One of the classic foods of New Orleans are beignets, and Cafe Du Monde is the most well-known place that serves them.

I recently returned from an amazing New Orleans trip where I managed to eat at nearly 20 places in a span of 3 1/2 days. I’m excited to share my adventures, starting with the spot I was most anticipating: Cafe Du Monde.

They are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. I originally had planned to visit the first morning we’d be in town, but once I realized it was open all day I couldn’t wait. Just a mere few hours after we got off the plane and had some dinner, I dragged Mr. K to Cafe Du Monde for a late night snack. We ended up loving the beignets and cafe au lait so much that we visited 3 times over our short stay. The beignets were that good.

The large cafe is bustling no matter what time of the day. Once you enter, you find a seat and shortly after a server with a paper hat will approach you. You place your order and a few minutes later, they bring it to you and you immediately pay the server. The cafe’s menu is simple: beignets, coffee, hot chocolate and a handful of other drinks.

On our first night, we ordered the beignets and cafe au lait.

Before my visit to New Orleans, I’ve been quite curious as to what a proper beignet should taste like. Many restaurants offer it and it’s described as a French doughnut, so I imagined it was supposed to be a light, fluffy donut cut into square pillow-shapes. But if that’s all it is, I didn’t understand why people rave about beignets. It turns out, they are not quite the same as a donut, which is where most restaurants that serve beignets get it wrong.

These crunchy, baked Parmesan chicken nuggets are easy and delicious.

I just returned from an epic eating trip to New Orleans and while I normally have a bottomless stomach, I feel completely tapped out. I was eating about 6 meals a day and now I don’t think I’ll be hungry again for a month. Definitely no more heavy foods for a few days.

It’s a new year and a fresh start. I’m sure many of you, like me, have a New Year’s resolution to eat healthier. While I try to maintain a healthy lifestyle year-round, it’s at the beginning of the year that I feel the most motivated, especially because everyone around me is so enthusiastic about eat healthy too. To help fulfill healthy eating goals, I’ve partnered with Whole Foods Market® to share tips and ways to maintain a healthy diet.

Many people find maintaining a healthy lifestyle to be overwhelming. I find that the best way to continue a balanced diet is to start with small steps and gradually build-up. Here are some things I try to do in my everyday life:

Use Less Oil in Cooking 

During the week, I try to eat at home as much as possible, so I can control what goes into the food I’m cooking, and I try to cook healthier by using less oil.

Steam-Frying: We eat a lot of sautéed and stir fried vegetables. Usually, this method of cooking starts with some oil. But years ago, I discovered that the oil isn’t necessary. You just need liquid. So I use water or broth instead and the result is the same. The vegetables are just as crisp and tasty as when I cook with oil. You can view a video demonstrating how to steam-fry on Whole Foods Market’s website. You’ll also find other videos demonstrating various cooking techniques without oil.

Applesauce and Greek Yogurt Substitutions in Baked Goods: Baked goods usually use a lot of oil. But just like with sautéing, you don’t always need all that oil. When I bake, I try to replace at least half (or more) of the oil with fat free Greek yogurt or applesauce. These healthier substitutes keep the baked goods moist and fluffy without the need for the unnecessary fat.

Add Nutrient Rich Foods To Meals

I try to prepare a lot of vegetables and other nutrient rich foods in the meals I’m making. I always start off eating those foods, which fill me up enough so that I’m not craving and reaching as much for meats and items that aren’t providing my body with as many nutrients.