especially if one gets appetizers and drinks. I would prepare to pay at least $60 for a total bill of two people with appetizers, entree's, and drinks. If you want a nice Mexican dinner, though, I very much recommend El Nuevo Mexicano!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Product Review: Goody Good Stuff

Goody Good Stuff was kind enough to send me four sample bags of their vegan candies (not all are vegan - just these guys - but the rest are vegetarian).

Before I start my review, I'd like to point out all the great things this product has to offer! They are: fat free, soy free, nut free, kosher, meat free, dairy free, egg free, halal, alcohol free, gelatine free, gluten free, lactose free, GMO free, wheat free, cassein free, and tree nut free.

The varieties that are not vegan, but vegetarian, contain wax in them. The candies have a 24 month shelf life.

Sour Mix and Match: There are a couple of flavors in this bag including grapefruit, lemon, and raspberry. They kind of have the texture of a candy drop with sour mix on top. I didn't care for the grapefruit, but loved the lemon!

Sour Fruit Salad: These have the consistency of like peach slice candies - that gummy sort of quality. I really liked the lemon in these too.

Cola Breeze: These guy have a cinnamon hint to them. They are similar to Coke bottle candies with the sour mix on top. Definitely my favorite!

Summer Peaches: This candy seemed artificially peachy in flavor. They weren't bad, but not my flavor!

Out of the four vegan varieties, my favorite was the Cola Breeze, followed by the Sour Mix and Match, then Sour Fruit Salad, and lastly the Summer Peaches.

You can buy these candies online on Amazon or in Whole Foods. Check it out for a taste of childhood again (that's vegan)!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Twin Cities Veg Fest

I'm very sorry I haven't posted a lot in the last month or so. Your blog doll has been working an internship a couple hundred miles from Chicago and just hasn't been in the best position to do some cookin' or blog writin'. I will be back in July, though, so be on the look out for many posts! Thanks for reading Vegan Miss and your patience.

Twin Cities Veg Fest asked me to promote their event coming up in July. If you are in the area, check it out!

TWIN CITIES VEG FEST ON JULY 14, 2012: A Celebration of Compassionate Living

Compassionate Action for Animals (CAA) is proud to announce the first ever Twin Cities Veg Fest is happening at Coffman Memorial Union (300 Washington Ave SE, Minneapolis, MN) on July 14, 2012 from 10am - 5pm. Twin Cities Veg Fest will be a fun event with tons of free delicious vegan food samples, diverse exhibitors, nationally recognized speakers, a raffle and a children's area. For more information, go to

Twin Cities Veg Fest will be a celebration of compassionate living. The event seeks to inspire respect for animals by promoting a plant-based diet.

 Speakers include Scott Heiser, Director of the Criminal Justice Program, Animal Legal Defense Fund and Erica Meier, Executive Director of Compassion Over Killing.

 Some of the exhibitors confirmed so far are: Asase Yaa (food court vendor), Mercy for Animals, Equal Exchange, Ethique Nouveau, Featherstone Farm, Field Roast, The Hub Bike Co-op, Mississippi Market, Seward Co-op, Turtle Island Foods (Tofurkey), Upton’s Naturals and Vegan Pockets. Attendees will also have the opportunity to sample and buy various foods from donors including Alternative Baking Company cookies, Dandies Vegan Marshmallows, and more.

 Twin Cities Veg Fest is sponsored by City Pages (Official Media Sponsor), VegFund, Compassion Over Killing, A Frame Forward Photography, Mercy for Animals, Action for Animals, Move2Veg and Vegan Pockets.

 If you'd like more information about Twin Cities Veg Fest, call 612 276-2242 or email

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Vegan Chicago: Restaurant Review of Fritz Pastry

Fritz Pastry recently changed ownership and not only do they have vegan donuts (!!) and other goodies, but now Saturday & Sunday brunch as well as wraps. I checked out brunch the second weekend they announced having it. I really enjoyed it and will be back to try other menu options (the menu has changed since I was there - I think they change it every few weeks). If you're looking for a quaint brunch with a coffee & pastry shop vibe, this is your place! They also have an outdoor patio for the spring/summer/fall and while small, it's still cute.

