Not-So-Fat Tuesday: 8 Healthier Mardi Gras Recipes

Not-So-Fat Tuesday: 8 Healthier Mardi Gras Recipes

It’s called Fat Tuesday for a reason; Mardi Gras celebrations are known for being over-the-top indulgent| but if that’s not your style| not to worry u2014 you can still enjoy all the flavors of New Orleans without all the calories. In honor of Tuesday’s celebration| we’ve put together a menu of healthier versions of classic New Orleans and Southern dishes.

| Vegan Jambalaya

Traditional jambalaya is packed with a variety of flavors| and this vegan jambalaya recipe is no different. Throw in a variety of vegan meat alternatives into this slow-cooking meal for a celebratory main course that even your meat-craving friends will love.

| Vegan King Cake

A king cake is a central part of any Mardi Gras festivity| but the pastry can be both hard to make and high in calories. This vegan king cake not only cuts out the difficulty| but removes the butter| cream| and eggs as well u2014 instead opting for coconut milk and vegan margarine. The result? A healthier cake that’s just as showstopping as the classic version.

| Cajun Collard Chips

Kale chips are delicious| but these Cajun collard green chips will get you in a New Orleans state of mind. Plus| they’re so easy to make and are a great healthy option for Mardi Gras party snacks.

| Vegetarian Beans and Rice

Red beans and rice is a New Orleans staple| but while the name sounds healthy enough| true red beans and rice uses bacon fat| sausage| and ham hock| which can make for a fat-filled bowl. Instead| try this Cuban-inspired vegetarian beans and rice recipe for a still-filling but not heavy alternative.

| Sazerac

If you’re celebrating Mardi Gras with a drink or two for the festivities| then choose wisely; while New Orleans has its share of classic cocktails| many are filled to the brim with sugar and calories. Take the hurricane| for example: a six-ounce serving is 250 calories| and most hurricane glasses are 15 ounces u2014 that’s over 500 calories for one drink! Instead| opt for a sazerac; the four-ounce servings are small but are meant to be savored| not guzzled| and each sazerac is under 150 calories and only includes a small amount of sugar.

| Better-For-You Beignets

If you’ve ever been to New Orleans| you’ve probably had your fill of those addictive Cafe du Monde beignets at one point or another. For a slightly healthier alternative (they’re still fried| after all!)| make this vegan beignet recipe. If fried food isn’t for you| try this recipe for baked beignets (pictured here).

| Paleo Dirty Rice

If you’ve gone grain-free| this New Orleans-inspired dish will jazz up your next dinner. The cauliflower “”rice”” used in this Paleo dirty rice recipe will soak up the other ingredients Cajun flavors for a satisfying| low-carb side.

| Vegan Pralines

While these vegan pralines aren’t exactly a health food| they are a butter- and milk-free option for anyone looking to end an indulgent Mardi Gras menu on a sweet note.