Mardi Gras is a time for celebrating many things, and food is certainly at the top of the list. With Mardi Gras taking place on Tuesday, March 8, I thought this would be a good time to offer a recipe for a good Louisiana dish.
When I think Louisiana, I think “gumbo.” To keep this gumbo on the light side, I used chicken sausages and low-sodium chicken broth. That way, I was able to keep the Louisiana flare and still have an “almost healthy” bowl of gumbo. I felt so good about my healthy choice that I splurged with a slice of French bread!
Light Louisiana Gumbo
2 boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 tsp. Cajun seasoning
2 tablespoons canola oil
3 chicken (or turkey) sausages, cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices
2 cups chopped celery
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped green pepper (cored and seeded)
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 bay leaf
1 can (14 oz) low sodium chicken broth
1 can (14 oz.) diced tomatoes with juice
1/2 to 1 lb. medium shrimp, shelled and deveined (the amount of shrimp you use will vary with family preferences)
1 bag (16 oz,) frozen sliced okra
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
brown rice (optional; prepare according to package directions)
Sprinkle chicken with seasoning. Heat oil in a large pot over medium high heat. Add chicken sausage, turning once. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Add celery, onion, bell pepper, garlic and bay leaf. Cook until vegetables start to soften, about 3 minutes. Add a little water if vegetables start to stick. Reduce heat. Add tomatoes and broth. Simmer, covered, until chicken is cooked through, about 10 to 15 minutes. Add shrimp and okra. Simmer, covered, until shrimp is cooked through and okra is tender, about 5 minutes. Remove bay leaf, and garnish with parsley. Serve alone or over brown rice. Serves five.