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:
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!
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.
“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.
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
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Spread flour evenly across the bottom of a 15-inch cast iron skillet
Bake, stirring occasionally for approximately 1 hour
Make sure to stir well around the edges of the skillet so the flour does not scorch.
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
When the desired color is reached, cool on a large cookie sheet, stirring occasionally
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
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
The Fourth of July is here! Having family in town? Hosting a dinner party for your friends? Simply enjoying a beautiful New Orleans summer barbeque? Well whatever the event to celebrate this fun holiday, we have the perfect New Orleans-inspired dish made with many of our festive spices and sauces, Cajun Buffalo wings!
3 lbs. chicken wings
1 tsp. pecan oil (sold in our store)
1 small onion, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced (Garlic Chop sold in our store)
1/2 cup Cajun pepper sauce (Slap Ya Mama is our fav! Sold in our store)
1/2 cup cane syrup
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 tbs. or more, Slap YA Mama hot sauce (Sold in our store)
1 tbs. prepared horseradish
1 tsp. flavoring and browning sauce (sold in our store)
1 tsp. chili powder
Cajun seasoning to taste (Our “Slap YA Mama” shake)
Remove wing tips from wings and place in a large bowl and season with Cajun seasoning.
Heat oil in large, heavy pot and cook onion and garlic for 5 minutes or until soft. Stir in Cajun pepper sauce, cane syrup, vinegar, hot sauce, horseradish, flavoring and browning sauce, and chili powder. Over medium heat, cook for 5 minutes, until bubbly. Allow to cool.
Pour half of the sauce over wings, to coat, and cover and refrigerate overnight. Drain sauce and discard. Arrange wings on a baking sheet lined with heavy-duty aluminum foil and bake in a preheated 400-degree oven for 10 minutes on each side.
Meanwhile, bring other half of sauce to a boil and boil for 1 minute, reserving some for dipping, if desired. Brush half of the remaining sauce over wings and continue baking for 10 more minutes. Turn and brush with remaining sauce and bake for 10 more minutes or until no longer pink inside.
2 tsp Pecan or olive oil
2 med onions (2.5 cups)
2 med bell peppers (2 cups)
4 stalks celery (1 cup)
6 toes garlic
2 whole Gumbo crabs, break in 4 pieces
2 diced tomatoes or 1 can diced tomatoes
Shrimp or seafood stock 3 quarts
Oil less roux (see below)
Shrimp 2-3 lbs, peeled and marinated in hot sauce and your favorite Creole seasoning.
Crab claw meat
3 tbl fresh Parsley
3 stalks Green onion, diced
Salt and pepper to taste.
Put oil in pot. When it’s heated move around until the bottom is coated. Put in the onion, bell pepper, celery. Cook till the trinity starts to caramelize, add gumbo crabs and cook until trinity is browned. Add diced tomatoes and garlic. Cook about 1 minute. Add stock and bring to a boil. Whisk in the dry roux and simmer for 45-60 minutes with lid on. Add the shrimp, crab claw meat, parsley and green onion. Salt and pepper to taste.Serve.
Oil less roux
Preheat oven to 375 ( Sometimes, I do this in my toaster oven)
Put in flour, I’ll make 2-3 cups at a time.
Bake, stirring every 7-10 minutes until desired darkness. At least 45 minutes.
Can keep in jar until needed.
1 med onion
3 stalks celery
1 red bell pepper
2 green bell pepper
4 cloves of garlic
1 large or 2 medium tomatoes chopped or diced can tomatoes
2 tsp worcestershire sauce
3-4 cups shrimp stock
2 stalks green onion chopped
4-5 tbl of parsley, chopped
1 tbl hot sauce of choice
2 tbl plus 1 tbl creole seasoning of choice
Puree onions, celery, bell peppers and garlic in food processor. Put peeled crawfish or shrimp in bowl, marinate with hot sauce and 2 tbl creole seasoning. Make the roux: On medium heat put pecan oil and flour in a cast iron pot. Stir constantly until it reaches a light medium brown. Add the pureed holy trinity. Cook, caramelize, the trinity. Scape the bottom of the pot because it will stick to the bottom. Add 1 tbl creole seasoning Keep scraping. Cook down until the trinity glides along the bottom of the pot as whole. Add tomatoes and worcestershire sauce, stir until combined. Add stock, stir, put top on and simmer 10-15 minutes. Add parsley, green onions and crawfish or shrimp. Cook with top off 5 -10 minutes. Salt and season with creole seasoning to taste. Serve over brown rice.
Light Tomato Basil Pasta
3 medium to large tomato
5 cloves garlic, if large cut in 1/2 or 1/4
2 tbl Olive oil
2 tbl basil chopped
2 tbl Italian seasoning
1 package cooked wheat pasta, salt water
Crushed red pepper
Cut tops off of tomatoes, stuff tomato sections with garlic. Sprinkle top with olive oil. Put tomato on grill or in 350 degree oven. Cook pasta according to directions. Put pasta in large bowl or back in pot. Cook tomato until skin starts to split. Put tomatoes in bowl with pasta, upside down. Pull off skin, discard skin. Add Italian seasoning and basil. Cut up tomato and toss. If necessary add olive oil. Salt and crushed red pepper to taste.