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A vegan vacation – Gatlinburg, TN


Look! A bear!

This past week, my mother, father, younger sister, and I went on vacation to Gatlinburg (and surrounding areas) TN.  We stayed in a cabin in the mountains and it was amazing!

Food-wise, sometimes parts of the South can be not-so vegan friendly, but we made it work!

Here’s the run down:

Sunday night we arrive, we stopped at a Cracker Barrel on the way down (I had a salad with fat free Italian, crackers, and vegetable soup which they told me was made with a veggie broth base), then we stopped and got me a subway sandwich (on Italian bread, with all veggies, no jalapenos, mustard, and vinegar).

Monday we drove around and took some great pictures, then hiked up Clingman’s Dome.  After this I made spaghetti for dinner, with Italian bread (store bought), and a salad.  My salad had: romaine lettuce, red onion, radishes, cucumber, roma tomato, green pepper, and carrots.  I also made myself some dressing, which I’ve been using a lot lately:

Emily’s Avocado Balsamic Vinaigrette (Serves one)


1/8 of a ripe avocado, smashed
1 tsp olive oil
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
a dash of red wine vinegar
1 tbsp dijon mustard
(if needed) a tiny sprinkle of water


Whisk all of these things together in a little bowl (or use a fork).  Salt and pepper to taste.  Pour over salad or dip bread in.  Enjoy!

Tuesday we went caving at the Tuckaleechee Caverns, then hit up Cade’s Cove for many hours (and saw bears!).  FOr dinner we ordered pizza, so I ate some leftover spaghetti and a big ol’ salad, plus some soy yogurt and granola (I didn’t want to bother with a cheeseless pizza order, and I was good with leftovers).

Wednesday we went river tubing all day, then grilled out.  I made my roasted potatoes which you’ve seen on this blog and had veggie dogs on whole wheat (I could’ve eaten buns but for the “price” of one bun I can eat two slices of bread).  We also had some fresh cut up veggies and a whole cataloupe between the four of us.

Thursday we went to the aquarium and shopped and we went to The Peddler Steakhouse (doesn’t sound very vegan, right?), well… they have the world’s most amazing salad bar.  I’m talking things like artichoke hearts, baby corn, mixed baby greens, pasta salad, all kinds of dressing, chickpeas, etc.  I made the biggest salad known to man and use both olive oil and vinegar on it, as well as fat free italian and a squirt of lemon.  I also ordered a baked potato and a side of sauteed button mushrooms (in oil, not butter).  I added the mushrooms and some chickpeas and olives to my potato, as well as some salt/pepper.  Delish!

On Friday afternoon my mother, sister, and I went to The Apple Barn and Cider Mill, which has two restaurants, a cidar bar, a winery, candy shop, gift shop, it’s own orchard, and so much more!  I had a veggie burger there with applesauce on the side.  I almost bought some vegan sourdough apple bread, but I stopped myself.  (I did buy some apple butter, a candle, and some apple-raspberry wine though!)

Lunch-wise, usually we packed sandwiches, fruit, chips, and pickles in a cooler and took them with us.

So there is vacation (food wise) in a nutshell for you!  No matter where you are, you can work something out!

Tomorrow I’m making Cincinnati Chili (back by popular demand) for about one million people at my house.

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