Friday, September 23, 2011

Hong Kong Food Market

Do you love grocery shopping ? But do you get tired of going to the same old grocery stores?

(This sounds like an infomercial!)

What you need is a trip to Hong Kong Food Market on the Westbank! If you usually shop American-style, you've got to check it out. For inspiration, here are a few pictures from my recent visit. P.S. I've decided to celebrate the fact that I just learned to use captions. Hope your eyes are good!

Tons of tofu...

...even fresh, unpackaged tofu!

Faux seafood (some of it vegan, some of it made with whey or egg)

This is faux lobster, in case you couldn't tell.
The vegetarian "meats" stretched out before us...

Canned faux meats abound.

This interesting vegetable matter looked like little green animals trying to swim around.

Our purchases (starting on the left, going clockwise): Rambutans, sweet potato flour, vegan ham, and a short, fat type of plantain.

Rambutans are related to lychees.

If you need something that feels like eyeballs (you know, like if you're hosting a Halloween party), buy a bunch of these and take the shells off. You'll have to be motivated though -- it's work getting to the inside of these things!

Once upon a time, a couple of my Taiwanese ESL students threw me a vegan Chinese dinner party that was out of this world. The dish that most struck me was the "ham." They had bought one like the one you see three photos up, and they taught me to dip it in sweet potato flour and then pan-fry it. It's not something I eat often, but it sure is tasty! If you want to try it, check ingredients before choosing a brand of veggie ham...some of them are only vegetarian, not vegan.

Happy shopping!

Hong Kong Food Market ~ 925 Behrman Hwy ~ Gretna, LA 70056 ~ (504) 394-7075

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Beaucoup Juice

I've been collecting bloggable experiences the last several weeks and neglecting to blog about them! I'm going to start now by sending you to the good folks at Beaucoup Juice over on Freret Street. Very cool joint...Anyone who dares to omit obscenely sugary syrup from sno-balls in New Orleans automatically has my respect! (Though I have to admit there's a special place in my heart for the occasional, obscenely sugary, syrupy, "nectar" sno-ball. Emphasis on occasional. Otherwise, you'll find me here!)

I've always liked Beaucoup Juice, but when I went in on a Saturday "to do research" for this blog entry, the vibe was especially good. Hanging out at the counter were three guys from the community garden from which owner Dylan Williams sources his local ingredients. Another of them was DJing in the back corner, keeping time to some Popcaan:

I'd love to know more about the community garden, and wish I'd had more time to sit and chat with these guys. (Specifically, I'd like to know if they use organic, or better yet, veganic farming practices.)

The gardeners
The menu is delightful to look at -- but hard to choose from, at least for a decision-averse person like many options, and they all sound delicious. (This photo doesn't do the menu justice; it covers a whole wall!)

I usually get the passion fruit sno-ball, but this time decided to have a fresh juice experience. Of course I couldn't decide on one from the menu, so I let Dylan concoct something special. I practically inhaled the creation: a frothy carrot-ginger-kale-spinach-pineapple combo that left me wanting more.

Owner Dylan Williams
Very Helpful Staff

Beaucoup Juice recently had paninis added to its menu; I wish there were a Daiya option. Maybe someday. Finally, Dylan said they're going to be getting into dessert soon, and he is interested in selling vegan baked goods! (Attention vegan bakers!)

Beaucoup Juice ~ 4719 Freret St. ~ NOLA ~ 504.430.5508