Archive for the ‘Food’ category

Upton’s Naturals Jackfruit

September 28th, 2015

Upton's Naturals Chili Lime Jackfruit and BBQ Jackfruit - Nashveggie - Vegan and Vegetarian in Nashville

 

Anyone who knows me knows my love for barbecue. As a vegan I still love barbecue. You don’t have to use pork, beef or chicken to get the smoky goodness of barbecue. As a matter of fact, for me it is all about the sauce. I just need a form of transport for the sauce and sometimes that’s a simple as a spoon. However, being the barbecue lover as I am I was excited to try Upton’s Naturals Jackfruit. I had tried a barbecue jackfruit sandwich once before at Native Foods and we seriously underwhelmed but I believe it had more to do with the fact I had paid $10 for a sandwich that had 2 small pieces of jackfruit and was nearly flavorless.

Jackfruit has recently elevated itself as the new vegan meat replacement of choice among the vegans who like meat replacements. It has a chewy texture and a stringy form when unripe that much resembles pulled pork or beef. Add that to barbecue sauce and you have what could be a nice sandwich for some.

Upton’s Naturals is a Chicago based natural food producer. Their products consist of seitan and now they have added jackfruit to their line. The jackfruit from Upton’s Naturals is available in Bar-B-Que and Chili Lime Carnitas. I tried both.

I prepared the Bar-B-Que jackfruit on stovetop. I heated it slowly in a pan, covered and served it on a freshly baked bun with sweet pickles. On the first bite I felt something was off. The flavor was very vinegary. There was no smokiness or sweetness to the sauce. The flavor of the jackfruit was there in a fruity way but the sweetness of the barbecue sauce which should always be noticeable in a good barbecue sauce was completely missing. I trudged through the rest of the sandwich but was left very underwhelmed. I think this product could benefit from a reworking of the sauce that it is served with.

 

Upton's Naturals BBQ Jackfruit sandwich - Nashveggie - Vegan and Vegetarian in Nashville

Upton’s Naturals BBQ Jackfruit sandwich. Served with sweet pickles on a fresh baked bun.

 

The Chili Lime Carnitas Jackfruit is similar in form to the Bar-B-Que Jackfruit. I prepared it the same as the Bar-B-Que and serve it with black beans and rice. Upon the first bite I noticed the same acidity present in the Bar-B-Que Jackfruit. There was no lime flavor at all. There was no spice or flavoring to the sauce or jackfruit other than the acidic sauce. There was a distinct fruit flavor to the jackfruit that was entirely out of place as though the jackfruit had been overripe. I had beans and rice for dinner this night and the jackfruit went uneaten.

 

Upton's Naturals Chili Lime Jackfruit - Nashveggie - Vegan and Vegetarian in Nashville

Upton’s Naturals Chili Lime Carnitas Jackfruit served over rice.

 

If you are a jackfruit fan these two products may be for you. I am not certain of whether these are not good products or I’m just not a fan of jackfruit but I honestly think the issue lies in the sauce and spices used with the jackfruit.

If you’re up for trying your own and forming an opinion for yourself both varieties of jackfruit as well as seitan from Upton’s Naturals is available from Vegan Essentials and other locations. At the time of this article, Whole Foods in the Nashville area does not stock the jackfruit.

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Sofritas at Chipotle

October 10th, 2014

 

Chipotle Sofritas

Every vegan has been in the situation before: Going out to eat and no vegan options so you settle for the burrito joint. You’ll be able to get a black bean and rice burrito with a spoon of guacamole if you’re lucky. Now nothing is wrong with black beans and I’m never one to shun some guacamole but sometimes you need a little extra on your burrito and I don’t mean lettuce and cucumbers.

Chipotle has been rolling out their Sofritas, a spicy seasoned tofu, for a while now. Presently, it is available in 24 states. On October 13th, that will expand to the south and southeast US. That means you’ll be able to get a little extra protein on your vegan or vegetarian burrito in Nashville.

I was invited to try Sofritas last week and even though I have traveled out west a couple times this year where Sofritas is now served at all Chipotle restaurants this was my first time trying it.

As you go down the line and and get you rice and beans the Sofritas is right there next to the chicken and beef. I know what you’re thinking – CROSS CONTAMINATION! – because, let’s be honest, vegans think about those things. If you’re vegan don’t lie, you think about it every single time someone touches cheese and then asks if you want it on your burrito making an assumption. Well, this is a fast casual eatery so things happen but it has it’s own spoon and at the restaurant I was at the Sofritas was behind all other animal products so no dripping would occur as other items were served. Set you mind at ease or don’t eat out, right?

