New Orleans – what a city! It really is unlike any other city I’ve ever been to and I’ve done some traveling. It’s the perfect storm of kitsch, seediness, amazing seafood, and hedonism in a background of despair and poverty.
My recent trip to New Orleans was quite inspiring when it came to trying and exploring new and dynamic flavors. I was exposed to amazingly delicious Creole and Cajun cuisine (and I learned that these are distinct from one another as well) and wanted to explore making a vegan version of a New Orleans classic, Crawfish Étouffée. The étouffée sauce is traditionally made with butter and a meat or seafood stock, but I used soy butter and a veggie broth instead. I also made it with pan fried tofu instead of crawfish.
Being a fan of dark techno, I made my pilgrimage to Detroit for Memorial Day Weekend’s Movement festivities. I was not going to just enjoy the music though, I was excited to embark on the culinary delicacies of Detroit. While Detroit is known for their Coney Island Hot Dogs, I obviously did not take part in this tradition being a vegetarian.
I do appreciate/value the fact that everything at Daisies is made locally whether it’s their homemade pasta or locally sourced produce. Everything tasted absolutely delicious and fresh. They also have high quality vegetarian/pescatarian options that don’t feel like an afterthought.
Lifestyle changes simply do not happen overnight. With many other lifestyle changes I have made over the years, changing my dietary habits has been slow, which, I must add, benefits me tremendously because it always gives me adequate time for self-reflection. Moreover, going at a slow pace helps me to truly let go of the habits so that I won’t re-acquire them in the future.
Passion House provides artisanal coffee and remarkable loose-leaf hot tea and sparkling iced tea with a sprinkling of baked goods. They put as much effort into their tea as they do their coffee. The barista provided wonderful descriptions of the tea flavors and was very enthusiastic about their products. They have authentic, loose-leaf black tea, green tea, herbal tea, and white tea with incredibly complex flavors.
Cellar Door Provisions is a cute, boho byob restaurant tucked away in Logan Square. Its front is unassuming, but as you walk in, you are greeted with gorgeous plants, sleek wood, and a minimalist decor nested in a small interior. It is an order at the counter type of restaurant, which gives it more of a casual vibe, though its prices are not casual. They have very unique, small plates with refined, complex flavors.
Elske is New American restaurant tucked away in the West Loop offering beautiful Danish inspired cuisine. I was very excited to try Elske having been to Copenhagen this past year. The decor definitely brought me back to Copenhagen as it’s minimal and all about the mid-century modern vibe. They also have a lovely outdoor area with a fireplace for when it will eventually be warmer outside. We were here for a celebration and had been wanting to try Elske for awhile.
Same Day Cafe is a picturesque, relaxed cafe in the heart of Logan Square. Its sign and exterior is unassuming but their food and beverages are everything but unassuming. It’s a smaller cafe with a wonderful collection of records and natural light. There are some cute plants on the wall, but it’s not overdone. It feels unadorned with sparks of a rustic ambience.
S.K.Y is a newer, creative restaurant with a sleek, minimal decor serving New American fare with an “Asian” influence. It is unpretentious as it is in Pilsen rather than the West Loop, which is quite refreshing. This is one of the best restaurants I have ever been to in Chicago. Everything I ate here was absolutely mouthwateringly delicious between the fun textures and well-seasoned/spiced flavors. Everything about this restaurant screams minimal decor but their flavors are everything but minimal.
I had the amazing opportunity to sit down with Keon Dillon, Founder of Millennial Soul Food, which is a spiritual, life-coaching, tarot project based in Chicago but practiced all over the country. Keon is a dynamic and innovative Chicagoan who has thought deeply and comprehensively about food and our relationship to it for a very long time.
Just because you are vegetarian or vegan doesn’t mean you have to stop eating your Hungarian favorites. Why not make this Hungarian staple vegetarian friendly with all the scrumptious tomato/paprika flavor?