Tomorrow is a food-centric day we wait for year round… Mardi Gras! If you are in New Orleans you would get the whole “Fat Tuesday” experience, but even at home you could throw your own party, set up an own indoor picnic and cook up some classic Nola dishes. These delicious, flavorful and healthy meals are a great way to bring groups together and it doesn’t just have to be for this time of year. Here are some popular Mardi Gras recipes with a healthier twist so you don’t have to feel guilty about going up for multiple servings! Click the photos for the recipes:

Sausage and Chicken Gumbo

This dish is full of nutritious veggies and protein packed chicken and sausage. If you want a healthier alternative, you could swap in some brown rice or quinoa for the white rice. Brown rice has more than double the amount of vitamins and iron than white rice offers.

gumbo

 

Louisiana-Style Jambalaya Recipe

Like the gumbo, this Jambalaya dish is rich in delicious vegetables. When making this dish, you could alternate some chicken or turkey sausage for the regular sausage, as well as switch in some brown rice.

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Shrimp & Cheddar Grits

This healthy dish is a great fish recipe to include in your festivities. To make it more figure friendly, you could add some reduced fat cheddar cheese. Also, I don’t mean to completely alter the dish, but if you would like you could substitute Organic Rice and Shine Hot cereal for the grits which makes for a healthier alternative.

grits

Remoulade Sauce

A great extra flavor could be added to any fish buy cooking up some Remoulade sauce. It’s healthy, and you don’t have to feel guilty having an extra ladle full, or two.

 

remoulade sauce

Muffuletta

What could be healthier than a ton of veggies stuffed into one sandwich? This sandwich is a great meal to have at any time, even if it is just bringing it in for lunch. The only thing I suggest, is perhaps having this on whole grain bread and reduced-fat cheese. Other than that you are good to go.

muffaletta

Oven-Baked Beignets

This delicious treat is great to unwind with. It is simple, easy to make and would be popular if baked for a crowd. One thing that I would mention is to use 2% or skim milk in this dessert. Also, you may want to try splenda instead of the sugar, but it is not necessary.

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Brennan’s Bananas Foster

These bananas seem like a ridiculously delicious treat to enjoy after a hearty meal. However, to reduce the guilt of eating two servings you may want to use reduced-fat butter, and for the brown sugar you may want to try out Sucanat. It’s an organic sweetener that is all natural and it is a great substitute.

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 King’s Cake

And finally we finish the list with King Cake. This dessert seems easy to bake, and don’t produce too big of a mess. Instead of four tablespoons of sugar, honey would be a great, natural substitute that would add an extra layer of sweetness.

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Lindsay is a recent graduate of Keene State College in New Hampshire. With an obvious passion for food, she is ready to show the world what she has to offer. Other than eating, cooking, and writing about her love for food, Lindsay is an avid Scrabble player, and enjoys hanging with her friends. Check out her blog, Food and Life in General