How To Use New Orleans Style Cooking To Save Calories

If you know the right tricks, cooking can be a great way to gain control of your calorie consumption. Here in New Orleans we can make just about anything taste great, and healthy foods are no exception. Check out this list of calorie conscious swaps:

Crawfish>Andouille
For three ounces of Andouille sausage you get a whopping 11 grams of fat. However,
the same three ounces of crawfish contain less than a single gram of fat. Many recipes come in both seafood and meat versions like gumbo, which can be made with crawfish or with Andouille. Skip the sausage and opt for the leaner shellfish!

Creole Mustard
Everyone loves a good condiment, but unfortunately not all condiments are made equal. Ketchup is high in sugar and mayonnaise is about 75% fat. Try Zatarain’s Creole Mustard (>1g fat per serving!) for a New Orleans recipe that’s been around since the late 1800’s.

Cajun Spices
“Slap YA Mama” seasoning can make just about any dish better, so why not use it to spice up an otherwise boring low fat/low calorie food? Use it as a rub on fish, a seasoning on cooked vegetables, or an extra kick in your broth-based soup. Seasonings are a wonderful alternative to high fat flavor-fillers like oil or butter.

 

Oil-Free Roux
Make a one-ingredient roux from flour and save yourself 2/3 of the calories of regular oil-based roux! Here is a recipe from Southern Cuisine Blog:

Ingredients: 2 cups all purpose flour

Directions:

    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
    2. Spread flour evenly across the bottom of a 15-inch cast iron skillet
    3. Bake, stirring occasionally for approximately 1 hour
    4. Make sure to stir well around the edges of the skillet so the flour does not scorch.
    5. Cook Flour until the light or dark color is achieved depending on the purpose of the roux. The roux will become darker when liquid is added
    6. When the desired color is reached, cool on a large cookie sheet, stirring occasionally
    7. Store in a sealed jar for future use. 1 cup of oil-less roux will thicken 11/2 quarts of stock to a perfect gumbo consistency

5 Reasons Cooking Classes Are Good For You:

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  1. Save Money. Dining in or taking out can become an expensive (and not to mention very unhealthy) habit. We do understand that cooking every night can be dull, particularly in the flavor department. A cooking class, even just one, can expand your skill set and introduce you to new techniques, spices, and meal ideas.  Shopping at the grocery store and making something special for your dinner at home is a lot more affordable than paying for someone else’s cooking skills every night.
  2. Improve Your Health. Just the mention of vegetables can send hungry people running for the nearest cheeseburger. However, learning to cook health foods properly can make for a flavorful and especially nutritious meal. Chefs can teach you important tricks to drastically change a meal. Have you ever tried smoked paprika on eggs? Tastes an awful lot like bacon, without the grease of course.
  3. Discover A New Hobby. Cooking can be a lot of fun, especially when you know what you’re doing. Learn to make real Creole and Cajun specialties you can enjoy making over and over again (We suggest spending a little bit of time with Nita Duhe in her Crescent City Cooking Class). Learning to cook new foods will spice up family dinners and impress your friends at dinner parties. Just a tip: Banana’s foster offers instant gratification to all ages!
  4. Bond With Family Or Friends. There’s no kind of bonding like that in the kitchen. Working together as a group with your spouse, kids, or friends to create something everyone can enjoy is the perfect activity any day of the week. Skip the TV dinners and opt for a real meal cooked with the people you love. Even better, do it with the instruction of a real chef.
  5. Enjoy A Cultural Experience. Whether you’re on vacation or just want to get to know your city’s roots a little better, a Cajun and Creole cooking class will show you what New Orleans spice is really about. In a city built on food, there is no better way to experience the heart and soul of NOLA with a true local to show you the way.