Before you give up fleshly enjoyments for Lent, here are a few ideas for eating well Tuesday. Enjoy!It may look like a doughnut. It may be filled or glazed like a doughnut. It may even be cooked like a doughnut. But don't call it a doughnut.It's a beignet. And it's one of New Orleans' two iconic sweets (the other being the party loving king cake). With Mardi Gras approaching, it's a perfect time to get to know beignets.Truth is, beignets are a form of doughnut or fried dough. They originated in France, where the term is used to describe a wide variety of fried treats that are filled with fruit or jam. In New Orleans, they traditionally are served with a cup of coffee and chicory au lait.To celebrate Mardi Gras, we're offering our take on the beignet, a praline beignet with cafe au lait icing. And of course, you also could add the traditional showering of powdered sugar.PRALINE BEIGNETS WITH CAFE AU LAIT ICINGStart to finish: 2 hours (30 minutes active)Servings: 24For the beignets:2 cups milk1 tablespoon instant yeast1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar3 1/2 to 4 cups bread flour1/2 teaspoon baking soda1/4 teaspoon salt1/2 cup chopped toasted pecansCanola oil, for fryingFor the icing:3 tablespoons heavy cream2 tablespoons water1 tablespoon instant coffee3 cups powdered sugarIn a small saucepan over low heat, warm the milk to just lukewarm. You should still be able to comfortably leave your finger in the milk without it feeling too hot.In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook, combine the warmed milk, yeast, brown sugar, 3 1/2 cups of the flour, baking soda and salt. Mix on low until the ingredients come together and form a smooth, elastic dough. If needed, add the remaining flour, a bit at a time, to form a soft, elastic dough.Add the pecans and mix just until completely incorporated. Cover and allow to rise in a warm place for 1 hour, or until the dough doubles in size.When the dough is ready, line a baking sheet with parchment paper and lightly dust with flour. Lightly dust the counter with flour and turn the dough out onto it.Roll the dough out to 1/2 inch thick. Using a pizza wheel or dough cutter, cut the dough into 2-inch squares. Transfer the dough squares to the prepared baking sheet and cover with a clean towel. Let rest for 30 minutes.Meanwhile, fill a large pot with about 2 inches of canola oil. Heat the oil over medium-high until it reaches 375 F. Set a cooling rack over another sheet pan next to the stove.When the oil is hot and the dough has rested, work in batches to fry the beignets. Using a slotted spoon, gently lower 3 to 4 dough squares into the hot oil and fry, turning once, until golden brown, puffed and cooked through, about 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer to the cooling rack and continue working in batches until all the beignets are fried.In a medium bowl, whisk together the cream, water and instant coffee until the coffee is dissolved. Add the sugar and stir well until the mixture is smooth. Add more water or powdered sugar to adjust the consistency to be able to drizzle as a thick icing. Drizzle the icing over the warm beignets and enjoy warm.Nutrition information per serving (values are rounded to the nearest whole number): 220 calories; 70 calories from fat (33 percent of total calories); 8 g fat (2 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 5 mg cholesterol; 33 g carbohydrate; 4 g protein; 1 g fiber; 55 mg sodium.A large wreath-shaped cake bedazzled in vibrant shades of purple, green and gold — there's nothing subtle about it. Behold the wonder that is the king cake. For many, a New Orleans-style Mardi Gras is simply not complete without it.Though it may look rather odd — perhaps even gaudy — on its own, the king cake fits right in with a colorful season of festive parade floats and marching bands, masked revelers and flying beads as far as the eye can see. The purple is for justice, green for faith and gold for power. A token symbolizing the infant Jesus is hidden inside. Whoever finds it brings the cake to the next part.MARDI GRAS KING CAKE WITH CREAM CHEESE AND APPLE FILLINGSTotal time: 1 hour, 45 minutes, plus rising timesServings: 12 to 16Note: The cake can be adapted to any occasion by substituting or eliminating the colored