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Fri, Oct 20, 2017 at 08:20 PM

Healthy cooking with a taste of New Orleans

Chef Joseph Vance demonstrates how good health and good flavor come together at Marshall Medical's Healthy Cooking class.

When you’re offering samples of authentic New Orleans cuisine, it’s easy to draw a crowd. That’s what Executive Chef Joseph Vance found out during his third cooking demonstration at Marshall Medical South. The New Orleans native served up samples of some of his favorite dishes to three dozen folks who picked up some culinary skills along with some tasty cuisine.

During his third Healthy Heart cooking class, Vance showed the group how to prepare:

Blackened Chicken and Dirty Rice

Cajun Shrimp

Louisiana Citrus Crepes

“Healthy cooking comes from using fresh ingredients and pure oils infused with rosemary, garlic and basil rather than butter or margarine,” he said. 

Some tips he shared while preparing Blackened Chicken:

Butterfly the chicken breasts and pound to cook evenly so they come out  tender on all sides

Blackened seasoning tends to be high in sodium. Instead use your own made with paprika, cumin, coriander, black pepper, red pepper and lots of garlic. 

If blackened seasoning is too spicy, make it ‘bronzed’ and less spicy

Make Cajun rice using brown rice, which is much healthier

You can substitute turkey for ground beef 

Use the same blackening seasoning in the ground beef for the dirty rice

“That way you get the flavor into the meat as it’s cooking,” Vance said. 

To make the Cajun Shrimp, Vance used whole wheat linguine to make it a bit healthier. 

Crepes, or ‘Louisiana pancakes,’ start with a batter that has a very thin consistency and lightened with fat free milk and fat free sour cream. You must use a non-stick skillet sprayed well with non-stick spray.

Peel the oranges using a paring or serrated knife. Cut off the top and bottom to make it stand, then slice off the peel following the contours of the fruit. Take out segments and remove membrane. 

“All this is naturally New Orleans,” Vance said.