I’m going to try and take “Fat Tuesday” a little less literally this year with a healthier approach to my Mardi Gras recipes and menu. Of course I’m going to stick to the traditional favorites, but for my party menu I’m going to focus on healthier versions that stay true to those delicious Cajun flavors I love. Maybe I’ll even score a few extra beads for my efforts.
For Mardi Gras, I’m going to cook up a menu of traditional favorites, including:
Grilled Shrimp Remoulade: An updated and untraditional rémoulade makes a tangy sauce for these spice-rubbed shrimp. While this is a favorite on the grill, you can cook the shrimp on a lightly sprayed broiler rack, about 4 inches from the heat, for a winter warmer any night of the week.
Louisiana Red Beans & Rice: EatingWell’s quick version gets its smoky goodness from super-lean Canadian bacon and a hit of ground chipotle pepper. It’s delicious as a leftover but will thicken as it stands.
Black-Eyed Pea & Artichoke Salad: Frozen artichoke hearts are great to have on hand for just this type of easy salad.
Southern Kale: If there is only one argument to make for the healthfulness of Southern food, it's the variety and sheer amount of leafy greens. I prefer kale, but mustard, turnip and collards all have their champions, and many cooks mix them.
Bread Pudding with Bourbon Sauce: Nothing is wasted in a Cajun kitchen where stale bread becomes a luscious dessert.