Friday Things

I can’t believe that it is already Friday! I hope that everyone is having a great week! I have had a pretty normal week, but a couple of exciting things to report!

This week was my last week of classes for the semester! I am glad to be done and next semester I only have one class, my thesis! I can’t wait to graduate in May. It has been a long time coming!

I made two cakes for Hector’s advanced typography class this Wednesday. I love to bake for others & this was a fun project to do! His group had designed a logo for this idea of growth & decay. They came up with a bunch of different projects that related to growth & decay. It was very artistic! I baked the cakes & made the frosting, but he did the cut-outs and frosting. Everyone in the class said that it was great & asked if I was a pro. I will take that compliment for sure! 😉

logo for growth & decay

Last night for dinner I made roasted acorn squash & black bean enchiladas. I also made homemade green tomatillo sauce to go on top! I used my favorite tortillas, El Milagro. I have been able to find them at my Whole Foods on some days and always at the local Mexican grocery store & also they are at my Target. After having fresh tortillas from the local tortilleria in Mexico, these are the next best things! They turned out really yummy!

thursday's dinner

The Disney World Marathon program is now available! This marathon is getting really close & I am both scared due to my lack of being properly trained, but I am also getting super excited just to have fun!! Plus, we are spending a week in the parks! I love Disney World. Plus, I get to spend time with my parents.

best family photo ever.

Speaking of my parents, they are coming this Sunday!! They are staying downtown & I might be staying with them. I’m not quite sure yet. I expect that we will be doing some very touristy things. I will be heading back to Michigan with them next Wednesday. I will miss Chicago because I won’t be back until after Disney.

Have a great weekend everybody! 🙂

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Monday Happenings & Eats

Happy Monday everyone! I hope that your week is off to a great start! I can’t believe the weather. It is really warm here in Chicago & I am wondering if this winter is going to be mild.

For breakfast I tried a new frozen waffle: Nature Path’s Buckwheat Wildberry Waffle. I really loved that these were gluten free! I normally make my own waffles, but I wanted to have something that was easy & didn’t take a lot of time to make. I have been eating oatmeal for breakfast almost everyday for the past 5 years. I am really sick of it & looking for new options!

nature's path waffle

This morning Chicago was extremely foggy. I haven’t rode my bike to school in a few weeks & it felt really nice to get out there again! I really love riding the bike, except in the wind. For some reason I really struggle when I am riding against the wind.

foggyride

foggy bike ride

For lunch, I had an African sweet potato & peanut stew from The Vegan Table. It was yummy! I love the combination of sweet potatoes and peanut butter. {Sorry for the crummy photo! It just didn’t turn out with my phone!}

African Sweet Potato & peanut stew For dinner, I made my own version of Mexican rice using brown instead of white. It was really yummy! I have made a chili rub tofu before & it has been really good. While I was making it today I ran out of mild chili pepper and had to add some really hot pepper! The tofu was so spicy, but the avocado helped cool it down!

Mexican rice & tofuI really want to start posting here on the blog a lot more! I also want to show my eats on a more regular basis. I am now off to read some articles for my thesis project.

Have a great night! 🙂

Weekend Visitors

This past weekend our best friend couple, Angie & David, came to visit! We don’t get visitors very often, so I was really excited. Plus, I haven’t seen them since the summer. It had been too long.

Saturday we did some typical touristy things and went to Millennium Park. I feel that every tourist must see the bean. It was really crowded. For some reason I figured that it wouldn’t be crowded. What was I thinking!

After the park we headed over to the Cultural Center. This has to be one of my favorite buildings. I also love the fact that it is free and usually has some kind of art exhibition going on. I highly recommend going! The building is just beautiful.

After the Cultural Center, we went to the Water Tower Place. I think that everyone was shopping Saturday. I really hate crowds too. But we did go to Food Life to grab some lunch. I ended up just getting a juice: carrots, ginger & apple. It was amazing. I really need to incorporate more vegetable juices into my life.

It was such an amazing day! Sunday morning we headed to brunch at the Chicago Diner before they had to leave. Chicago Diner has to be one of my favorite restaurants and I can’t wait to go to the new location opening soon!

I got the Avocado tostadas. Amazing! I just love the quinoa with the beans and avocado.

Hector got a vegan cinnamon roll & sausage and gravy. It looked really good!

We had such an amazing time together. I just love spending time with friends. Next time we are heading to Grand Rapids to visit them! It won’t be until after Christmas, but I can’t wait! 🙂

Quesadilla La Reyna del Sur

Yesterday was not only the first day of November, it was also Happy World Vegan Day! To celebrate, Hector and I went to Quesidilla La Reyna Del Sur for lunch. We have been wanting to try this restaurant for months, but we have always wanted to go on a Saturday and they are not open on Saturdays. I was excited that we were finally going to try it!

It is located in the Bucktown/Logan Square neighborhood. We drove and we were able to park right in front! I hate having to worry about parking.

