Cajun Christmas

Chef and author Holly Clegg adds a little Cajun spice to your Christmas feast!

• Turkey Jambalaya
(8 to 10 servings)
Jambalaya is a great way to turn leftover turkey into another meal or just buy a roasted chicken at the grocery to use instead of turkey.

1 pound reduced-fat sausage
1 large onion, chopped
1 pound fresh mushrooms, sliced
2 (6-ounce) package long grain and wild rice mix
4 cups cooked, diced turkey breasts or thighs
1 (2 1/4-ounce) can sliced black olives
1 (14-ounce) can artichoke hearts, drained and quartered
1/2 cup chopped green onions (scallions)

Cut sausage into pieces and brown in large Teflon non-stick pot coated with nonstick cooking spray. Add onions and mushrooms, cooking until tender. Drain off any excess grease. Add wild rice, seasoning packet and water to sausage mixture and cook according to package directions. Add turkey, olives, and artichoke hearts, tossing gently. Top with chopped green onions.

Food Facts:
Calories 294
Protein (g) 28
Carbohydrate (g) 38
Fat (g) 3
Calories from Fat (%) 9
Saturated Fat (g) 1
Dietary Fiber (g) 2
Cholesterol (mg) 64
Sodium (mg) 1055
Diabetic Exchanges: 3 very lean meat, 2 starch, 1.5 vegetable

• Double Chocolate Candy Pizza
(12 to 16 slices)
For years this recipe has made me the most popular mom throughout all three of my kids younger years of school. Now, my teenage daughters make it themselves and it's requested by all their friends. I know this is a splurge recipe but it had to be included. Use seasonal candies for the different holidays.

1/2 cup margarine
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup cocoa
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup candy coated milk chocolate candies, divided
1/4 cup flaked coconut
1 1/2 cups miniature marshmallows
1/2 cup chopped pecans, optional

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large mixing bowl, beat together the margarine and sugar until fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla; blending well. In a bowl, combine together the flour, cocoa, and baking soda. Gradually add to the sugar mixture, blending until well mixed. Spread the dough on a non-stick 12 to14-inch pizza pan coated with nonstick cooking spray; spreading the dough to within 1 inch from the edge of the pan. Sprinkle the dough with the candies, coconut, marshmallows, and pecans. Bake 18 to 20 minutes or until the edges are set. Don't overbake.

Food Facts:
Calories 235
Protein (g) 3
Carbohydrate (g) 36
Fat (g) 9
Calories from Fat (%) 35
Saturated Fat (g) 3
Dietary Fiber (g) 1
Cholesterol (mg) 15
Sodium (mg) 123
Diabetic Exchanges: 2.5 other carbohydrate, 2 fat

• Praline Stuffed Yams
(4 to 6 servings)
Individually stuffed nutritious mouth watering treats with this crumbly topping are hard to beat. This will become a highly requested sweet potato recipe.

3 pounds small to medium sweet potatoes, (Louisiana yams) unpeeled
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, divided
4 tablespoons margarine or butter, divided
1/4 cup skim milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract, divided
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place potatoes on a baking sheet and cook for 1 hour or until tender. Cut a thin slice off the top of each potato. Carefully scoop pulp into a bowl, leaving ¼-inch thick shells. Mash pulp; add sugar, ¼ teaspoon cinnamon, 1 tablespoon of the margarine, milk, and 1 teaspoon vanilla, mixing until smooth. Spoon mixture evenly into potato shells. Place on non-stick baking sheet. Melt remaining 3 tablespoons margarine and mix with flour, brown sugar, pecans, remaining 1 teaspoon vanilla, and remaining ¼ teaspoon cinnamon. Sprinkle evenly over potatoes. Reduce oven to 350 degrees and continue baking 15 minutes or until topping is brown.

Food Facts:
Calories 429
Protein (g) 5
Carbohydrate (g) 82
Fat (g) 11
Calories from Fat (%) 22
Saturated Fat (g) 2
Dietary Fiber (g) 8
Cholesterol (mg) 0
Sodium (mg) 176
Diabetic Exchanges: 4 starch, 1 1/2 other carbohydrate, 1 1/2 fat

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