What Do They Eat in the Fattest City?
A question came in from a reader: Do you ever post recipes like Crawfish Etouffe` or beignets or shrimp Creole or Jambalaya? Did you ever notice that there are very few skinny people in New Orleans?
Answer: I haven’t been to New Orleans since I was 3 years old, so I haven’t noticed the lack of skinny people.
I live a stone’s throw away from the land of beer, cheese and brats, so I’m not even sure where I would go around here to taste the aforementioned delicacies.
Here’s the skinny on the weight issue:
In 2015 Louisiana led the nation in the rate of adult obesity (36.2). What’s going on here? In 1990 the obesity rate was 12.3%?
Not far behind is Mississippi, Alabama and West Virginia.
Nice job – Colorado (20.2%), Hawaii, Montana, California (it is Fresno’s fault that you didn’t win) and Utah.
What’s going on here? The obesity rate in Colorado in 1990 was 6.9%. Ok, actually, I take back my praise, Colorado. This is also a terrible increase in obesity rates!
What’s for Dinner, Louisiana?
Inquiring minds from other parts of the country want to know, what do they eat in New Orleans?
Here are a few favorite foods that were listed by recent visitors to The Big Easy:
- Pulled pork
- Pork belly
- Fried catfish
- Praline bacon
- Alligator Cheesecake
- Shrimp & grits
- Debris sandwich with gravy
- Chicken & waffles
I’m starting to get a tiny hint of an idea about the weight problem.
Oh, we can’t pat ourselves on the back…Americans everywhere have the same problem.
I do have some healthy New Orleans recipes to share but it won’t include Beignets. See the end of this post for recipes.
If you need to use Cajun Spice to create a New Orleans-inspired dish, be sure to check the ingredients as many contain MSG or other excitotoxins hidden by code words like “spices” or “natural flavor.”
Recipe by Emeril Lagasse
- 1 stick butter
- 2 cups chopped onions
- 1 cup chopped celery
- 1/2 cup chopped green bell peppers
- 1 pound peeled crawfish tails
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 T flour (I would use arrowroot powder)
- 1 cup water
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Pinch of cayenne
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
- 3 tablespoons chopped green onions
In a large saute pan over medium high heat, melt the butter. Add the onions, celery, and bell peppers and saute until the vegetables are wilted, about 10 to 12 minutes. Add the crawfish, garlic, and bay leaves and reduce the heat to medium.
Cook the crawfish for 10 to 12 minutes, stirring occasionally. Dissolve the flour in the water. Add the crawfish mixture. Season with salt and cayenne.
Stir until the mixture thickens, about 4 minutes. Stir in the parsley and green onions and continue cooking for 2 minutes. Serve over steamed rice (or cauliflower rice).
Zesty Shrimp Creole Recipe (Grain-Free)
- 4 ounces (8 tablespoons) butter
- 1 1/2 cups chopped onions
- 3/4 cup chopped green bell peppers
- 3/4 cup chopped celery
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 1/2 pounds peeled, seeded and chopped tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
- 1 1/2 tablespoons navy bean flour (I would use arrowroot powder)
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 1/2 pounds wild-caught shrimp, peeled and deveined (You can make bisque right away or store in freezer for later.)
- 3/4 cup chopped green onions
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley (optional)
- Dash of worcestershire sauce
- Dash fermented hot chili sauce
- 1 batch seasoning (recipe follows)
- Salt and cayenne to taste
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1/2 tablespoon black pepper
- 1/2 tablespoon onion powder
- 1/8 tablespoon cayenne pepper
- 1/2 tablespoon dried oregano
- 1/2 tablespoon dried thyme
- 1 large cauliflower
- Peel and quarter tomatoes, then squeeze them in your fist to remove excess juice. Crush them into small pieces with your hands or a food processor.
- In a large saucepan melt butter over medium heat.
- Add the onions, peppers, and celery and saute until they are soft (about 6 to 8 minutes).
- Stir in the bay leaves, tomatoes, and garlic.
- Bring the mixture up to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Add a dash of Worchestershire and hot sauce and simmer for about 15 minutes. If the mixture becomes too dry add some water.
- Whisk the flour and water together and add to the saucepan. Continue to cook for 4 to 6 minutes.
- Toss the shrimp in seasoning and add to the pan. Continue to cook for about 4 to 6 minutes or until the shrimp turn pink and curl up. Stir in the green onions and parsley.
- Add salt to taste and more cayenne if desired.
- Serve over faux (or real!) rice
Faux Rice Method:
- Pulse raw cauliflower in the food processor until it resembles rice, then steam a few minutes. It’s ready when it’s firm but not crunchy.
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