It's called Fat Tuesday for a reason; Mardi Gras celebrations are known for being over-the-top indulgent, but if that's not your style, not to worry — you can still enjoy all the flavors of New Orleans without all the calories. In honor of Tuesday's celebration, we've put together a menu of healthier versions of classic New Orleans and Southern dishes.
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Traditional jambalaya is packed with a variety of flavors, and this vegan jambalaya recipe  is no different. Throw in a variety of vegan meat alternatives into this slow-cooking meal for a celebratory main course that even your meat-craving friends will love.
Vegan King Cake
A king cake is a central part of any Mardi Gras festivity, but the pastry can be both hard to make and high in calories. This vegan king cake  not only cuts out the difficulty but removes the butter, cream, and eggs as well — instead opting for coconut milk and vegan margarine. The result? A healthier cake that's just as showstopping as the classic version.
Cajun Collard Chips
Kale chips are delicious, but these Cajun collard green chips  will get you in a New Orleans state of mind. Plus, they're so easy to make and are a great healthy option for Mardi Gras party snacks.
Vegetarian Beans and Rice
Red beans and rice is a New Orleans staple, but while the name sounds healthy enough, true red beans and rice uses bacon fat, sausage, and ham hock, which can make for a fat-filled bowl. Instead, try this Cuban-inspired vegetarian beans and rice recipe  for a filling but not heavy alternative.
If you're celebrating Mardi Gras with a drink or two for the festivities, then choose wisely; while New Orleans has its share of classic cocktails, many are filled to the brim with sugar and calories. Take the Hurricane, for example: a six-ounce serving is 250 calories , and most Hurricane glasses are 15 ounces — that's over 500 calories for one drink! Instead, opt for a sazerac; the four-ounce servings are small but are meant to be savored, not guzzled, and each sazerac is under 150 calories  and only includes a small amount of sugar.
If you've ever been to New Orleans, you've probably had your fill of those addictive Cafe du Monde beignets at one point or another. For a slightly healthier alternative (they're still fried, after all!), make this vegan beignet recipe . If fried food isn't for you, try this recipe for baked beignets  (pictured here).
Paleo Dirty Rice
If you've gone grain-free, this New Orleans-inspired dish will jazz up your next dinner. The cauliflower "rice" used in this Paleo dirty rice  recipe will soak up the other Cajun flavors for a satisfying, low-carb side.
While these vegan pralines  aren't exactly a health food, they are a butter- and milk-free option for anyone looking to end an indulgent Mardi Gras menu on a sweet note.