We all know it’s important to eat healthy, but, let’s face it, it's the holidays.

Life would be no fun without indulging in some Louisiana favorites. But that doesn't mean they have to be fat bombs that will detonate your diet. I've trimmed up these holiday recipes to make them healthy while still tasting terrific.

Shrimp is always a go-to ingredient because of its delicious versatility, and when combined with my version of remoulade sauce, it's an impressive-yet-easy dish for a holiday gathering. Savory with just the right Dijon spice, this chilled dish is perfect served on a bed of lettuce as a fabulous first course or appetizer. You could also make it as a Crawfish Remoulade  — you know I keep Louisiana crawfish tails in the freezer year-round.

Holly Clegg's recipes for Marinated Crab Fingers, Shrimp Remoulade, Cream Cheese Bread Pudding

Talk about a spirited appetizer with definite southern flair, my mouth-watering Marinated Crab Fingers can't be beat. This personal favorite is a surefire crowd pleaser on any holiday menu. Don’t be intimidated. This recipe is super simple — just a few chopped ingredients, marinate and that’s it!

And who can resist bread pudding? Not me, so I had to come up with a just-as-delicious, healthier alternative. This Cream Cheese Bread Pudding, topped with seasonal berries, is a delectable sweet dish that's will wow your guests. It's the perfect use for leftover French bread, which, combined with cream cheese, gives you this mouth-watering luscious dessert.

With my "trim & terrific" approach, there's no classic Louisiana dish you have to give up!

Terrific tips:

  • These dishes can be made ahead of time and refrigerated until ready to serve. They can easily be doubled or tripled depending on the size of your crowd.
  • Serve the Shrimp Remoulade in martini glasses on mixed greens as an appetizer or dip.
  • Counts for shrimp with shells are 36-45 small per pound, 31-35 medium and 21-30 large.
  • The holidays are busy enough, so buy peeled shrimp.
  • Shrimp is a lean source of protein and of the antioxidant mineral selenium, which protects the body from inflammatory damage to the joints.
  • Get creative with your bread pudding and drizzle with caramel or chocolate.

Holly Clegg book signing

WHEN: Noon to 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 8

WHERE: Barnes & Noble - Citiplace, 2590 CitiPlace Court

Holly Clegg, best-selling national cookbook author of the trim&TERRIFIC & Eating Well cookbook series, specializes in easy, healthy, everyday recipes. Visit her website, The Healthy Cooking Blog. Follow her on facebook.com/HollyClegginstagram.com/holly_clegg and twitter.com/hollyclegg. Email her at holly@hollyclegg.com.