Tried & True Health Tips

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On Us Average Folks

A Thursday Meal Concept

Cajun

The wix stock pic of the Louisiana crawfish boil to the left looks like a great idea for preparing the perfect cajun meal for a salad-eater, right? Well, the picture fits my blog title only to a certain extent.


If we can remember that the primary concept of our kitchen creations is healthy weight, we just might stumble upon recipe flavors that awaken our tastebuds in new ways. And these are accomplished with some adjustments - even on delicious looking dishes like this. With cajun recipes, that would be tricky because they're nearly perfect already IMO. They can threaten our goals if they're overly consumed or if they are not carefully prepared with a healthy objective in mind.


So, keeping an all-day appetizer like this pretty dish out on the table or accessible in the fridge - in addition to the entrees for which there are recipes further below - consider the following tips for a crawfish boil:


1-----Seek out the organic or non-gmo corn-on-the-cob as an ingredient. WholeFoods has frozen organic corn-on-the-cob. They are often hard to find for some reason. But genetically-modified corn and other crops do threaten healthy-weight goals in addition to overall health.


2-----Consider the following replacement:

----------Grassfed beef sausage in place of regular or andouille sausage. (Smoked chicken sausages that are not injected with hormones are also good and available at some meat markets - especially in Texas, where they can be ordered from places like Prasek's Hillje Smokehouse.)


3-----Consider reducing the quantity of the following:

----------Red potatoes. Increase the amount of organic corn-on-the-cob as a less starchy option to keep the volume that more potatoes would add. Optionally, add more grass-fed beef sausage or the smoked chicken sausage.


4-----Consider the following as seasonings for the boil:

----------Light salt

----------Chopped or dried parsley

----------Dried oregano flakes

----------Tumeric

----------Cayenne pepper

----------Paprika

----------Butter blended with avocado oil. Optionally, use clarified ghee.

----------As base for the boil, seasoned shrimp stock (water that's boiled with lightly salted, cleaned shrimp shells plus onions, garlic, celery, and oregano - then separated from these boiled ingredients by strain.)


5-----Consider the following additions for the crawfish boil:

----------Peeled cloves of garlic (...because garlic contributes to weight loss...)

----------Cubes of either pineapple or dices of mango for a hint of sweetness


6-----Consider the following as personal sides to consume along with a plate of the crawfish boil:

----------Avocado slices (1/2 avocado)

----------Cup of unsweetened green tea for digestion and a likely metabolism booster

----------A second herbal tea for detoxification of that shellfish consumption


7-----All the rest of the ingredients in the boil that are essential:

----------Crawfish, shrimp (preferably deveined whether peeled or partially peeled), onion slices, widely sliced red and yellow bell peppers


Imagine a container of contents like these set aside to serve as a side dish for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The kick, of course, is obviously the tweak that can make this ideal for a salad-eater.


Now for the 3 meals to accompany the boil throughout the day:


Thursday Cajun Breakfast:

The Fruit Cocktail

  • Unpeeled sliced apples, peeled orange slices (or tangerines), peeled mango slices, a sprinkle of shredded coconut, small amount of finely diced celery, and optionally a sprinkle of finely chopped nuts.

  • Season this mixture in a large serving bowl or container with paprika, light salt, light cinnamon, light cayenne pepper, and very light nutmeg. Spread the contents from its bowl to parchment paper on a baking sheet. Lightly bake at 340 degrees for 12-15 minutes.

  • Spoon contents back into serving bowl and lightly sprinkle with lemon.


The Shrimp Quinoa

  • Shrimp (peeled and deveined). Season the raw shrimp with light salt, coarse black pepper, dried parsley flakes, a very small amount of crushed fresh garlic, and 1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons of diced chilled butter.

  • With finely diced onions, stir-fry these shrimp in a skillet that is well-coated in either olive oil or coconut oil over medium oil. Stir over medium heat for 10 minutes. Then, set this aside.

  • Bring some shrimp stock to a boil before adding quinoa gradually between stirs. (Again shrimp stock is water that's boiled with lightly salted, cleaned shrimp shells plus onions, garlic, celery, and oregano - then separated from these boiled ingredients by strain.) Once all of the quinoa is poured into the boiling stock based on measurement instructions on its package, continue to stir over 3-5 minutes of high heat (depending on size of the dish in prep)

  • Finally lower the boiling quinoa to medium or medium-low heat. Allow quinoa to simmer for 15-20 minutes, periodically stirring and adding paprika, cayenne pepper, and dried oregano flakes.



Thursday Cajun Lunch:

The Jambalaya

  • Peel, devein, and cut raw shrimp into small 1/2 or 1/3 pieces.

  • Season the raw shrimp with light salt, dried parsley flakes (or fresh finely chopped), dried oregano flakes, black pepper, and cayenne pepper.

  • Add the shrimp to a skillet of avocado oil with finely chopped green onions and fresh crushed garlic. Stir over medium high heat for 5 minutes. Then, cover and set aside over low heat.

  • Take a sufficient number of roma tomatoes, neatly cut each in half, and empty each tomato half of the total seeded interior to discard those interior contents. Set up the emptied tomato cups in rows on parchment paper on a baking pan.

  • Sprinkle these tomato halves with salt and other seasonings and set aside.

  • Chop the remaining tomato cups and place them into a blender.

  • Add to this content inside the blender the following: salt, dried basil flakes, dried oregano flakes, 1 well-cooked finely chopped onion, 1-2 well-cooked finely chopped red bell peppers 3-4 pitted stewed dates, and 1-2 tablespoons of honey (or a bit more depending on the size of the dish).

  • Blend this combination into a thin puree with an occasional pour of avocado or olive oil to thin it out to a desired consistency. (But you don't want this to be watery thin or else the jambalaya will be too pale, bland and runny.)

  • Set aside.


  • Take the skillet with the shrimp and gradually stir in lightly salted riced cauliflower over medium heat. If necessary, add a little more of the same oil in which the shrimp was initially cooked.

  • For about 8-10 minutes stir these contents over the heat, gradually adding 1/2 - 1 chopped onion, 1 chopped yellow or red bell pepper, and sprinkle of additional cayenne pepper.


  • Transfer the riced cauliflower and its accompanied ingredients into a deeper skillet or large pot.

  • Gradually stir in the tomato puree until all contents are cooking together.

  • Stir for up to 5 minutes before pouring a small amount of shrimp stock over the ingredients.

  • Cover and allow to simmer for an additional 5 minutes. Try not to overcook.


  • Spoon the jambalaya into each tomato cup on the baking sheet.

  • Bake for 10-15 minutes.

  • Sprinkle with paprika upon completion.


The Spinach Salad ingredients:

-----Extra virgin olive oil 3-4 tsps to coat the spinach leaves

-----Light salt over the oiled leaves

-----One half of an avocado

-----One diced organic apple

-----Almond slices or pieces (or another nut)

-----Add any other clean ingredients if you'd like



Thursday Cajun Dinner:

Shrimp Cajun Kale Cobb Salad

Using finely chopped kale as a base, prepare a cobb salad with cajun-seasoned shrimp the way you'd like it with a few suggestions as follows:

-----Diced boiled eggs

-----Sliced almonds, chopped pecans or chopped walnuts (home-roasted with a small touch of honey on them)

-----A light sprinkle of corn kernels (organic or non-gmo)

-----Diced avocado

-----Diced organic apple

-----Olive oil

-----Dried oregano flakes


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