sugars. Colored sugars and plastic king cake babies are generally available at baking supply stores, as well as online. For better flavor, rehydrate the raisins in a small saucepan, covered with spiced rum, over low heat just until plump and tender.Apple filling2 tablespoons butter2 large tart apples, such as Granny Smith, peeled, cored, quartered and sliced crosswise into 1/4-inch slices1 tablespoon dark brown sugar1/4 teaspoon cinnamon1/8 teaspoon salt1/4 cup raisins1/2 cup toasted pecan piecesIn a large skillet over medium heat, melt the butter. Stir in the apple slices, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt, and cook, stirring frequently, just until the apple starts to soften, 3 to 4 minutes (the slices should still be crisp). Remove from heat and stir in the raisins and toasted pecans. Spread the apple mixture onto a baking sheet to stop the cooking process and allow the apples to cool quickly, then cover and refrigerate until needed.Cream cheese filling1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract1/4 teaspoon salt5 tablespoons sugar1/2 beaten egg (save the other half to make the egg wash for the cake)In the bowl of a stand mixer, or in a large bowl using a hand mixer, beat together the cream cheese with the vanilla, salt and sugar. Add the beaten egg to the cream cheese mixture and beat until thoroughly combined. Cover and refrigerate until needed.Cream cheese glaze2 ounces (1/4 of an 8-ounce package) cream cheese1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, at room temperature1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract1/8 teaspoon salt3/4 cup powdered sugar, siftedIn the bowl of a stand mixer, or in a medium bowl using a hand mixer, whisk together the cream cheese, butter, vanilla and salt until completely combined. With the mixer running, add the sifted powdered sugar, one spoonful at a time, until fully incorporated.Brioche dough and assembly3/4 cup milk, divided1 package (2 1/2 teaspoons) active dry yeast1/3 cup plus 1 teaspoon sugar, divided2 eggs, plus 1/2 beaten egg (use the remaining half egg leftover from the cream cheese filling), divided10 tablespoons (1 stick plus 2 tablespoons) butter, at room temperature3 1/2 cups (15.75 ounces) bread flour, plus more for dusting1/2 teaspoon saltApple fillingCream cheese fillingCream cheese glazePurple, green and yellow colored sugars for decoratingPlastic baby, if desired1. In a small pan, heat one-half cup plus 2 tablespoons of milk over medium heat just until warmed. Remove from heat and pour the milk into a small bowl or measuring cup. Stir in the yeast and 1 teaspoon of sugar, then set aside until the milk is foamy and the yeast is activated, about 10 minutes.2. Whisk the 2 eggs in the bowl of a stand mixer using the whisk attachment (or in a large bowl with a hand mixer) until light and fluffy, about 1 minute. Stir in the yeast mixture and remaining one-third cup of sugar until fully incorporated.3. If using a stand mixer, switch to the paddle attachment. With the mixer running, add the butter, 1 tablespoon at a time, until incorporated.4. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour and salt. With the mixer running, add the flour mixture, one spoonful at a time, until fully incorporated.5. Remove the dough to a lightly floured surface and knead until it is soft and somewhat silky (it's a rich dough and won't be entirely smooth), 5 to 7 minutes. Place the dough in a large, oiled bowl and lightly cover with plastic wrap. Set aside in a warm place until doubled in size, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.6. Meanwhile, make an egg wash: Combine the remaining beaten half egg with the remaining 2 tablespoons of milk.7. When the dough is doubled, punch it down (it will be very smooth and elastic) and roll it out onto a lightly floured surface into a 10-by-28-inch rectangle. Lightly score the dough lengthwise to divide the dough into 2 equal halves.8. Spoon the apple filling down the length of one side, leaving a 11/2-inch border on the top, bottom and sides. Repeat with the cream cheese filling down the other side of the dough, leaving a 11/2-inch border on the top, bottom and each side. Lightly brush the edges and center of the dough (along the score) with the egg wash to moisten. Gently and carefully pull