Mardi Gras is the sort of celebration that can make every city in America want to be New Orleans. Between the parties and parades and all those rich foods, what's not to love?
Well, perhaps the aftereffects of all those rich foods.
That's why I came up with this downsized version of jambalaya, a classic Cajun dish. I wanted to take a little of the fat out of Fat Tuesday. Jambalaya is basically a one-pot meal in which rice is a main ingredient. The trouble with rice — especially white rice — is that it is loaded with carbs and calories.
To deal with that, I replace the rice in my jambalaya with a product called Miracle Rice. This is a variety of shirataki noodle, an increasingly popular variety of ultra-low calorie noodle products.
Miracle Rice has no calories, no fat, no carbs and no sodium. It resembles a large couscous and has an extremely mild flavor.
This means it takes well to whatever other flavors you add, making it a perfect base for a high-flavor dish like jambalaya.
If you can't find Miracle Rice at the grocer, it is available online. You also could substitute cooked brown rice, though this will increase the calories and carbs.
The rest of this dish is built around much of the basic trinity of Cajun cooking: bell peppers, onion and celery. Chili powder provides the kick.
I've trimmed the fat and calories from the protein by using lean chicken and turkey sausage instead.