Monday, August 6, 2012

Truck Parade

I'm sure you've heard that Hubig's Pies burned down. By now, you may be wearing a shirt that says, "Lemon."  Perhaps, if you live here in New Orleans, or once did, you even changed your facebook profile pic to some sort of clever Hubig's Pie meme, i.e. (The South Will Rise Again) or posted a status about how devastated you are, vegan or not. Maybe you rode your bike to pastry ground zero and wondered about the fantastic guardian angels that protected the neighbors' houses, and how you might get you one of those angels.

New Orleans loves her food icons. But sometimes our bureaucratic bullshit, for which we are also famous, prevents New Orleans, and more to the point, New Orleanians from acheiving higher goals.

Roman Candy and Lucky Dog would never have reached nostalgic, cult status if the food cart rules and legislation of today existed when these folks opened shop. By the way, you may wonder why a vegan gives a hoot for Lucky Dog, and besides evangelizing about local ownership, blah blah blah, here is your honest answer: Ignatius Reilly.

And what about the iconic ice cream truck? (The creepy music has to go, though.)

We really need to make vegan food another New Orleans institution, y'all. I thought it was a very good sign that the vegan epañadas were the first to sell out at the Food Truck Rally.

Of course, it wasn't a good sign for my starving husband and myself, especially when the lines to everything else looked like this:

But really, I know we hear about other cities and all of their totally vegan restaurants and we wanna eat our heart out. Lord knows, we're making progress here, finally. Vegan food carts would help tremendously, but what would also help is for vegan food to make its appearance everywhere. Does it always have to be an "other?" Come on, New Orleans, let's just let great vegan food be "ours." Here's my new restaurant and grocery store M.O. No matter how unlikely the place seems to ever carry, or want to carry, vegan items, ASK ASK ASK. Make them hear that damn word, "vegan" all the time. Let them think daiya cheese must be the hottest thing, because all these people keep asking about it. Over and over again. And act like you expect results. "Did you get the daiya cheese yet that I asked about?" "Did you add the scrambled tofu to the breakfast menu yet?" Be nice; be consistent.

And hey, I know we're not millionaires. We can't eat out at restaurants everyday. Sheesh, some of us, like me, even LIKE to cook!! So, this tactic is especially important at grocery stores. Stay tuned for my upcoming post about Rouse's and the ever expanding "natural foods" sections at our neighborhood stores. Demand your tempeh and nooch people. Demand with a smile.

Last photo taken at Tout de Suite in the lovely Algiers Point.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

The Wandering Buddha

Can't Wait to Go Back to Wandering Buddha

We took advantage of the break in the rain and headed to Wandering Buddha's back patio for an early-ish dinner. The Hi-Ho Lounge, which shares space with WB was not yet open, but the server said we could get drinks from the neighboring lounge, Siberia. We opted for the iced tea of the day instead, which was a blossom white tea. Many hot teas are available, as well as homemade chai served hot or iced. (I got one of those fabulous iced beauties to go when we headed home.) 

I wanted everything on the menu--all the appetizers and all the entrées, but alas, one has to be reasonable. Besides, there will be many return visits. They also deliver to many areas of the city; good to know.

Here's what we finally decided to order:

Pajeon/ Scallion Pancakes with Korean Dipping Sauce 

These were pan-fried, and the littlest bit greasy, in a good way :) The sauce was a sesame soy sauce kind of thing.

Bimibap / Rice with Vegetables

steamed rice with sigumchi namul (seasoned spinach), oi muchim (spicy cucumbers), kimchi, kong namul (seasoned sprouts), carrots, zucchini, and a side a red pepper sauce (not pictured)

This was amazing. Great balance of strong flavors. The server warned that it had a kick, but as a born and bread yat, I don't need to tell you that I emptied that side bowl of hot sauce, do I?

Dubu Jorim/ Braised Tofu

tofu braised in soy sauce, garlic, ginger and korean hot peppers. Served with steamed rice, sigumuchi namul (seasoned spinach), oi muchim (spicy cucumbers), and kimchi

My husband loved this. He kept going on and on about the kimchi. It was the first time he ever had it. I told him that he lucked out, because I have had plenty kimchi but WB's was my favorite so far. WB sells jars of kimchi too FYI. 

A word about the rice. Ok, I know it's just plain rice but it was so tender and perfect. I have to find out what brand of rice cooker they use. Of course, I'm always looking for new kitchen "props," as my husband says. 

Apple Ginger Homemade Vegan Ice Cream

I guess I don't need to say it's vegan since the whole menu is vegan. This was light and refreshing    and the apple gave it a little texture, so it wasn't gelato smooth. They had several ice cream flavors and sorbets as well. I almost got the black sesame ice cream. Next time.

We had a wonderful meal with very friendly and helpful service. If you haven't tried Wandering Buddha yet, go, go now, and bring everyone. If an omni has anything to complain about dining here, then that person just enjoys being an idiot. ;) The food is perfection; and since it's vegan too, it's a godsend. My buddha belly is ready for another visit ASAP.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Upcoming NOLA Vegan Events


Although not exactly a vegan event, this is, by far, an issue that could positively impact the vegan culture of the city. Please come out to the symposium! Food (vegan tacos, empañadas, etc.) and beverages, even adult ones, will be available. Let's get this show on the road, folks!


I recently stopped drinking alcohol, but that won't stop me from attending this soirée!! Check it out!


Tuesday, July 17, 2012

My Ingenious Idea for Breaking My Bad Health Habits: Acting Like I'm Pregnant

One major difference, besides, of course, not actually being pregnant is that my aim is to lose all this extra weight, not gain! I'm fed up with myself. You know that line from Bruce Springsteen's "Dancing in the Dark," --I'm nothing but tired, just tired and bored with myself--? Well, that's me. I drink beers that I don't want to drink; I eat food I don't want to eat, for no other reason besides laziness and being in a general rut. I'm tired of being overweight, (and other gripes), but stopping suddenly is hard, even with honest and passionate convictions. But then I thought, "Wait, if I were pregnant I would have to suddenly stop all this nonsense!" So, that's my version of WWJD right now. I need some habit overhauling and this little trick I'm playing on myself has been working out pretty well. Check out my new morning ritual instead of my morning reveille of four shots of espressso over ice with a splash of soy--and the $4 price tag.

The Big Easy Being Green Super Simple Smoothie. (Basic version, add your favorite pump up potions such as hemp seeds, flax, maca, spirulina, protein / probiotic powders)

I make mine in a Magic Bullet. Measurements are to give you an idea. I just fill the blender cup.

1/2 c. frozen very ripe bananas

1/2 c. frozen pineapple

1/2 c. frozen mango (mine were champagne mangoes)

handful fresh kale (mine is the pre-washed, chopped, bagged, curly kale)

splash of water to get things moving

Blend until smooth (duh!) Kale should be no larger than wee flakes

P.S. Check your teeth for kale bits after drinking. Ha!

Affectionately called "The Sludge." This photo explains why.