Chipotle is a restaurant that is big on local and fresh ingredients. Of course sourcing local tofu all over the country is not an easy task so they have chosen one supplier, Hodo Soy of San Francisco, as their tofu supplier. Chipotle goes as local as possible with their other ingredients. They source from a 350 mile radius of the restaurant’s market for ingredients such as tomatoes, which are hand chopped each day in the restaurant, and lettuce. The rice used in the Nashville restaurants is grown in Arkansas. Bet you didn’t know there were rice patties in The Natural State!

When I tried the Sofritas I was expecting a bit of heat, just a mild bite, since it is seasoned with roasted poblano and chipotle chilis but it was a very mild, sweet flavor. The tofu is a super firm tofu and it is in tiny bits. It is very chewy and holds the flavor of the sauce very well.

A Sofritas burrito is $6.50. While you may be accustomed to getting your vegetarian burrito at Chipotle with a heaping scoop of guacamole included that is not the case with a Sofritas burrito, guacamole is extra. I opted for guacamole on my Sofritas but in the future may leave it off as I thought it didn’t blend well with the spices of the Sofritas and it made the burrito too heavy flavored. I would rather have the guacamole on the side with chips.

Now is your chance to try Sofritas courtesy of Chipotle and Nashveggie.com. I will be giving away cards for a free burrito. Leave a comment below tell me, and Chipotle, your favorite thing to order at Chipotle.  I will also choose another winner on Twitter. To enter there just retweet this tweet and be sure you follow @nashveggie:

 

All winners will be chosen at random on Friday, October 24.

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Chipotle Pinto Beans Are Now Vegan (and Vegetarian)?

September 18th, 2013

Chipotle Pinto Beans Vegan Vegetarian No Bacon

Most of us know that Chipotle’s pinto beans have long contained bacon as an ingredient, as plainly stated on their menus. This leaves the vegan or vegetarian looking for a burrito at Chipotle with black beans as their only option.

I recently received an email form a reader to inform me that his local Chipotle was serving pinto beans that are vegan. I had to confirm this news so I called each Chipotle location in the Nashville area as well as the restaurant in Huntsville, Alabama just to get an outside-of-the-area report. With each call I was told that indeed the pinto beans are now bacon-free.

Checking the Chipotle website the ingredients for the pinto beans still list bacon. This ingredient change may be gradually moving out to locations and is still in progress. Be sure to ask before getting pinto beans on your burrito.

So, if pinto beans are your favorite burrito bean feel free to safely munch away at Chipotle. Also, let me know in the comments if your Chipotle is serving the new pinto bean recipe.

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Cori’s DogHouse

June 3rd, 2013

Cori's DogHouse - Jersey Italian Vegan

 

We all have those times when we just want a greasy treat and you want that treat topped with mustard, ketchup, relish and maybe a heap of sauerkraut. If you’re vegan or vegetarian and that hunger hits you should find yourself at Cori’s DogHouse.

You can have your dog served up anyway you like and the menu is fairly extensive. For the vegans and vegetarians you can choose from a Lightlife dog or a Tofurky Italian Sausage or Kielbasa. After that small decision it’s up to you on which direction to travel. I personally go for a New Jersey Italian with deli mustard, fried potatoes and grilled onions and peppers or a Chicago with tomatoes, onions, dill pickle, hot peppers, mustard, celery salt and add sauerkraut. Our first visit we were inquisitive about the buns, which are just sliced thick bread, and the “butter” for the buns which is just a vegetable oil. We were assured both were actually vegan and were shown the packaging to view ingredients.

You can also get your dog with a heaping side of hot crispy fries. I recommend it. I mean, if you’re going to indulge in the dog why not go all the way. You can always run a few extra miles or sweat them off with another hour of hot yoga or something like that.

After you devour that dog be sure to go back for a second and try something new. It’s worth it. I always do.

 

Cori's DogHouse - Jersey Italian Vegan

The Jersey Italian with a vegan Tofurky Italian sausage.

 

Cori's DogHouse - Chicago Vegan

Cori’s DogHouse – Chicago Vegan

 

Cori's DogHouse -  Vegan Dogs

If you’re really hungry just order a group and pig out.

 

Cori’s Doghouse has two locations, Nashville’s West End and Mt. Juliet in Providence Marketplace.

Cori’s DogHouse
106 29th Avenue North
Nashville, Tennessee 37203
(615) 329-9444

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Cori’s DogHouse
401 South Mount Juliet Road
Mount Juliet, Tennessee 37122
(615) 758-6960

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November 7th, 2012

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