Saturday, April 30, 2016

#accidentalvegan

sweet potatoes and fresh greens on flax seed bread

I'm starting a movement. It's nothing new, it's just to help everyone rethink a meal. You can eat wholesomely satisfying delicious food that just happens to be earth friendly and vegetarian. Being with a vegan, I've learned to be more creative with traditional recipes while trying to balance all the food groups. Give it whirl; meat doesn't have to be part of every meal! I promise you'll feel lighter and livelier after a few days. I personally try to practice being vegetarian on every new moon and full moon and at least for one meal a day. Challenge yourself, feel better, live more colorfully :) 

Apple slices, cinnamon sprinkle, and peanut butter scoops

brown rice and quinoa with lima beans and broccoli

Mango freeze at Jazz Fest

Cherry tomato and basil spaghettini

Boiled vegetables from Tulane's Crawfest

4/20 celebration

Herb spiced tumeric popcorn








Friday, April 8, 2016

Staycation in New Orleans : Balise & Compère Lapin


This was the first time I've had a weekday off in New Orleans since I first started working! It was such a nice break because it reminded me of how it used to be when I had so many sunny afternoons to spend as a student. My stayation landed on French Quarter Fest weekend, so more things were happening in the Quarter than usual. The musicians, bands, street performances, poets, Jackson Square artists, vendors, and visitors just seemed to multiply! Stages and markets are set up in various locations all around the French Quarter, and many restaurants are serving festival food specials ranging from barbecue shrimp stuffed po-boys to crawfish in lobster sauce. Though you already know I'm all about festival feasting, this photolog I'm going to share with you some finer dining experiences I had this long weekend. 

One Warehouse District go-to for me is Balise. It's modern Louisiana fare for the gastronomically adventurous. The first time I went, they just recently started serving brunch, and I had the most juicy hot sausage lambwich that was topped with a runny egg in a soft brioche bun. It's not easily forgettable, so I went back and had the fried smoked oysters with a side of fried smoked cauliflower. Definitely one of my favorite brunch spots in New Orleans. 

Now the real highlight this weekend, however, was my lunch at Compère Lapin. It's located in the Old No. 77 Hotel off Lafayette and I honestly can't stop thinking about it. It's a New Orleans Creole Caribbean cuisine that is exquisite, creative, and hearty. Chef Nina Compton showcases her St. Lucian roots, adding a New Orleans + Southern flair with the sophistication of French culinary pedigree. Her chive buttermilk biscuit was served with small logs of bacon butter and salted honey butter, which I ended up combining on my warm flaky biscuit. I also tried a very flavorful curried goat stew with homemade sweet potato gnocchi and topped with cashews and cliantro. It was reminiscent of Hong Kong style curry beef brisket. My tastebuds still get excited just simply thinking about it. I can't wait to go back. 


Balise
640 Carondelet Street
New Orleans

Compère Lapin
The Old No. 77 Hotel & Chandlery
535 Tchoupitoulas St
New Orleans

Power breakfast! Barley quinoa avocado bowl spiced with Slap Ya Mama



When your cauliflower game on fleek, Balise

Fried oysters with a shaved broccoli + brussels sprouts salad, Balise

Best hot sausage lambwich on the softest brioche bun, Balise

Mr. Jack Daniels courtesy of local artist Simon



Chive buttermilk biscuits with bacon butter + salted honey butter
- AMEN!, Compere Lapin

Chef Nina's signature curried goat with sweet potato gnocchi, Compere Lapin


Miss Luna admiring Reggie's Art from Jackson Square!
Thank you so much for the beautiful New Orleans jazz + architecture print! 

Monday, April 4, 2016

Feasting at festivals

It's spring time in NOLA and that means festivals on festivals on festivals! After Mardi Gras, it's pretty much non-stop festivals until Halloween. What that means is plenty of outdoor fun, live music, and of course, food. This past weekend was a successful one because I went to two food focused festivals: Louisiana SPCA's Brunch Fest and FoodFest: America's Hometown Eats.


We started at the Brunch Fest in City Park that was a fund raiser and adoption promotion for the SPCA. There were many doggies out and about as well as way too many people in a tight space setup. Though we got there only a few hours in, the lines were unbelievably long and many vendors were already out of food. Man was I disappointed! All I got after a 20+ minute wait was a got a Bloody Mary and fruit parfait from The Cheesy Cajun for $12.

Needless to say, we quickly left and headed to the French Quarter for FoodFest. Though it's advertised as hosting America's Hometown Eats, vendors were primarily from all around Louisiana and Memphis. Not that I'm complaining, because we got some bomb food from every booth we tried (plus less than 2 minutes wait for any of them)!
Highlights:

  • Gus's Fried Chicken, Memphis - $2 for a wing, $3 for a thigh, but man do they know how to do their chicken fried! It's extra crispy, paired great with their slaw, and even better topped with Louisiana hot sauce. 
  • Central BBQ, Memphis - great ribs with the most seasoned BBQ chips you'll ever taste and even greater service. My friend bought a t-shirt, but they didn't have her size, so one of the owners offered to mail her one for free! 
  • Sheraton, NOLA - they had all their gumbo trophies laid out on the counter for everyone to say, and I must say their gumbo was very rich, flavorful, and got more tasty with each bite. I also ordered a delicious glazed redfish topped with a crab/peashoot salad for $8 (best value, hands down). 
Festival season is definitely my favorite season of the year.