If you’re anything like me, you’re once again cursing yourself this week for not making plans to attend Mardi Gras.
I spent a lot of my childhood in New Orleans, so this time of year always brings back great memories of shouting “Hey Mister!” and carrying home more beads than I could count. I even had my own special ladder to sit on as a child so that the Krewe members could see me above the crowd.
New Orleans is a beautiful city and I’ve been carrying on a love affair with her for over 20 years now. She’s always been my home away from home. The energy, the culture and the food are like no other.
Speaking of food, what a better way to celebrate Mardi Gras from afar than by whipping up some traditional Cajun food?
Sticking to a Paleo or clean eating diet? We’ve got the perfect recipe adaptations for you! Laissez les bon temps roulez!
I am obsessed with muffaletta. It is hands down my favorite New Orleans-style delicacy and I frequently scour the area where I live for something comparable to Frank’s Restaurant in New Orleans. For those of you who don’t know what a muffaletta is, it’s a huge, greasy sandwhich consisting of Sicilian-style bread slathered with olive salad and deli meat and cheese. YUM!
Frank’s Restaurant in New Orleans is always a must for my husband and I when we visit.
When I decided to adapt this recipe to fit my healthier lifestyle, I was presented with a few challenges, the biggest obviously being the massive amounts of bread.
It’s delicious, but not worth the trouble or the carbs. Try this muffaletta frittata instead as a lighter option for one of my Cajun favorites.
- 1 can of black olives
- 1 can of green olives
- 1 container of salami
- 6 eggs
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- 2 tablespoons of vinegar
- 1 tablespoon of capers
- 1 tablespoon of oregano
- 1/2 tablespoon of parsley
- Combine all ingredients in a skillet over medium/low heat. Mix the eggs in until they are evenly distributed throughout the pan.
- Cover the skillet and cook on low until the frittata is cooked all the way through, which will take approximately 15 minutes. Serve and enjoy.
Cook this and then call me. Not only do I want to come eat at your house, but you can thank me for the best breakfast you’ve had in a while!
Slow Cooker Jambalaya Over Caulirice
I originally published this recipe in November 2015 as a part of a Paleo Soup series. This soup is super simple to make and has flavor for days.
- 2 to 3 peppers – the more colors, the merrier!
- 1/2 pound of okra
- 1 head of riced cauliflower
- 1 container of chicken broth
- 1 large can of diced tomatoes
- Your choice of Andouille sausage (we use chicken sausage from Trader Joe’s instead to tamper down the spice)
- 1 pound of chicken breast
- 1 pound of shrimp
- 1 tablespoon pepper
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 3 tablespoon of your favorite Cajun seasoning (more or less depending on your preference for spice)
- 1 onion
- 2 cloves of garlic
- Combine all ingredients except your caulirice in a slow cooker for 4-6 hours.
- Once the house smells nice and delicious and the chicken, sausage and shrimp have soaked up all that delicious Cajun flavoring, boil your “rice” in a stock pot for five to ten minutes or until it’s soft.
- Serve the jambalaya with a ladle over a bed of rice.
When you’re enjoying a bowl of this hearty soup, it’s almost possible to pretend you’re standing on Canal with thousands of other people waiting on Endymion to start…almost!
Paleo Crawfish Étouffée
I couldn’t really call these Cajun recipes if I didn’t include our little red friend, the craw daddy. Sometimes crawfish can be a little difficult to get your hands on especially if you don’t live close to a riverbank.
Some Cajun-style restaurants in our area sell them fresh and I’ve also had some luck finding them at the grocery store on occasion at the seafood counter. If you do find a way to get your hands on them, buy in bulk and freeze the rest for the next time you want to indulge in some finger-licking good food.
Crawfish étouffée is another New Orleans staple that’s surprisingly easy to throw together at home. It’s even easier to clean up the recipe to make it healthier!
- 1 pound peeled crawfish tails
- 1/2 cup of ghee or coconut oil (butter will work better for a richer taste)
- 1 cup of white onions
- 1 cup of celery
- ½ cup of green bell peppers
- 1 tablespoon of almond flour or a similar substitute
- 1 cup water
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne
- 2 tablespoons parsley
- 3 tablespoons green onions
- Melt your butter or coconut oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add in all of your chopped white onions, celery and bell peppers and sauté them until the onions are translucent.
- Add the crawfish in and cook for approximately 10-12 minutes.
- Meanwhile, mix the seasonings, flour and water together in a separate container. Once the crawfish has cooked all the way through, add it to the mixture along with the remaining vegetables and mix it thoroughly. Cook on low heat for an additional five minutes before serving.
This dish is delicious by itself, but feel free to serve it over a bed of caulirice for a delicious meal.
Stovetop Shrimp Boil
Shrimp boils and crawfish boils (also known as low country boils) are an age-old tradition in the deep south. It’s a relatively cheap way to feed a whole lot of people and we often turn it into a social event.
Remember, if you are following a strict Paleo diet or completing a Whole30, corn is NOT allowed. As a clean eater, I don’t eat a lot of corn but do enjoy it on occasion, but you can set your own rules when it comes to nutrition based on what you feel is best!
However, there’s a way to enjoy a delicious low country boil right at home if you don’t have the equipment to feed the masses.
- 4 Pieces of Corn on the Cob
- 1 pound of red potatoes
- 1 pound of shrimp
- 1 tablespoon of Cajun seasoning
- 1 tablespoon of sea salt
- 1 tablespoon of pepper
- Fill a large stove top pot up with water and put it over high heat until the water begins to boil.
- Chop your corn and potatoes into smaller pieces and add it to the pot along with your seasonings. Cover the pot with a lid and allow the vegetables to boil for fifteen minutes.
- After 15 minutes, add in your shrimp. Recover the pot and boil for another 15 minutes. Enjoy!
I have yet to create a Paleo King Cake or beignet which I’m pretty thankful for — I can eat an entire King Cake in one sitting, no regrets — but these recipes are sure to tide me over while I’m making reservations for Mardi Gras next year!