King cake. Jambalaya. Crawfish boil. The Eat Fit Cookbook puts a healthier spin on New Orleans’ most iconic dishes — and brings them to your home kitchen.
Ochsner dietitian Molly Kimball, RD, developed Eat Fit, a nonprofit initiative of Ochsner Health System, in 2013. Through the program, Ochsner dietitians work with local restaurants and chefs to identify and create new dishes that meet Eat Fit nutritional criteria.
And now, these dishes are coming to home kitchens across the country through the Eat Fit Cookbook. The cookbook includes recipes from 40 Eat Fit partners, from high-end restaurants to local food trucks.
“We wanted to make it easy for people to make healthy choices, even when they’re at their favorite restaurant or food festival,” says Kimball, who manages the Ochsner Fitness Center nutrition program.
So, which dishes are her favorites? Here are her recommendations, and whom they’re best for.
You love dining out.
The Eat Fit Cookbook features recipes from the region’s hottest restaurants and staples alike. Within its 224 pages, home chefs will find dishes from Commander’s Palace, MoPho, Ye Olde College Inn, Galatoire’s and more.
“This is for the person who enjoys the beauty and specialness of dining out, but wants to create that themselves. We’re taking these restaurant-quality dishes that are all throughout New Orleans and beyond, and now you can create them in your own kitchen,” Kimball says.
Try this: Harissa spiced lamb loin in coconut milk and quinoa, page 123
Kimball: “Maypop had this on the menu a few years ago. I couldn’t stop thinking about it, so I knew we had to put this in the cookbook.”
You’re managing a chronic condition.
Eat Fit dishes focus on lean proteins, vegetables, plant-based fats and whole grains, while minimizing white carbs, sugar and animal fats.
“The premise is that the types of food that we don’t have in Eat Fit — and the types of foods that we do — are good for managing our energy levels, our blood sugar, our mood,” Kimball says. That’s what makes the Eat Fit Cookbook an ideal gift for people managing diabetes, hypertension and heart disease, and for those who are looking to lose weight.
Try this: Wilted kale and roasted cauliflower “risotto,” page 143
Kimball: “It’s a deliciously creamy risotto without the carbs, and it’s surprisingly one of my favorite dishes in the cookbook.”
Featuring more than 125 mouthwatering recipes, the Eat Fit Cookbook proves that the delicious choice is now the healthy choice. Get your copy today, at EatFitCookbook.com!
You want to indulge without the guilt.
People tend to associate New Orleans cooking with delicious, albeit not-so-healthy favorites like beignets and po’boys. That can make navigating restaurant menus difficult for “mindfully healthy” people who are actively looking for smart choices, Kimball says.
“Some of the Eat Fit dishes are quintessential New Orleans favorites, but remade. The chefs healthily updated these traditionally really heavy dishes,” she says. “These are from restaurants where you wouldn’t necessarily expect to find something healthy.”
Try this: Jumbo lump crab cakes, page 17
Dickie Brennan’s Steakhouse
Kimball: “People go here and eat these crab cakes simply because they’re delicious. The fact that we can make something like this good for you too is even better.”