Mardi Gras fun without the fat

Grilled Shrimp RemouladeGrilled Shrimp RemouladeI'm going to try and take "Fat Tuesday" a little less literally this year with a healthier approach to my Mardi Gras recipes and menu. Of course I'm going to stick to the traditional favorites, but for my party menu I'm going to focus on healthier versions that stay true to those delicious Cajun flavors I love. Maybe I'll even score a few extra beads for my efforts.

For Mardi Gras, I'm going to cook up a menu of traditional favorites, including:

Grilled Shrimp Remoulade (see recipe below) An updated and untraditional rémoulade makes a tangy sauce for these spice-rubbed shrimp. While this is a favorite on the grill, you can cook the shrimp on a lightly sprayed broiler rack, about 4 inches from the heat, for a winter warmer any night of the week.

Louisiana Red Beans & Rice EatingWell's quick version gets its smoky goodness from super-lean Canadian bacon and a hit of ground chipotle pepper. It's delicious as a leftover but will thicken as it stands.

Black-Eyed Pea & Artichoke Salad Frozen artichoke hearts are great to have on hand for just this type of easy salad.

Southern Kale If there is only one argument to make for the healthfulness of Southern food, it's the variety and sheer amount of leafy greens. I prefer kale, but mustard, turnip and collards all have their champions, and many cooks mix them.

Bread Pudding with Bourbon Sauce Nothing is wasted in a Cajun kitchen where stale bread becomes a luscious dessert.


Grilled Shrimp Remoulade

Rémoulade Sauce
1/4 cup reduced-fat mayonnaise
1/4 cup low-fat plain yogurt
1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon hot sauce, such as Tabasco

Shrimp
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
36 raw shrimp, peeled and deveined (about 1 pound)

1. To prepare sauce: Mix mayonnaise, yogurt, parsley, mustard and hot sauce in a small bowl. Cover and refrigerate.
2. Preheat grill to high.
3. To prepare shrimp: Combine cumin, paprika, coriander, garlic powder, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Add shrimp and toss to coat with spices. Thread the shrimp onto four 12-inch skewers (see Tip, below). Oil the grill rack (see Tip, below). Grill the shrimp until just cooked through, about 3 minutes per side. Carefully remove the shrimp from the skewers. Serve immediately, with the sauce.

Makes 4 servings.

NUTRITION INFORMATION: Per serving: 114 calories; 5 g fat (1 g sat, 1 g mono); 101 mg cholesterol; 4 g carbohydrate; 12 g protein; 1 g fiber; 379 mg sodium. Nutrition bonus: Selenium (28% daily value), Vitamin A (15% dv).

Tip: When using wooden skewers, wrap the exposed parts with foil to keep them from burning. (Contrary to conventional wisdom, soaking skewers in water doesn't protect them.)

Tip: To oil a grill rack, oil a folded paper towel, hold it with tongs and rub it over the rack. (Do not use cooking spray on a hot grill.)

By Hilary Meyer

EatingWell assistant editor Hilary Meyer spends much of her time in the EatingWell Test Kitchen, testing and developing healthy recipes. She is a graduate of New England Culinary Institute.



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