Healthy Mardis Gras Recipes


For as long as I can remember, I have dreamt of visiting New Orleans. The people, the culture, the traditions, and especially the food are just things that I need to experience in person at least once in my life. I imagine visiting during crawdad season, enjoying the rich flavors of Cajun and Creole food, and starting my mornings with chicory coffee and beignets at Café du Monde. From the lively ambience of the French Quarter to the soulful tunes emanating from jazz clubs, every aspect of New Orleans is calling to me.

A few years ago, I had actually planned to attend the Food and Nutrition Conference and Expo (the largest national conference in the United States for nutrition experts) because it was in New Orleans. Unfortunately, the conference was scheduled for October 2021 — during the height of the pandemic — and the in-person event was canceled. As a result, my dreams of visiting New Orleans were dashed, at least for the time being.

Luckily, I love cooking and have always looked at creating new recipes as an amazing way to travel through space and time. For example, I am borderline obsessed with trying historical recipes from fifty or more years ago. In the same way, I love trying new recipes from all over the world as a way to both expand my knowledge of worldwide cuisine and allow my taste buds to travel even when I can’t.

And, as an added benefit, I also take this opportunity to make the recipes a little healthier than the classic version. For example, I use extra-virgin olive oil in place of butter and brown rice instead of white. This way I can enjoy these dishes even more often!


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