Now, when I went there, the brunch menu had carrot cake pancakes and a tofu scramble as their vegan options. As of today, they have blue fennel hash (purple potatoes, carrots, onion, zucchini, baked tofu and red pepper ketchup - $8.50) and lemon cardamon pancakes (with seedling fruit blueberry syrup and whipped cream - $9). I'm not sure which menu sounds better! My tofu scramble was really awesome. It came with a variety of veggies - red potatoes, carrots, onion, zucchini. There was also a red pepper sauce (I'm pretty sure it was this - I ate this a bit ago so if memory serves!). I love ketchup on my tofu scrambles, so I piled that over the potatoes and such. The tofu was also baked. Super tasty and a great scramble over all. 

I also split a raspberry tart with my friend. I love raspberry desserts! This was a perfect ending to my brunch along with my soy latte.

Their only prepackaged vegan wrap is the balsamic roasted veggie wrap (though the bbq tofu sandwich is vegetarian - there is cheese). The wrap has eggplant, red pepper, zucchini, soy mayo, organic greens on a tomato wrap. It comes with chips and a pickle all for $7. There is also a seasonal salad for $6.25 which comes with seasonal veggies, fruits, and lemon-balsamic vinaigrette. 

Brunch is served on Saturday's and Sunday's from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Go check it out, Chicagoans! 

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Product Review: PureFit Bars + Raffle!

A few weeks back, PureFit nutrition bars approached me to review their line of vegan protein bars. I was very much obliged! I tried all five of their flavors for breakfast over the last week or so. 

Before I talk about each bar, I'd like to point out all the great things that each of the nutrition bars offer: high in protein, will not melt, no wheat, diabetic friendly, non-GMO soy used, gluten-free, all natural, kosher, vegan, nondairy, low glycemic, no hidden carbohydrates, no artificial sweeteners, no trans fatty acids, and no hydrogenated oils used.

Personally, I thought this product was absolutely perfect for a quick boost before working out. I had one before going to the gym one morning and it was awesome! If you are in a rush in the morning and can't sit down for breakfast, PureFit nutrition bars are a lovely to-go meal as well. The texture of all these bars isn't like say a granola bar where it is crumbly or mealy, but more cohesive and like your general protein bar.

Almond Crunch: This bar tasted a lot like almond extract to me in a way. If you really love that strong almond-y taste, this is your bar. It was probably my second favorite of the bunch. 

Berry Almond Crunch: If you are a fan of that tart berry taste, this would be your bar. I think I liked this bar the best. I'm one of those berry folks! 

Chocolate Brownie: Now, if you want to sneak some chocolate into your protein bar, this one is for you. I'm not a huge chocolate or sweets person to begin with, so the whole bar was a bit much for me. I had to save half for later!

Granola Crunch: If you are thinking this bar is like a granola bar, you're wrong. It's still definitely not grainy. You can still taste that nutty, oat-y flavor, though!

Peanut Butter Crunch: For you peanut butter fans out there, this one is for you! This is like a peanut butter explosion. I liked this bar a lot. Definitely a great one before your work out!

For a complete nutritional guide to each bar with ingredients, please see the PureFit website.

Vegan Miss readers!: You can use the code VEGANMISS during checkout when you purchase PureFit Bars online and receive 25% off!

Raffle: Enter in this raffle and receive a 15 count box of any flavor of PureFit bars of your choice!

How to enter:
  • Leave a comment on this blog post with which flavor you'd like and your email address
  • Like PureFit on Facebook
  • Follow PureFit on Twitter 
Winner will be announced on Monday of next week (6/11/12). Please leave me a way to contact you in order to receive the box of goodies!

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