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Sensible Feasting


Enjoy spring’s many festivals without overindulging

nol_apr08_final_medres_page_18_image_0002.jpgSpringtime in New Orleans is synonymous with festivals. Other cities may have outdoor festivals, but none come close to showcasing music and food the way we do.

New Orleans’ festival food can often rank right up there with the best restaurants in terms of interesting combinations of mouthwatering yumminess.

Is it possible to join in the outdoor celebrations without blowing your waistline? You bet. Just follow our three simple steps, and you’ll be partying it up and still looking fab!

1. Nosh Often
If you eat breakfast, then have a little snack every three to four hours. You won’t end up so ravenous that you find yourself making your way back to your friends with an armload of meat pies and po’boys.

2. Make It Worth It
Choose one or two decadently delicious treats, and don’t feel guilty about it. If the crawfish sack (in all it’s fried doughiness) is your all-time favorite, then indulge. But don’t waste your calories on something that you don’t really, truly love.

3. Don’t Drink All Your Calories
Skip the sugar-laden lemonades, daiquiris and Hurricanes. Their 300-plus calories likely aren’t worth it. Stick to water, diet soft drinks or light beer (all light beers are about the same), and you’ll save hundreds of calories.

Guilt-Free Festival Foods
Chicken kabobs (also called chicken on a stick) Gumbo (especially without the rice) Boiled crawfish Fresh fruit salad Sugar-free snowballs Crawfish with lobster sauce (French Quarter Fest) Black beans and roast pork (French Quarter Fest) Shrimp maque choux (Jazz Fest) Caribbean fish (Jazz Fest) Jamaican jerk chicken (Jazz Fest) Jama-jama (sautéed and seasoned spinach) (Jazz Fest) Hummus and tabouli with pita (Jazz Fest)

Sweet Potato and Salmon Cakes
Recipe courtesy of chef Marc Gilberti, Elmwood Fitness Center
Serves 6 to 8
4 six-ounce salmon filets 3 cups mashed sweet potatoes (7 or 8, depending on size) 3 tbsp. minced garlic 1 bunch green onions, chopped 1 tbsp. olive oil Salt and pepper to taste 3/4 cup whole wheat bread crumbs 1/2 cup whole wheat bread crumbs

Directions: Bake salmon at 350 degrees for 12 minutes (flake into a bowl after filets cool). Bake sweet potatoes at 350 degrees for 50 minutes, peel skin and mash. In a small skillet, sauté garlic and green onions in olive oil. In a large mixing bowl, combine flaked salmon, mashed sweet potatoes, garlic and green onions. Mix well. Add salt, pepper and 3/4 cup wheat bread crumbs and mix thoroughly.
Form balls with the salmon and potato mixture and place on a baking sheet. Cover with parchment paper and press down with another tray of the same size. This will flatten the cakes. Lightly bread each cake with remaining whole wheat bread crumbs. Sauté each side with olive oil until cakes are golden brown on each side.
Sauce for Sweet Potato and Salmon Cakes
1/2 cup light mayonnaise 2 tbsp. Creole mustard 1 packet Splenda (sugar substitute) 1 tsp. garlic powder 1 tsp. salt 1 tsp. black pepper

Nutrition Facts per Serving:
340 calories; 25 g protein; 31 g carbohydrate; 13 g fat