My seafood gumbo recipes is by far one of my favorites. While it’s not SUPER healthy since I use shrimp and imitation crab meat (both high in cholesterol) you can easily leave the meats out, or use a leaner option, as well as dial back on the salt to make this dish quite healthy for you. I recently cooked it for a cold winter weekend and decided to write it down so I could share the recipe. I hope you give it a try and enjoy it as much as I do. Special thanks to my wellness coach, Nikki, who inspired me to do so in an effort to keep my health blog from gathering too much dust!
Step 1.) For a base you will want to fill your crock-pot or large soup pan with filtered water until it’s about half full. Set it on a low-medium heat and add the following ingredients:
1 can organic tomato paste (BPA free if possible).
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup dry white chardonnay.
1 tsp Rosemary
1 tsp Basil
1 tsp Oregano
1 tsp Thyme
2 tsp Chili Powder
2 tsp Cumin
2 tsp Turmeric
2 tsp black pepper
2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp crushed red pepper
1 tbsp garlic salt
1 tbsp creole seasoning
1 fresh lemon cut in half and placed in the pot.
1 can Rotel (original)
Let this come to a boil then reduce to low heat and allow to simmer for about 30 min.
Step 2.) While you are simmering your base you can begin chopping up your vegetables. I like to use whatever I have in my fridge. The more variety you can fit on your cutting board or food processor, the better. as long as you don’t fill more than about 4 cups then you should be ok. Here is a list of what I used in my last batch that is a good base to go by, but feel free to add to it if you’d like!
I sliced the following in my food processor:
4 cloves fresh garlic
6 stalks of green onion
1/4 fresh white onion
5-6 stalks fresh celery
4 Jalapenos (remove the seeds if you do not prefer a lot of heat!)
1/4 red pepper
1/4 orange pepper
1/4 yellow pepper
1-2 fresh, peeled carrot
Step 3.) Once you have your veggies chopped up you can begin cooking your seafood. This is another chance for you to really use whatever meat you like as they all can be good with gumbo. I prefer seafood the best, but chicken and pork can also be delicious. I like to do it in a separate pan to really help bring out the flavor before adding it to the base. In my medium sauce pan I added the following:
12 oz bag shrimp (precooked, thawed, with tails removed)
8 oz back of imitation crab meat. (real crab is an option here but more expensive and can be more labor intensive if using the legs)
1/4 cup white chardonnay
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 lime cut in half and squeezed into the mix then place the remains on top for added flavor.
1 tsp italian spice blend (normally a mix of basil, rosemary, oregano, thyme, and other similar spices)
1 tsp fresh ground black pepper
1 tbsp minced fresh onion (white, red, or green)
1 tbsp minced fresh garlic
1 tbsp minced jalapeno
1 tbsp fresh/dry cilantro
You will want to stir and let this simmer on a low heat for about 15-20 min or until desired tenderness is reached. I like my shrimp rather firm so I go for about 15 minutes or more but since it’s pre-cooked you can do 9-10 just fine. You can also use uncooked shrimp/crab for a longer cooking time (about 30+ minutes) for extra flavor.
Step 4.) Once your base is done (feel free to let it simmer for a bit longer for added flavor if you’d like!) you can add the veggies and seafood to the pot. You can add more filtered water if necessary. Stir everything and let the batch continue to simmer on low heat for about 5-10 more minutes. I like my veggies to have a bit of crunch so this is a short amount of time. You can go for about 15-20+ minutes for softer veggies if that is what you prefer.
Step 5.) Enjoy! I like to eat mine with chopsticks and drink the broth. So delicious!
Additional Options to this recipe include:
– Using wild rice. About 1/2 half cup is a good, healthy addition to the mix. Just make sure to cook it separately or use a larger pot with more water. It normally adds about 45 minutes prep time to this recipe unless you cook it with the base.
– Beans are also a good addition to this recipe. From black to chili beans (dried, not canned) any bean is a good bean for gumbo. I like to use the 15 bean mix they sell at most stores. Just remember they take a while to cook so add about 1.5 hours of prep-time to this recipe for doing so.
– Remember than any and all vegetables/meat go great with this recipe so mix it up if you’d like!