We sat down and we were brought chips and salsa right away.  The menu had a good selection of tacos, tortas, and quesadillas. There was also a great selection of fresh juices. I was tempted to get one, but I decided not to. I did notice that there was a lot of soy items on the menu.

Hector ordered two barbacoa tacos. Apparently the flavor is suppose to be like lamb. Hector enjoyed them, however, there wasn’t much salt. I think that is a good think though.

 I went with the xochimilco taco. It had soy steak, mushrooms and cactus. I think I went with the xochimilco taco because it reminded me of the time I went there when I was in Mexico. {If you are ever in Mexico, I highly recommend that you go!}

We also ordered two tamales. Now, we wanted normal tamales that were not in the banana leaves. Well, we were brought tamales that had been steamed in to banana leaves. I opted not to eat mine. I love tamales, but these just didn’t appeal to me. Hector ate them, but said that they needed more flavor.

Overall it was a pretty good lunch. Next time I wouldn’t get the tamales, but something else. It is worth going back to.  I really like that there are so many vegetarian options here in Chicago.

Do you have a favorite vegeatarian/vegan restaurant in Chicago?

Bike Love

Yesterday morning as I headed out to the lakefront path, I could smell the crisp fall leaves that has just fallen off the trees. The small was refreshing and provided me with a sense of calmness. I was riding with the wind, which was an added bonus. Of course this meant I would be riding against it on the way back, but that was fine with me.

Just after Navy Pier, before the Yacht Club, a police officer was stopping everybody and wouldn’t allow us to continue on the path. They were filming a movie. I wonder which film was being shot there? Trying to figure out how to get to school was tricky, but I figured it out. I was able to cut through Millennium Park to Balbo St. I am glad that I left really early!

Riding along the lakefront, I often have to remind myself that it always isn’t a race. Enjoy the journey along the path. Take in the sites, smells, the lake, which are often overlooked  when we try and get to and from a destination fast and want to pass everyone in front of us.

I love my bike and enjoy the moments were I get to spend riding it.

Urban Vegan Chicago

Hector has been craving “noodles” for over a month now. Everyday I would hear him request noodle dishes for dinner, preferably some type of Asian noodles. I’ll be honest that I am not comfortable cooking Asian cuisine. It is out of my comfort zone. Last night I finally caved and decided to go and get some “noodles.”

We went to Urban Vegan in Lakeview. They just open a second location in Lincoln Park. We had been there once before and really have been meaning to go back. If you haven’t been and love Thai food, you must go! It is SO GOOD! I especially love to support 100% vegan restaurants. Even if you aren’t vegetarian, I know that you will love Urban Vegan!

We started our meal off with complimentary miso soup. I really enjoyed this. Since the weather was cooler, the soup felt really nourishing and comforting.

Hector & I both ordered an appetizer. I went to the steamed curry dumplings. I have never had steamed dumplings before and & I really wanted to try some. The dumplings were filled with veggies and served with a green curry sauce. It was really delicious.

Hector ordered “chicken” nuggets. He really loved them, especially how crunchy the texture was. I didn’t try any, but they did look really good!

Since we both got an appetizer, we decided to spilt an entree. We went with Pad Thai Tofu and it did not disappoint. It was amazing.

Hector ate most of it. I think that it is safe to say that his noodle craving was satisfied.

I highly recommend trying out Urban Vegan. The food was extremely flavorful and delicious. I look forward to sharing more Vegan eats with you at different local restaurants and my kitchen!

Road Trip!

Wednesday Hector {the boyfriend} and I left Chicago and headed back home to Michigan. We wanted to make a trip back home before school starts in a few weeks! We aren’t sure how long we are staying in the mitten, but at least a week! We have a couple of things planned to do while we are here. I am most excited to run the CRIM next weekend! {more on that later!}

We left the city in the afternoon and we didn’t hit any traffic! Before we left we had stopped at Whole Foods to get some treats for the road. One bad thing about being vegan is that sometimes it can be hard finding fast vegan options on the road. I have found that it is always better to be prepared!

I have been wanting to try one of Upton’s Naturals sandwiches for a long time. I see them all the time at Whole Foods, but never could justify buying one. Going on a road trip was a perfect excuse to try it! I went with the Chicken Bacon Ranch Wrap.

I was surprised that it was so filling! I didn’t think it would be enough, but there was tons of “chicken” & “bacon” packed inside. I think this sandwich is a great vegan on the go option for the road!

I also had some watermelon & honeydew. Fresh fruit is always a great road trip option!

Another snack that I had was Kale Chips. I have been wanting to try these for a long time. I honestly didn’t know what to expect. I was so surprised by the taste! They were so good. They are normally a little pricey, but they were on sale! I would eat these over chips any day.

We had a lot of fun on our little road trip. We want to plan on going on a longer road trip next summer!

It feels great to be home! 🙂

Happy Friday!