Monday, November 29, 2010

My vegan Chicago thanksgiving week!

My week in Chicago was a true challenge to my veganism. Deep dish Chicago-style pizza, turkey and the traditional thanksgiving fixins', cupcakes, brownies and more! Luckily, on my first day in town, I asked my mom if we could go grocery shopping at Whole Foods. She drove my sister and I there and I stocked up on some of my vegan essentials, along with vegan thanksgiving options.
My first vegan store-bought pizza purchase was a Tofurkey vegan cheese pizza. I ate vegan pizza while my family dined on good ol' Chicago deep dish pizza.

My family's pizza:

My vegan Tofurky pizza (the cheese is Diaya):

We attempted a family walk on the first night we were there, but the sub 20 degree wind-chill weather got the better of us and we turned around after 10 minutes. I was trying to take pictures of my breath, but the camera didn't catch anything but my open mouth. Ha.

Did I mention that I gained 4.5 pounds on this trip?! I don't regret any of the naughty vegan food, but I will have to work out and eat really good for the next week to get back to my 'pre-thanksgiving' weight.

This Sweet And Sara Smores dessert was heavenly.

I had been looking around for vegan places to try while I was in town in Chicago. I had my heart set on a trip to Chicago Diner. So, Matt, Christie and I drove 34 miles to get there. It took over 2 hours, but the Teese mozzarella sticks were worth every minute of traffic. I had pictured the restaurant much bigger in my head, but it was a quaint little joint; a true diner atmosphere.

The Teese mozzarella sticks from Chicago Diner

I ordered a chickin ranch sandwich and sweet potato fries and topped it off with a peanut butter puck.

We got blueberry muffins (for the morning) and shakes to go. The temptation soy "froyo" peanut butter cookie dough shake tasted like cake batter. I don't think I could have possibly eaten more in 1 sitting.

Thanksgiving rolled around and I was making Gardein savory stuffed turk'y (a seasonal variety available in the frozen food section), stuffing, mashed potatoes and green beans to go with my pretzel rolls and traditional cranberry sauce. The turk'y was soooooo amazing. I simply love the texture and taste of the gardein products...LOVE!

Here are some photos of my food from thanksgiving:

This is the kitchen of dreams (my parents' kitchen)

Great base for amazing stuffing

My gravy from a box...super tasty

Organic traditional cranberry sauce

My stuffing ready to go in the oven

While looking for vegan rolls at Whole Foods, I came across these. AMAZING.

My mashed potatoes made from scratch with organic potatoes, earth balance, silk creamer, white pepper and salt

My cute lil' Gardein savory stuffed turk'y

My stuffing was from the box, but combined with celery, onions and vegetable broth it turned out like homemade

 My green beans that were steamed, then sauteed with garlic, ginger, earth balance spread, white pepper and salt.

My full plate (and I had 2nds, too!)

The inside of the Gardein savory stuffed turk'y

I finished the meal hours later with some vegan pumpkin pie bought from the bakery at Whole Foods, a vegan apple pie bought from the freezer section at Whole Foods. I topped the pie with vegan whip cream and Living Harvest Tempt hemp vanilla bean ice cream.

I survived the other days on my trip with Chipotle (vegetarian bowl with black beans), 5 guys (veggie sandwich and fries) and my stock of vegan food from Whole Foods.

On Black Friday, we braved the crowds to head downtown. I loved all the unique buildings downtown.

We went to the top of the Hancock building and took in the grand views.

Moi, sis, mom and dad

 Ferris Bueller remake

We went down Michigan Ave and only lasted about 20 minutes before we had to retreat to shelter and warmth. It was about 15 degrees with the wind chill.....brrrrrrr. I was following the Ste Martaen vegan food truck on Twitter and must have missed them downtown by a matter of minutes. I told my folks, as we were leaving downtown, that if I spotted the food truck, I was going to jump out of the car. I was disappointed to miss them, but they would have met me at my location, if I was going to be stationary for a while. I'll have to catch the Ste Martaen on my next visit to Chitown.

I forgot my camera battery charger at home, so that was the last of my photos. But, my family took some photos that documented the rest of our trip.

Twins with boots (mine vegan)

I was determined to wear my cape. Capes are good in AZ weather, but a horrible idea in a climate like Chicago.

We took a family photo in the basement theater

The Hibbards


Moi, mom and sis

More photos of my family:

Sister and Mr. Hibbard

My niece Annora

My sister Karen and niece Annora

Mr. Hibbard

My dad

My bro-in-law Tom, niece Annora and sister Karen

Quincy-my parent's labradoodle


Brother Jeff and sister Christie

Bro and sis

On Michigan Avenue....soooooo cold!

I can't wait for my next vegan thanksgiving!!!!