Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Healthy Scavenger Hunt New Orleans

So clearly I didn't take this photo, via BonAppetit
My book  (if I can call it that with the gazillion edits I received) The Little Book of Thin tackles the scenarios can potentially throw nutritional wrenches in our healthy habits. Early in the project, my agent was blunt “the advice for each of these topics cannot be to bring your own, you have to go beyond that.” When it comes to travel, you may recall I do like to BMO (bring my own) and I hear I’m not the only one who feels avocados are a perfect travel food. However, I also love to seek out healthy, fresh, local options when away. This past weekend I was in New Orleans for Jazz Fest. There was a lot of unbelievable music from Maroon 5, Fleetwood Mac, my new favorites the Revivalists and of course gospel greats but I also had a list of healthy items I try to find whenever I’m away.

A running route or workout- we were staying in Warehouse District. Gena, at Choosing Raw had told me about a juice bar located further uptown. Marc and I decided to run up Magazine St. On a beautiful but chilly morning we ran past the galleries and the Crescent City Farmer’s market, a little further up there were clusters of antique stores and crowds waiting outside brunchy places. 

You really forget about the running when you’re taking in your surroundings. I also noticed a  Pure Barre studio along the way.

Green Juice or Green Smoothie- if New Orleans, home of the Hurricane, is any indication you can find healthy pockets in most cities and towns. I used Twitter, Facebook and our hotel concierge to find some healthy hotspots. Heeding Gena’s advice we checked out Superfood Bar. We had worked up an appetite so I went with the Avocalada (have a Matchacolada in my book, had to taste the colada competition) a mixture of avocado, coconut, pineapple, coconut oil, dates and topped with coconut flakes. Marc went for the Chocolate Avocado smoothie. We also grabbed green lemonades and salads to eat for lunch before Jazz Fest.
sadly a hairbrush wasn't part of the scavenger hunt
Veggie Action
My salad, the Superfood Bar, had kale, beet ribbons and avocado tossed in vinaigrette made with Jerusalem artichoke syrup. The star of the salad was this coconut “bacon”. I don’t usually like food that requires quotation marks but this was the first crouton I’ve fallen for. I dug a little bit and found you can make it like this.
that little container has the "bacon" on the right was Marc's falafel salad
As much as I loved the coconut bacon, it was dinner later that night, at Domenica, where my veggie life would be forever changed. The life changing vegetable was the Roasted Cauliflower (pictured above).  While it seems this cauliflower has a bit of a following, it was new to me. And if you think I am not to be trusted because I run miles for an avocado smoothie- Marc devoured it too. I am not sure it would taste exactly the same without a wood-burning oven but I’m going to try out this recipe. And although I dreamt about the feta situation on the side, Marc preferred the cauliflower naked (I am choosing to end the sentence here).

Sensational Seafood- For old times’ sake we went back to Emerils. We were last at Emerils after my college graduation and I had doubts whether it would be as great as I remembered it but it was. I loved the Yellowfin Tuna Butter Lettuce Sashimi and the speckled trout served over succotash  (with grapefruit butter…swoon) which was the “creative fish of the day”. I was also impressed that Emeril’s, known for its pork chop and legendary banana cream pie, was receptive and knowledgeable when I inquired about gluten.

Sorry sashimi, you looked so much prettier in person, not the most flattering photo

Commendable Cocktail- I didn’t get my green juice our first day in Nola. I did however get a “red juice”. I was wooed by the Bloody Mary at Ruby Slipper. For me, life is about the garnishes and when I saw the picked string bean, I was sold.

Worthy Treat- I was in heaven with the foods mentioned above. Marc, on the other hand, had his own Jazz Fest Scavenger hunt in mind. Day 1, he beelined it for alligator pie (unappealing to me for so many reasons).  Day 2 it was the Muffaleta (the secret is in the olives). Like a kid in a “beignet” store he remarked “I would eat so much if you weren’t here.” Fortunately for him (maybe) I was.
You're married to a nutritionist, you must eat so healthy
And later he said "I wonder why my stomach hurts" yeah I wonder
Good food, good music, did I forget the good book Where’d You Go Bernadette? I devoured.
What do you like to find when you travel? What's on your travel scavenger hunt list?

