Friday, August 26, 2011

Hurricane Preparedness 101

I know, this post is not food-related. Tough. Having lived in New Orleans for several years now, I have a few tips for you folks in the northeast that don't have any experience with them:

1. Fill your car with gas now. (they won't work once the power goes out)
2. Have on hand battery-run items: lanterns, flashlights, radios, cell-phone chargers, etc.
3. Get lots of extra batteries for said items above.
4. Be prepared with non-perishable food items and a manual can opener (not an electric one!), as well as lots of extra bottled water (I don't usually condone use of bottled water, but in this case, it's better to be prepared).
5. If you have small bottles of water, put them in the freezer. Pack your freezer, as it will stay cooler longer, the more it is packed.
6. The power most likely WILL go out and possibly for several days. Be prepared!
7. Know where your important papers are (insurance, passports, etc.), in case you have to grab them and go.
8.  Have some extra cash on hand, as well as extra medicine (especially prescriptions).
9. Charge up your cell phone beforehand. Calls may not go through, but texts most likely will (this was the case after Katrina)
10. Store loose items that are outside....tie them down or bring them in.
11. If you have a BBQ or propane cooker, have them ready, as the power may not be restored for a while. Though your gas stove may work....

If there's anything I've forgotten, feel free to add them below. This is important! Be prepared.

Eat smart and stay safe,

Saturday, August 20, 2011

New Kids on the Block

Nope, not the band. It's all about two new cool places that opened up in New Orleans: Cafe Carmo and Poeyfarre Market.

Both are in the Warehouse District of New Orleans. Within blocks of each other. It was hot, but we walked it anyway.  First we stopped into Cafe Carmo for lunch since we'd heard about the awesome vegan options there. We ordered the special, in its vegan version:

It was some sort of Egyptian dish with lentils, chickpeas, vegan meatballs, with a little rice and pasta in there. It was pretty good! The tomato sauce had a great flavor. For me, I could have done without the pasta (white flour) and wish it had been brown rice instead of white.  But, still, it was good. I had to get the vegan dessert, which was some sort of banana cake:
REALLY moist and overly sweet. But, very good! Had to split it three ways :)

I will definitely go back. Everyone in there was really nice. Good service (though you order at the counter) and nice (but small) ambience.  It looks like they could be expanding next door...???? I saw some new French doors leading to construction. That would be great. If you're in the area, you should definitely check this place out. They did have a vegan potato salad too, which I didn't try. There are many other things on the menu that can be veganized as well. Go check it out!

Then we headed over to the new Poeyfarre Market.  Maybe not in the best area, from what I could tell, but still, quite a nice market.  There are a lot of warehouse condos here and so I'm sure this new addition will be great for the local residents.  It was very clean and nicely laid out.  Not at all crowded and cramped. They had some vegan cheese, including a vegan parmesan, lots of vegan/raw protein powders & bars. They even had kale chips!! I saw hemp milk and almond milk, and some gluten free products too, like brown rice pasta. There's lots of wine, and a big walk-in beer cooler in the back with a decent collection. Really nice market (wish it were in my neighborhood).

Other things I've been eating:

A variation of my Barley Risotto:

I made Ani Phyo's Love the Chicks Pate with some Red Enchilada Sauce:

And finally, we tried the Alexia Sweet Potato Fries. I had a coupon for them, so I purchased a bag a while back. I've gotta say....they were ultra greasy. The flavor was really good, but they were just too oily for me. It's probably just because I don't use very much oil anymore and I just wasn't used to it. Oh well. I won't buy them again. But....the flavor WAS very good (Chipotle):

That's all for now folks!

On another note, my husband and I are now teaching viola lessons via Skype! If you or anyone you know is interested, please check out the details here. Feel free to share this information with your friends :)

Eat smart,

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Frozen meals and pretzels!

The other day I came across a recipe for soft pretzels here. They looked so good, I had to make them!
I used agave instead of regular sugar, and I used mostly whole wheat flour with a little vital wheat gluten. Oh, and I brushed them with almond milk.

They're great with beer :)

Now onto the frozen food.  In the past month or two, we've gotten a couple of new entrees from the store. Candle Cafe has just come out with some frozen meals and we tried two of them:

I'm not a caper eater, but S loves them. He enjoyed his. Mine was the pasta. It was good.....but I'm not sure I'd buy it again. For that price, I can make pasta at home that's healthier. The pasta was higher in fat and calories. But both of these boxes had coupons on them at Whole Foods, so it wasn't a bad deal :)

Now for the 2 Kashi dishes. S sometimes buys the Pesto Pasta one, but it's not vegan, so I won't eat it.

S ate the Tuscan Veggie Bake. I tasted it, was pretty good. I LOVED mine (Mayan Harvest Bake), but it was very sweet, like a desert with those plantains.  It was also higher in calories than S's. Both were vegan.

Oh, and I finally tasted Nacho Mom's newest Queso flavor: Voodoo. It's a bean dip. I wasn't really into dipping my chips into it, like I was for the other queso. I liked it on top of brown rice, with cooked peppers and onions, and some freshly chopped raw tomatoes on top (and of course, some taco seasoning sprinkled in):


On to fitness, I'm on Day 2 of my p90x workout and I feel it....I really feel the burn. But it's good and I hope I make it through all 90 days. Wish me luck :) Have any of you done this workout? Or do you have a good recipe for your own protein bars I could make?

Eat smart,

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Cashew Tomato Sauce

So I made some sauce the other day in my food processor, and it was good mixed into mashed potatoes, and really good mixed into pasta! Here it is:

Cashew Tomato Sauce:

1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1/2 cup cashews
2 roma tomatoes
1 TB tomato paste
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp Creole Seasoning (or comb. of salt/cayenne peppers)
salt to taste
2 TB red wine (optional)
1/4 cup water (for thinning, if necessary)

Process the cashews first, until powdery. Then add the rest of the ingredients, except water, and process. If it's too thick for you, add the water, as needed, and process. Serve it over warm pasta, or mixed into mashed potatoes.

I also made a wild rice salad a while ago (I forgot about it).  I soaked some wild rice for 2 days or so, rinsing a few times a day. Then mixed it with some other veggies, and added balsamic vinegar, garlic, onion, and salt to taste. So good! The wild rice is very chewy. It was my first time enjoying soaked wild rice.

Hope you are all enjoying your summer. I may or may not start the p90x workout soon. Have any of you tried it??

PS- if any of you love craft beer, or know of others that do, please check out my other blog: A Taste of Beer.

Eat smart,


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