Mardis Gras is a celebration that dates back thousands of years. The English translation is Fat Tuesday, which refers to the tradition of eating richer foods the last day before Lent, when a time of fasting then begins. Today, our friends in Louisiana and all along the gulf coast celebrate this tradition with parades, parties, and of course delicious meals. But why should the rest of us miss out on the fun? Share these recipes inspired by the famous Mardis Gras hub, New Orleans, with your friends and family. Each delicious course is made with dairy, so you can enjoy the rich flavor and get nine essential vitamins and minerals too!
- Muffuletta on a Stick – The Muffuletta sandwich originated in New Orleans and consists of a combination of cold cut meats, mozzarella and provolone cheeses and olive salad all layered between Italian-style bread. Put a twist on this tradition by serving it up appetizer style. Skip the bread and thread skewers with mozzarella and provolone cheese cubes, green and black olives and rolled up slices of ham for a tasty hors d’oeuvre packed with protein.
- Spicy Shrimp and Cheddar Spinach Salad – The gulf coast is known for its seafood and this dish highlights just that. Shrimp takes the main stage and is given a Cajun kick thanks to the spicy jalapeno cheddar cheese. Served up on a bed of spinach instead of pasta, this entrée is low in calories and high in antioxidants.
- Bread Pudding – A staple on restaurant menus throughout New Orleans, this sweet dessert is the perfect after dinner treat. Make your own using this recipe, which calls for lactose-free milk, providing the same 9 essential nutrients as conventional milk minus the sugar lactose, making it a great option for people who have lactose intolerance.
Laissez les bons temps rouler!
Laura Marbury, MS, RD, LD