2789038514_7d2b24a04e_zMardi Gras, which is French for “Fat Tuesday,” is a massive celebration that occurs the day before Ash Wednesday.  It is believed to have begun in European Christian communities  over a thousand years ago, when a feast of meats and rich foods occurred before the people would begin their Lenten fast the next day. Since the 1700s, when the French explorers settled in New Orleans,  people have celebrated Mardi Gras with extravagant balls, lavish dinners and parades.  This upcoming week in cooking class, our junior chefs will celebrate the holiday New Orleans-style with zesty jambalaya and a festive slaw adorned with the purple, green and yellow hues of Mardi Gras!

Jambalaya and Mardi Gras Slaw (serves 8)

Cooking jambalayaJambalaya Ingredients:

  • 1 C brown rice
  • 6T olive oil
  • 1/2 white onion
  • 1 sweet potato
  • 3 parsnips
  • 4 cloves minced garlic
  • 2 t smoked paprika
  • 2 t chili powder
  • 1 c vegetable/chicken stock
  • 2 scallions
  • 1/2 bunch parsley

Mardi Gras Slaw Ingredients:

  • 1/4 head purple cabbage
  • 2 scallions
  • 1 avocado
  • 1 golden delicious apple
  • 1/2 c seedless grapes
  • 1 lemon
  • 4 T olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Combine rice with 2 cups of water and bring to boil. Lower heat to simmer, cover and cook about 30-45 minutes or according to package.
  2. Dice onions and cook on high in oil in a medium pot until browned.
  3. Cut the sweet potato and parsnips and add to the pot, caramelizing evenly on all sides.
  4. Add the garlic, paprika and chili powder to the pot and mix.
  5. Slice scallions and tear parsley leaves.
  6. Add rice, parsley, and scallions to the jambalaya pot.
  7. Add the vegetable stock, bring to boil and simmer for 15 minutes.
  8. While jambalaya is cooking, prepare the slaw.
  9. Thinly slice cabbage and scallions.
  10. Cut apples and avocados into small pieces.
  11. Cut grapes into quarters.
  12. Juice the lemon and combine with olive oil, salt and pepper.
  13. Toss all slaw ingredients together with the lemon-olive oil dressing.
  14. Serve and enjoy!