And we are back in Chicago! Alex and I both have a day of work today and then the weekend, which is alway weird and hectic. But I’m actually glad to go in a use my computer at the office, as my computer can’t charge. So I will finally be able to get to all of your fantastic comments! I just don’t like to do that on my phone. And let’s not talk about all of the emails that I have waiting for me. But for now, I want to think about some of my favorite points from this week, and then share with you one of my favorite recipes—my recipe for homemade vegan chorizo (also gluten free!).
Friday Favorites: Grand Rapids Edition
I loved so much about our trip to Grand Rapids, Michigan, not least of which was the city itself, as I explicated yesterday. Such a friendly, inviting, and naturally and architecturally beautiful city!
Frederick Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park
Truly exceptional, the Meijer Sculpture Park is a must do if you are anywhere near Grand Rapids. The Gardens are a mix of art museum, gallery, leisure park, and botanical garden, and just exquisitely beautiful. We ended up not returning to the Gardens after our first visit, but if we lived in Grand Rapids, we would have year passes!
Founder’s Brewing Company
In a town known as Beer City USA, you know that you are going to be going to a brewery. Yes, we drank, a lot. But Founder’s in my mind had the whole package—good food, great and varied beer, great atmosphere, and super fun people. Hopcat, ranked one of the top 100 bars in the country, was a very very close second (if you are wondering, yes, the crack fries really are that good!). We also went to Brewery Vivant, which was super cool (it is in a repurposed church!), and the food was also very good, but our visit to Founder’s just had my heart. Also, I loved that there were still plenty of options for people who didn’t drink—you would be amazed at how many pregnant women and kids were at the breweries!
Grove Restaurant was one of the best meals from start to finish that we have had in a long time. It reminded me a great deal of my beloved Orzo Kitchen, and then taken to the next level. Another top 100 spot (this time top 100 restaurants for foodies), Grove Restaurant is another MUST do in Grand Rapids. Everything from the most simple—the bread plate was so excellent that we ordered it again the following night went we went BACK for cocktails to finish the evening! They even pay attention to how the club soda is filtered!— to the most complex entrees on the menu are executed with complete respect and understanding of ingredients and technique. I would come out of retirement to work there!
Running through the Surroundings: Fall Color and Historic Houses
See my post yesterday for more specifics on the foliage and buildings, but the world was on fire, in a good way.
And my architectural history self was in heaven in Heritage Hill!
Let’s just say that my morning run the first full day was a dream and a pleasure.
The Lafayette House Bed and Breakfast
How gorgeous is this house? Restored 1874 Victorian 😀 happy Suz.
I don’t have enough pleasant things to say about our choice of accommodation, The Lafayette House. You already saw that they had breakfast well in hand with my WIAW post (we had French Toast with local chicken sausage the second day, also with fresh fruit and fig jam and local infused maple syrups!), and we slept very well in our bedroom and loved the atmosphere and vibe of the house and hosts. I would highly recommend The Lafayette House for your stay in Grand Rapids!From breweries to foodies and b&bs, #GrandRapids seems like a great place to go! #puremichigan… Click To Tweet
Copycat Gluten Free Vegan Chorizo Recipe
So many of you asked about the vegan chorizo that I used in last week’s Vegan Chorizo Pumpkin Quesadilla recipe that I thought I would share with you my own vegan chorizo recipe. I have made my own and bought it off the shelf, so you do have some options for your dietary needs and preferences.
Generally, vegan chorizo is made with soy, so please keep that in mind—thus why many people call it soyrizo. I typically use Texturized Vegetable Protein, or TVP, which essentially is dehydrated soy protein (like the soy “curd”). If you like, you could also use tofu (either silken or firm) or tempeh. Seitan will not be gluten free, by and large. If you want a non-soy option, try food-processed Cremini (baby bella) mushrooms! But you will lose out on the protein of the soy.
Buying off the shelf? Trader Joe’s makes a great Soy Chorizo, but it has variously been vegan and not vegan over the years, and I would check to see what option your Trader Joe’s has, and if it is gluten free.
- 1 Cup TVP (textured vegetable protein)
- 1-1 1/2 cup vegetable broth (low sodium)
- 1 TBSP balsamic or rice wine vinegar (make sure gluten free)
- 2 TBSP tomato paste
- 1 1/2 TBSP Bragg's liquid aminos (Gluten Free Soy Sauce Alternative
- 1/4 cup white onion, chopped
- 1-2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 tsp cayenne powder
- pinch chili powder
- 1 tsp thyme
- 1 TBSP oregano
- pinch allspice
- 1 TBSP smoked paprika
- 3/4 TBSP cumin
- pinch cinnamon
- 1/2 TBSP Coriander
- In a small bowl, mix together the spices.
- Rehydrate the TVP by mixing the vegetable broth and TVP in a microwave save bowl, add a pinch of salt, stir, and then microwave for 3 minutes.
- While rehydrating TVP, saute the garlic and onion over medium high heat in skillet with cooking spray.
- When TVP has absorbed the liquid (add a minute of cooking as needed). When absorbed, add aminos, tomato paste, vinegar, and spices to the TVP, stir, and then add to skillet with garlic and onion. Stir until heated through and spices have absorbed.
Where was your last vacation? Do you like to stay at bed and breakfasts?
Have you ever made vegan chorizo?
What are you loving today?
I am joining up with Friday Favorites (Heather) + Friday Five (Mar, Courtney, Cynthia) + Meatless Monday (Tina and Deborah) + Meatless Monday (Running on Happy & The Fit Foodie Mama) + Foodie Friday (Fit Foodie Mama, Hello to Fit, Fairyburger, and Chocolate Runner Girl).