I know Mardi Gras is a day to let loose and imbibe before heading into the sacrificial season of Lent, but for those who would rather save their indulgences for a cocktail or dessert I thought I’d offer up my healthy gumbo recipe. You’ll find a lot of the familiar flavors in this version, with healthy substitutions that dramatically reduce the amount of fat and number of calories.
Changes Made To Make My Healthy Gumbo Recipe
True Cajun chefs will shun this recipe since I skip the traditional roux base. Because I don’t start this gumbo with this characteristic brown sauce made from oil and flour, the color and flavor differ from classic gumbo. However, I find the red in the healthified version more appetizing than the typical brown of the classic. I also prefer the flavor (perhaps because the thought of a flour/oil paste just sounds unappetizing to me) of the leaner version.
Kid Friendly Healthy Gumbo Recipe
I’ve had to play with this recipe quite a bit to achieve a flavor and heat level that works for my whole family. Thus, this recipe is pretty mild for a gumbo and thus, kid-friendly. If you like it spicy, you’ll want to add some hot sauce.
Healthy Gumbo Recipe
- 2 cups uncooked brown rice
- 2 T olive oil
- 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 1 pkg smoked turkey sausage cut into slices
- 1 small onion
- 1 small green bell papper
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 28 oz can stewed tomatoes
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 1 10 oz pkg frozen okra
- 1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 lb shrimp cleaned, peeled, and deveined
- Hot sauce optional
- Prepare rice according to package directions.
- While rice is cooking, heat oil in large stockpot. Brown chicken and sausage in pot for 4-5 minutes. Add onion, bell pepper and garlic. Saute until onions are translucent.
- Add tomatoes, chicken broth, okra, and spices. Heat to boiling, stirring occasionally.
- Reduce to a simmer and allow to simmer for 30 minutes.
- Add shrimp and cook for 5-6 minutes more (until shrimp is pink).
- Serve gumbo over rice in a bowl. Add hot sauce if desired.