Morning Motivation: Replace your morning coffee with a different kind of blend.
Here at New Orleans Living, we’re always on the lookout for the perfect green smoothie recipe — and we’ve tried more than a few. So when we saw locally based actress and photographer Nicky Phillips’ perfectly luscious Green Shake on Instagram, we had to get the recipe.
Phillips, who is mostly vegan, aims to drink this bright-green concoction daily. “I love making smoothies because it’s such a great start to your day,” she says. “The typical way Americans believe they should eat is [thinking that] breakfast is the most important meal — and it is pretty important — but that doesn’t mean it should be full of protein, carbs and refined sugars. Green shakes and fruit smoothies are the perfect breakfast, because you’re getting proper nutrients into your body to start your day, and you can absolutely feel the difference in mood and energy level.”
Nicky’s Gorgeous Green Shake
1 head of Romaine lettuce
Large handful of baby spinach
Large handful of curly kale
1 peeled, chopped mango (or frozen equivalent)
2 pitted dates (for sweetness; can be omitted)
15 ounces coconut water
2 Tbs. flaxseed
2 Tbs. hemp seed
Blend ingredients together until all lumps disappear. Serve and enjoy!
Better Together: The New Orleans Food Co-op says cooperation is key.
In 2005, the New Orleans Food Co-op was poised to open a 2,300-square-foot space on Elysian Fields Avenue. But Hurricane Katrina did away with those plans — and the storm also did away with many of the grocery stores in New Orleans, creating what came to be known as food deserts throughout the city.
The co-op pressed on without a physical space for several years — running a monthly buying club, and partnering with Second Harvest Food Bank and Market Umbrella to operate a mobile market. Finally, in the fall of 2011, it opened its first permanent location inside the New Orleans Healing Center on St. Claude Avenue.
For more than a decade, the co-op’s main mission has stayed the same: to offer healthy food at reasonable prices to the New Orleans community. Residents can become co-owners by investing in the co-op; while most investments start at $100, those on a limited income only pay $25. By allowing community members to take a financial stake in their own food supply, the co-op both ensures its longevity and creates ambassadors for its cause.
While it does occasionally carry conventional produce when neither local nor organic options are available, the New Orleans Food Co-op prioritizes organic and/or sustainably raised, fair-trade crops. Because it’s more expensive to raise, this type of produce can cost more than conventionally grown produce, but, on the other hand, items raised locally may cost less. The co-op sources as many items as it can from local producers — cutting down on the carbon footprint of food transport, and supporting area farmers and fishers. Products originating within 250 miles of New Orleans are classified as Locally Grown or Locally Produced, while products marked with Crescent’s Pride are grown or produced right here in town. nolafood.coop
Maria’s Pick: Crescent Park
Plan a run or pack a picnic, and head to New Orleans’ newest park.
By now, most locals know about Crescent Park. But if you haven’t yet taken an afternoon to stroll around this riverfront space, you’re missing out! The park spans 1.4-miles from Mazant Street in the Bywater to Elysian Fields Avenue in the Marigny. It’s crisscrossed with running and biking paths, and almost every vantage point offers a fabulous view of the Mississippi River.
Those familiar with The High Line in New York City will likely notice the two parks’ visual similarities. Crescent Park’s landscape design is spare and almost geometric, offering a counterpoint to the lush green spaces of Audubon and City parks. There’s also a dog run here, where well-behaved pups can play.
Though it’s been open since last spring, Crescent Park is by no means finished. It can be tough to get over the steep, arched Piety Street bridge, and Yelpers note that the dog run lacks a double gate — so be careful when coming and going! The New Orleans Building Corporation, which spearheaded the park, plans to expand it by adding more trails, picnic areas and other amenities “as funding becomes available,” according to reinventingthecrescent.org. Hopefully, the park will be 100 percent complete in time for New Orleans’ tricentennial celebration in 2018! nola.gov/city/crescent-park