Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Crawfish Festival. New Orleans

Over the weekend when Shannon visited New Orleans, we drove out to St. Bernard Parish to check out the annual crawfish festival. We both love our seafood and grew up roadtripping to Maryland together for blue crabs, so it makes sense that she spent her vacation with me eating boiled seafood in Louisiana. 

Working at the restaurant, I've had a lot of guests ask me what crawfish exactly is and also how to eat it. You want the down and dirty? First you rip off the head and suck out the juices. Then you massage the body/tail up and down a little before making a break down the belly of the mudbug. Then you squeeze the tail, pull out the meat and enjoy the little bugger. That easy. Don't forget the corn on a cob! It really might be my favorite part. 

The Crawfish Festival was an ordeal. It was the physically the largest festival I've been to, and it was really more like a carnival. Definitely a friendly family event that I would recommend to everyone (thought the crawfish was honestly probably 3x the usual price and you had to pay a $5 admission). There was plenty of carnival games, rides, and food available. Who knew you could get chicken, shark, and alligator on a stick all from the same vendor? 

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Casamento's Restaurant, New Orleans

This past weekend, Shannon visited New Orleans. What that means is that we obviously planned our entire weekend together in the Big Easy around eating. First order of business once she got off the plane when we would head to dinner. It was a little early, so we did take a walk around Audubon Park before heading over the Casamento's on Magazine Street. It's been around since 1919 and has a very old-school southern style feel (aka located in someone's house). Note: cash only! 

I love chargrilled oysters and have only had them before at Acme's and Felix's, but I'm done waiting in line for them in the French Quarter. Plus I heard positive things about Casamento's! It was the perfect choice because there was no line (everyone heads to dinner closer to 8pm now that the sun is setting later) and they serve some quality chargrilled oysters. Just think: plump juicy oysters fresh off the grill covered in melted parmesan cheese. So good. 

We also shared half a dozen of raw oysters (they're also not scrubbed down here), a soft shell crab loaf, and fried crab claws. Everything was delicious, but the chargrilled oysters were definitely the highlight of the meal. You really can't go wrong with fresh seafood and good cheese. Will most definitely be back soon for more. 

Casamento's Restaurant
4330 Magazine Street
New Orleans, LA

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Eating MyPlate

In celebration of National Nutrition Month, I put together a gallery of my meals. Having studied nutrition for many years and teaching MyPlate for the past few, I just can't help but make half my plate fruits/vegetables and choose lean protein options. There's no recipe in this post, but rather it's a visual guide on how to put together a healthy balanced plate. When I make a meal for myself, I like including as many food groups as possible and to mix it up. Carbs keep me going, protein for recovery, healthy fats to keep me full, and lots of vegetables for the vitamins and fiber. Now that you see how easy it can be, do you think you can do it too? 

Spaghetti in butternut squash sauce, sauteed kale, roasted bell peppers, and ground turkey

Pan seared chicken thigh with avocado and cherry tomatoes over arugula

Fried egg, yellow tomato, and homemade walnut basil pesto on a whole wheat English muffin

Lake Ponchartrain boiled crab and scrambled eggs with fresh tomatoes and arugula

Mushroom quinoa with a caprese salad

Alligator sausage broccoli rabe orecchiette over arugula 

Seared salmon and sauteed kale over tomato rice pilaf

Drunken chicken and sauteed chives with rice

Cheesy chicken and mushroom spaghetti with roasted broccoli and baby spinach salad

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Warm raspberry maple cinnamon pecan overnight oats

I've posted a recipe on overnight oats before, so this recipe is nothing groundbreaking or original. But on damp foggy Louisiana days, there's nothing better than waking up to a heart warming (and heart healthy) breakfast. So let those oats soak overnight, and enjoy this recipe in the morning while hoping for the dense fog to clear out.

Warm raspberry maple cinnamon pecan overnight oats (serves 2)
½ cup rolled oats
¼ cup yogurt
½ cup 1% milk (try almond or soy milk also)
½ tsp vanilla extract
¼ tsp cinnamon
2 tsp maple syrup
½ cup raspberries
½ cup roasted pecans
Optional: nuts, dried fruit, seeds, berries, banana, nut butter, chocolate chips, chia seeds

1. Mix everything (except pecans) together in a bowl.
2. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
3. Microwave and top with roasted pecans and other mix-ins in the morning!

✓ fiber
✓ whole grains
✓ unsaturated fats
✓ low fat dairy