Heart Healthy Cajun Food

The spicy, flavorful style of Cajun cooking was pioneered in the Louisiana Bayou and combines rich spices with thick sauces to create a signature taste. Cajun food often contains fried components, as well as lots of salty and starchy ingredients. Although these foods may taste good, they are not very nutritious. There are ways, however, to make Cajun food just as tasty without all of the fat, sodium, and starch.

Turkey Jambalaya

Jambalaya is an old creole favorite and is traditionally made with fried meat, sausage, vegetables, and rice or pasta. However, to make it a little more healthy, you can make Jambalaya with ground turkey and reduced-fat sausage. Cut down on the fat by browning the meat in a pan coated with non-stick spray rather than oil. Also use simple seasonings like chili powder and coriander, and skip the heavy sauce. This lighter version of the recipe includes all the same ingredients (minus the sauce) but because it is not cooked in oil and uses a lower-fat protein, it is much better option for those who prefer heart-healthy fare.

Chicken and Dumplings

The Cajun version of chicken and dumplings features bold spices and rich dumplings that melt in your mouth. The traditional cooking method features pan-fried chicken and dumplings made with rich cream. However, by baking rather than frying the chicken, and using skim milk instead of cream to make the dumplings, you can cut substantial calories and fat from the dish. You can further modify the recipe by using a low-sodium bouillon to reduce the sodium content. This makes Cajun Chicken and Dumplings an even more heart-friendly meal.

Dirty Rice

Dirty rice is a Cajun classic and that doesn't need many modifications to be healthy. This dish is generally made with white rice, ground sirloin, and a mix of vegetables. The dish also features a heady mix of Worcestershire sauce, chili powder, and garlic to create just the right amount of spice. These spices add flavor without adding fat. By using lean ground sirloin you can reduce the fat calories in this dish, and by adding white rice and a medley of vegetables, it becomes a tasty, heart-healthy Cajun meal.

Keywords: Cajun food, Cajun recipes, heart healthy Cajun

About this Author

Amanda Kondolojy has been writing professionally since 2007 and currently writes full time as a staff contributor at "Cheat Code Central." She also contributes regularly to her Disney-themed blog, Adventures in Pin Trading. Kondolojy holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism and political science from George Mason University.

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