Our Crazy Thanksgiving (and vegan deliciousness in Chicago!)

Did y’all have a good Thanksgiving? Nick and I took off last Monday afternoon and hit the road for North Carolina. We drove to Indianapolis Monday night and then drove the rest of the way on Tuesday. Tuesday’s drive was INSANE. It rained like cats and dogs pretty much the entire way. (thankfully it wasn’t ice or snow!) We finally made it about 6:45 where our lovely friends had a delicious dinner of Szechuan veggies waiting for us! And boy, were we hungry and ready to eat. I’ll tell you what, interstate food in the Southeast is awful for vegans. So needless to say, we were thrilled to see some real food! (and our friends, haha!)

Thanksgiving was a blast. 8 adults, and 5 kids (ages 7 and under!) and A LOT of food. Nick and I were the only vegans, and we had some paleo/gluten free fixings along with traditional offerings. No one went hungry, that’s for sure! Nick and I enjoyed a Gardien Turk’y cutlet with mashed potatoes and mushroom gravy, green bean casserole (we made the soup ourselves, too), gluten free/vegan stuffing from a local bakery and some rosemary Alexia rolls. Not to mention a killer vegan pumpkin pie from Whole Foods with Rice Whip! All in all, our food for everyone Thanksgiving feast was a success.

The guys headed out late on Thanksgiving afternoon in the search of some great deals. Nick didn’t really have anything on his list, but he did manage to snag a few movies at great price. Mel and I headed out about 11:00 and got home about 2:45. She got a lot knocked out on her list and I managed to snag a few great deals for myself. 🙂 Friday night the adults had the night off (thanks to some pretty awesome grandparents!) and we grabbed dinner and finally got to see “Catching Fire”. I read all of the books, and have to say that this movie was SO MUCH BETTER than the first one. I don’t know if it’s because it needed less character development, but it just kept my attention a little bit more. I’m still not a huge fan of the series (team Gale all the way!), but it was enjoyable evening, nonetheless.

We left bright and early on Saturday morning and drove to Chicago to spend the night. We got in just before 8, so we stopped for a late dinner at the Chicago Diner at Logan Square. OMG. Amazing. I love that place! We had the Poutine with jalapeños as our appetizer, and it was one of those dishes where I wish it would have kept regenerating itself. I didn’t want to stop eating it!

Vegan Poutine from Chicago Diner

For our entree, we decided to share the Gyro with a side of Mac ‘n Teese and the Quinoa Chili with sour cream. Delish! I have been dreaming of tzatziki since being vegan a year and a half ago. So good! My only complaint? A little too much gyro seitan. But that didn’t stop either of us from driving right in! The mac ‘n teese was the perfect, creamy consistency and Nick took the chili to the next level by adding some of the mac ‘n teese to it. Hello, chili mac!

The Gyro and Mac ‘n Teese:
Vegan gyro with Mac 'n Teese from Chicago Diner

And the Quinoa Chili:
Quinoa Chili from Chicago Diner

For dessert, Nick chose the peanut butter cookie dough shake. Mama mia! Yummo! We would have taken a picture, but we dove right into that face first!

Sunday morning we woke up, got ready and were excited to spend the day in the city! Our first stop was to the new Fashion Outlets, where we were able to snag a few deals and some upcoming birthday gifts! From there we headed to David’s Tea (Nick’s favorite) and then to Upton’s Breakroom for a quick lunch. We split the Fried Bacon Mac ‘n Cheese and the Pastrami Sandwich. While maybe not as transcendent as the Poutine, it was pretty darn tasty! The Pastrami Sandwich was especially yummy and hit our hungry spots.

The sandwich:
Vegan Pastrami Sandwich from Upton's Breakroom

And the Fried Bacon Mac ‘n Cheese:
Fried Bacon Mac 'n Cheese from Upton's Breakroom

From there we hit up two Whole Foods in search of Califia Farms Holiday Nog – where we bought plenty. Nick was so excited to find it, he literally ran to the dairy case! Ha!

Before heading out on the drive home we stopped at Chipotle for a Sofritas burrito! HELLO! That was another food I wanted to keep eating. Holy yum! It was spicy, and oh so delicious with all of our fixin’s. (including pinto beans for all!) Nick and I always split a burrito and this time we both said we would have tried to eat the whole thing ourselves. It was that good! I didn’t even snap a picture – I was too busy shoving it in my face!

And now, we’re home. Home sweet home. I miss Mel and her family like crazy, but it’s always good to be home. And as a super bonus, I received all of my cookie swap cookies today! Woot! Let the Christmas feasting begin!

How was your Thanksgiving? Did you stay home, or travel for the holiday?