Healthy Cajun food often sounds like an oxymoron. Traditional Cajun food houses overwhelming amounts of carbohydrates, fats, salts, and sugars, but many traditional ingredients can be substituted with healthier options and still maintain that amazing flavor of Cajun cooking. Continue Reading below for 5 alternatives to boost your Cajun cuisine and make it healthy.
1. Replace Rice
Etouffee, Gumbo, Dirty Rice, Jambalaya, and so many more Cajun dishes feature rice. The bad part, white rice is not healthy, as everyone knows. So what to do? Besides brown rice, quinoa, barley, and cauliflower rice are other options. Barley is the closest to resembling rice in flavor. Quinoa is a superfood packed with protein and great for those looking to build muscle. If you’re counting calories, Cauliflower rice, made by grating Cauliflower with a cheese grater, offers the lowest calorie count.
2. Turkey Breast is Best
Another common ingredient Cajuns recognize is ground beef. Cajuns love to load Stuffed Bell Peppers and Dirty Rice with artery-clogging ground beef. Instead of choosing the meat that moos, cook up some ground turkey breast. Turkey breast tastes amazing, especially when seasoned with aromatic seasonings. The calorie and fat count are significantly lower in turkey and taste buds will thank you.
3. Super Spaghetti Squash
While delicious, pasta offers little nutritional value for shrimp fettuccini and Cajun pasta. Instead, look at the best pasta alternative, spaghetti squash. It only takes a few minutes in the microwave or oven to prepare the squash. Then toss it all together with the rest of the dish. Super easy and it tastes great.
4. Sausage Solution
While andouille sausage has a great spicy taste to it, turkey sausage replaces it well when seasoned appropriately. Some cayenne pepper, smoked paprika, and a preservative-free aromatic seasoning add a wonderful flavor to the sausage that fits perfectly in any Cajun cuisine when browned.
5. Whole Wheat Sweet Treats
After a healthy Cajun meal, who doesn’t want to finish off with some coffee and beignets? But fried bread cannot be good for you! Using whole wheat flour can make this treat a lot better for you, even if it is deliciously fried.
What are your favorite healthy substitutes? Let us know in the comments below. Like us on Facebook and Twitter for more healthy cooking tips.
-Joseph LeJuine, staff writer