Places I didn’t get to:
Café Carmo- my friend suggested the broken noodle salad she gets “no tofu” or the Esmeralda Salad.
Maurepas Foods- Carla says the Brussels sprouts with strawberry sauce were "to die for" 
Next time.


  1. Hilarious. Nick's friends always say that to him..."Your wife is a dietitian? Do you eat salads all day?", OR...the opposite, "You are married to a dietitian?! You're so lucky, you basically get healthy food with no work required!". lol, neither is correct, really.

    I would love to go to New Orleans.....I need to get there one of these days, especially during JAzz Fest, what an amazing experience!

  2. I figure this Gina, at least now there's kale/wild salmon/Greek Yogurt in there amongst the other crap he eats. The funny thing is, he thinks he's a really healthy eater (are you laughing?)
    You must go to NO but Jazz Fest/reg totally different. Need to try both.

  3. First & only time I've been to New Orleans, was when my son was 6 weeks old and my daughter was 20 months. My son wouldn't sleep in the hotel room, so I had to stick him in the bathroom with the shower running (not in the shower) to console him. Also, it was sticky hot & my daughter was screaming in her stroller because sunscreen had gotten in to her eye. Then this nice lady came along with a cute little dog and tried to cheer my daughter up. It worked-at least temporarily! I am impressed with all the good things you ate on your trip, but all I wanted was a drink!!! I have to say, I do love getting healthy/gluten-free eating advice from Twitter. I've gotten lots of great suggestions for places in New Zealand, and more recently in Santa Fe. Glad you had a fun trip :-)

  4. I love the idea of a healthy scavenger hunt! You have given me a whole new idea for our next road trip. My guys love to indulge in extra junk while on the road, this will be a fun flip to that, even if I'm the only one who participates. I find that mangoes make great travel food like the avocados. Wish I liked bananas, those bad boys sure are built for travel!

  5. I think it's fun to do both, have the indulgent local whatever it is but also find whatever healthy items that make you feel good whether it's local fruit, a farmer's market etc. I would disagree on the banana as travel food...have you ever put a banana in a purse?

  6. EA- sounds like fun (kidding). So, while I have been to NO with kids, first mistake was bringing the little "darlings" and second was not handing them over to the dog lady. I recall your GF in NZ post. I think we can reframe travel by pointing out you can have delicious food without a total break from your good routines GF foods, produce etc. Both places on my must-see list.

  7. I've been wanting to read Where'd You Go Bernadette! I'm waiting for my turn to pick for my book club - glad to hear it was good. I've never been to NO, mostly because my main opportunity to travel is in the summer and I feel like that's an unpleasantly sticky time to go there, but I've always wanted to check it out...I would be tempted by all the food just like your husband though. I like the idea of trying to seek out as much healthy food as possible - allowing yourself a few splurges along the way would make that doable for me!

  8. Loved the book, slight let down with the ending. while I would normally say to skip NO summers at all costs, it was pretty chilly in May...so you never know. When many people travel it's splurge central. Everyone has to do what works but I prefer healthy baseline with a sprinkling of a treat.

  9. This so reminds me of travelling with my husband! I'm always seeking out healthy hot spots, seafood, etc, and pumped about starting our day with a workout...while he's on the hunt for something meaty, greasey or sweet...he always ends up feeling better after the healthy option though :) Great post!

  10. Have you heard of the banana saver? It sort of resembles something else (hah), but it prevents bananas from smooshing during travel!

  11. Men! I would say, thankfully, Marc goes both ways when it comes to food. I can ignore the muffaletta if he accompanies me to the juice bar. Tradeoffs.

  12. Thanks Lauren, I am totally ordering a banana vibrator (I mean saver), kind of genius.