the dough over the cream cheese filling, sealing the edge of the dough along the score mark. Repeat with the apple filling. Press the sealed edges, making sure they are secure (otherwise the fillings could spill out while the cake bakes).9. Gently twist the length of the dough to form a braid-like shape. Wrap the dough so it forms an oval wreath and gently press the edges together. Carefully transfer the wreath to a parchment-lined baking sheet.10. Brush the top of the wreath lightly with egg wash and cover loosely with plastic wrap. Let the dough rise until almost doubled in volume, 45 minutes to an hour, or loosely cover and refrigerate the dough overnight, removing it from the refrigerator about 1 hour before baking for the dough to come to room temperature.11. Heat the oven to 375 degrees. Lightly brush the wreath with any remaining egg wash and place the sheet in the oven.12. Bake the cake until golden brown on top and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean (the toothpick will remain moist if it hits the cream cheese filling, but there should be no crumbs sticking to it), about 30 minutes. Rotate the pan halfway through baking for even color.13. Allow the cake to cool slightly before it is frosted (if it's too hot, the glaze will run off the cake and not adhere). Drizzle the glaze evenly over the cake, then lightly sprinkle over the colored sugars. If using the plastic baby, hide it somewhere in the cake (press the baby in through the bottom of the cake so as not to disturb the top or sides of the cake). Serve the cake warm or at room temperature.Each of 16 servings: 387 calories; 7 grams protein; 42 grams carbohydrates; 2 grams fiber; 22 grams fat; 12 grams saturated fat; 86 mg cholesterol; 20 grams sugar; 224 mg sodium.Is it all just too much? Here's a recipe for a jambalaya that you could eat Tuesday — and way beyond.It uses Miracle Rice. This is a variety of shirataki noodle, an increasingly popular variety of ultra-low calorie noodle products. Miracle Rice has no calories, no fat, no carbs and no sodium. It resembles a large couscous and has an extremely mild flavor.This means it takes well to whatever other flavors you add, making it a perfect base for a high-flavor dish like jambalaya.If you can't find Miracle Rice at the grocer, it is available online. You also could substitute cooked brown rice, though this will increase the calories and carbs.The rest of this dish is built around much of the basic trinity of Cajun cooking — bell peppers, onion and celery. Chili powder provides the kick. Traditional meats are ham, sausage or duck, but trim calories with chicken and turkey sausage.CHICKEN AND RICE JAMBALAYAStart to finish: 30 minutesServings: 44 large boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 2-inch chunks (about 15 ounces)Salt and ground black pepper1/2 tablespoon olive oil3-ounces chicken and turkey andouille sausage (such as Applegate Farms), cut in to 1-inch slices1 teaspoon adobo powder1/4 teaspoon chipotle chili powder1 1/2 cups chopped yellow onions1 cup chopped red bell pepper2 cloves garlic, minced2/3 cup reduced-sodium chicken brothTwo 8-ounce packages Miracle Rice, rinsed1/2 cup canned black beans, drainedSeason the chicken with salt and pepper.In a large nonstick saute pan over medium-high, heat the oil. Once the oil has started to smoke, add the chicken. Brown the chicken for 2 to 3 minutes, turning the pieces once. Remove the chicken from pan and add the sausage, browning it for about 1 minute, turning the pieces once.Add the adobo and chili powder and cook for 30 seconds. Add the onions, then reduce heat to medium-low and caramelize them slowly until soft and browned, about 6 to 8 minutes. Add the peppers and garlic and cook until soft, about another 2 minutes.Add the browned chicken, broth, Miracle Rice and black beans. Bring to a simmer. Simmer, uncovered, over medium to low heat for about 5 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through and the sauce is slightly thickened. Season with salt and pepper and divide between 4 serving bowls.Nutrition information per serving (values are rounded to the nearest whole number): 233 calories; 8 g fat (30 percent calories from fat) (2 g saturated); 103 mg cholesterol; 13 g carbohydrate; 28 g protein; 4 g fiber; 862 mg sodium.