Friday, March 18, 2011

Going Green

The Chicago River dyed Green in honor of St. Patty's day.
St. Patrick's Day doesn't have to mean drinking green beer, wearing your green Mardi Gras hat and acting like a leprechaun. I'm using it as a metaphor for following a plant based diet. Going green diet wise is better for you and the environment. Here are a few of some of my favorite "green" things in Chicago.

Chicago's North and Clybourn's Whole Foods is one of the biggest in the world. While there are many Vegan and Vegetarian items available to bring home to cook there also is an extensive selection of pre-made Vegan items. Some of my favorites are the Vegan Pizza (made with Daiya cheese and Seitan crumbles), Vegan Sonoma Chicken Salad (made with Gardein, Veganiase, red grapes, celery, and walnuts), and the Dijon Porcini Cutlets.

Eating out as a Vegan can be tough. Thankfully Chicago has many fabulous Vegetarian and even Vegan friendly options. Some of my favorites:

The Green Zebra
Looking for a fine dining restaurant with fabulous atmosphere and Vegetarian/Vegan food. Green Zebra has long been one of my favorites to bring friends in from out of town or to celebrate a special occasion. Their menu changes seasonally to provide local and organically grown dishes. I like to go with a group and order several dishes to share so I can taste a little bit of everything. I have yet to find a dish that I didn't like. Allow they are not Vegan they will make eliminations and substitutions where they can. Located in heart of Wicker Park at 1460 W. Chicago Ave. A hidden gem in an ever changing neighborhood.

Karyn's on Green
The latest addition of Karyn Calabrese to her restaurant family. Karyn's on Green is a Vegan's dream menu. Everything on the menu is animal free. As well as a menu that delineates gluten and soy free items. Her entrees don't sound like what you would expect to find on a Vegan menu. "Chicken Legs", "Shepherds Pie", and "Crab Cakes", but rest assured no animals were harmed in creating these delicious eats. Your non-Vegan friends won't even know what's missing. A definite must eat for Vegans in Chicago. And don't forget to order some side dishes to share, the brussel sprouts are to die for. Located at the edge of Greektown near Harpo Studios at 130 South Green.

CD Smores Cake
Chicago Diner
Every Vegan/Vegetarian knows about Chicago Diner. "Meat free since 1983". Chicago Diner serves everyday Vegan food. They are known for their creative transference of your favorite everyday foods in tasteful vegan creations. Items like "Meat" loaf, Country fried "Steak", Gyros, Philly "Steak", The Radical Reuben and their trademark C-Zar dressing on their Chickn c-zar salad and sandwich. The perfect place for any meal. All the comfort foods a Vegan could crave. Don't forget to check out the dessert menu. The Chicago Diner is known for their deserts and even supply them to Whole foods to sell in their bakery. Decadence and cruelty free. The carrot cake is on the top of my list anytime. Located at 3411 N. Halsted in the heart of Lakeview.

Ste. Martaen: Vegan Food Truck
This truck roams Chicago's neighborhoods for lunch and dinner. St. Martaen publishes their stops on Facebook and Twitter. You can tweet, call or text the driver to request a stop in your neighborhood. Menus change daily and they update you as they run out of certain items. Next time you feel like fast food or ordering in try Ste. Martaen for your Vegan needs.

Go Green and Meat Free Chicago!

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