I am going to New Orleans in a few weeks and I am like beyond freakin’ excited. Last year was a year of so much exploring: San Diego CA, Dallas & Austin TX, St Augustine FL…and then I rounded out the year with an INSANE trip to freaking Southern & Northern Spain. I always kind of rolled my eyes at people who said they “loved to travel.” Like, I kind of judged them for not finding appreciation or joy in their present moment of life and their home on this planet.
But now having joined the ranks of those who “love to travel,” I am happy to report that it is abundantly possible to have immense appreciation and love for your home (holla at my beautiful borough of Brooklyn!) while loving to explore. New foods, new cultures, new people, new places, strange flavors, strange animals… there’s just so much to see and experience.
And I can’t help but feel so transformed by all these foreign places in a way that makes me return to BROOKLYN with a new lens to view & experience my own routine and my own home in a totally new light.
It makes me wonder…what other things can we do to reshape our lens? Since ain’t nobody got time to vacay every week (well, at least, I don’t) - I pose the question of what can we do in our day-to-day to sharpen and focus our appreciation for the mundane?
So here’s what I’m thinking…but I want your feedback too!! Comment below and inspire me a little bit! Or maybe just tell me your fave spot to grab food in New Orleans.
Learn a new language on the free app DuoLingo
Sign up for Epicurious’ amazing, free #cook90 program (which gives you so much FREE cooking knowledge)
Take a new gym class … or try out ClassPass which allows you to try out tons of new classes in your neighborhood.
Join a team sport on MeetUp…
or join any of MeetUp’s amazing clubs! Make new friends (but keep the old!).
So much of traveling (for me) is merely a way to sate my curiosity. New experiences are the SPICE of life. I know, I know, I am SO cheesy!!!
Okay. Speaking of cheesy, can I tell you something CRAZY that happened to me yesterday?
Ready for it….?
I ate pasta…WITHOUT ANY CHEESE.
I mean, this is an unprecedented event in history. But this homemade grass-fed meat sauce was sooo delicious that I literally forgot to top it with parmesan!
I served my sauce on top of Banza’s chickpea penne. Lemme’ tell ya a little somethin’ somethin’ about this meal. Grass-fed beef is LOADED with anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin D, vitamin K2 and super rich in protein. Chickpea pasta is loaded with fiber, protein and fat-burning resistant starch (although zoodles would work JUST FINE HERE too!). The sauce is made with allium rich veggies which help prevent prostate cancer (for those who have a prostate, of course!).
1 small onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 stalks celery, chopped
3 carrots, chopped
1/2 cup red wine
1 can crushed tomatoes
Salt (I used coarse gray sea salt)
Bone Broth (optional)
Box of Banza Pasta
Add two tablespoons of avocado oil to a pan over medium high heat. Add carrots and let soften for three minutes before adding garlic, onion, celery. Stirfry frequently. Cook until the onions are translucent and then reduce the heat to medium-low.
Once you start noticing the carrots are browning, de-glaze the pan with 1/4 cup of red wine.
Add a can of crushed tomatoes, dried bay leaf, and additional wine. Stir well.
Add ground meat to the pan and use a wooden spatula to break it apart. Stir it into the sauce.
Raise the heat to medium-high and bring the pan to a boil. Season with salt and then reduce to a simmer.
Let simmer for an hour, checking occasionally to stir and add broth if you prefer thinner sauce.
In the last ten minutes, bring a salted pot of water to a boil and cook pasta according to directions.
Before serving, check the salt. Top with an additional sprinkle of salt, if desired.
Garnish with basil … and parmesan if desired!