Just because it’s FAT Tuesday doesn’t mean you have to get Fat! You can still celebrate Mardi Gras without packing on the lb’s!
Stay away from etouffee – it’s loaded with cream. Jambalaya is a better option but still pretty high- calorie and has a lot of sodium. For drinks…stick with wine, beer, a bloody mary or try my hurricane recipe below.
Best Mardi Gras Foods:
Shrimp Cocktail – stick with cocktail sauce,Â horseradishÂ or salsa and avoid tarter sauce, remoulade or anything creamy. Shrimp cocktail is one of my favorites because it’s low calorie, low-fat high in protein and fills you up! Boiled crawfish is also a good option but don’t go crazy on theÂ accompanyingÂ starchesÂ that usually come with it like corn, potatoes and bread.
Crab Cakes – Maryland Style (less breading and more crab). Whole Foods has some great crab cakes that are ready to bake (vs. fry) that are a healthier version that the fried ones you’ll find atÂ restaurants. Or, you can make your own using the recipe below!
Blackened Fish – just ask for it with less oil and no sauce.
King Cake is one of the traditional sweets you will find for Mardi Gras and surprisingly it’s not as bad as most desserts. It’s loaded with sugar and carbs (very bread-y) but it’s usually slightly lower in fatÂ becauseÂ it has a lighter icing (or sometimes just sugar) vs buttercream or fatty frosting. Have a very small slice and you will be fine!
For Recipes -Â
Creole Tomato Salad
- 3Â ripe tomatoes, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices (about 2 pounds)Â $
- 1Â Vidalia or other sweet onion, thinly sliced and separated into ringsÂ $
- 1/4 teaspoonÂ salt
- 1 tablespoonÂ thinly sliced fresh mint
- 2 teaspoonsÂ chopped fresh chives
- 4 teaspoonsÂ olive oil
- 4 teaspoonsÂ red wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoonÂ Dijon mustard
- 1/2 teaspoonÂ minced fresh garlic
- To prepare salad, alternate tomato and onion slices on a platter. Sprinkle with salt. Top with mint and chives.
- To prepare vinaigrette, combine oil, vinegar, mustard, and garlic in a jar. Cover tightly; shake vigorously. Drizzle vinaigrette over salad, and serve at room temperature.
LowFat Maryland Crab Cakes
- 1 pound jumbo lump crabmeat
- 2/3 cup dried bread crumbs, preferably panko
- 1/3 cup finely chopped red bell pepper (optional)
- 1/4 cup finely sliced green onions (optional)
- 1/4 cup finely chopped parsley
- 2 teaspoons seafood seasoning like Old Bay
- Pepper, to taste
- 2 tablespoons lowfat or fat-free mayonnaise
- 1 egg plus 1 egg white, lightly beaten
- Cooking Spray or Pam
- Lemon wedges
- Lowfat Tartar Sauce**
In a large bowl, break up crab meat into slightly smaller pieces, feeling through mixture to make sure no shell pieces remain. Set aside. In another bowl, combine bread crumbs, peppers, green onions, parsley, seafood seasoning and pepper. Add to crab, then stir in mayonnaise, egg and egg white. Blend well and gently form into patties. Mixture will make 8 to 9 large or 10 to 12 small patties. Flatten patties, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes or until ready to cook. (They can be prepared the night before.)
In a large skillet – spray with Pam or other cooking spray and heat to medium temperature. Add crab cakes and fry for 2 to 3 minutes on each side, turning gently, until golden brown. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate as done, then serve with lemon wedges and tartar sauce.
**If you can’t find lowfat tarter sauce….make your own! Combine 1/2 cup lowfat or fat free mayonaise, 1.5 teaspoons sweet pickle relish, 1.5 teaspoons minced onions (optional), 1 tablespoon lemon juice, salt & pepper to taste. Stir allÂ ingredientsÂ together and Voila!
Reduced Calorie Hurricane
Yield: 1 Cocktail
- 2 oz light rum
- 2 oz dark rum
- 2 oz Ocean Spray Light Cranberry Juice (or Light Grapefruit)
- 1 oz Tropicana Trop50 low-calÂ orange juice
- Juice of a half a lime
- 2-3 packets Splenda, Stevia or other sugar-free sweetener (depending on how sweet you want it)
- 1 TbspÂ grenadine
- Orange sliceÂ andÂ cherryÂ for garnish
- Squeeze juice from half a lime intoÂ cocktail shakerÂ over ice.
- Pour the remaining ingredients into the cocktail shaker.
- ShakeÂ well.
- Strain into aÂ hurricane glass.
- Garnish with a cherry and an orange slice.