Veggie Meetup Brunch

Last fall, in an attempt to cope with being a vegetarian in the burbs, I joined the Suburban Chicago Vegetarian Meetup group. H and I went to a Christmas potluck for our first event, but today I went alone because H was on call. They have monthly pot lucks, which are completely vegan. Today was a Vegan Brunch at a gorgeous house in Fox River Grove. I brought my favorite brunch dish – mushroom, leek and white bean pie. I also brought some muffins. I tried a new recipe from Vegan Brunch (the cookbook) – Orange, Cranberry Nut muffins. Delicious! I also tried a gluten-free version of the coffee chip muffin recipe with an all-purpose gluten free mix. The batter was terrible, so I wasn’t expecting much from the muffin, but it turned out pretty good.

Orange Cranberry Nut muffins:

Gluten-free Coffee Chocolate chip:

After baking, Sassafras helped me clean up.

Tonight we went to Portillo’s with the running group & their families. This place was not created with vegans in mind. According to it’s menu, it’s meatless choices are two fish sandwiches. Portillo’s, please tell me what fish is if it’s not meat. Is it a fruit or vegetable? A grain? Perhaps fish is a kind of legume or maybe it comes from a cow like milk? It’s embarrassing really and I kindly pointed that out to them in an email after my last visit, but unfortunately the sign is still there. On one side is Portillo’s hot dogs and on the other is Barnelli’s pasta. Barnelli’s penne Arrabbiata without meat or cheese (which can be a difficult order for them to comprehend) is edible. Tonight they even added broccoli and mushrooms for me, which was nice. And they remembered not to add cheese.

I made some peanut butter balls this weekend, which were amazing, so I had to bring them tonight to share or I would have eaten them all myself. I love the combination of chocolate and peanut butter and not being able to eat Reese’s peanut butter cups is sad. This makes it all better though. It’s like a Reese’s peanut butter cup, but better.

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