Sunday, November 10, 2013

Low-Carb Gumbo

Cooler weather plus great college football calls for some hearty meals. Gumbo is a southern favorite, and it can surely be enjoyed by the low-carb diner. 


1.5 lbs shrimp
1 lb dark lump crab meat 
2 green bell peppers
2 onions
4-5 stalks celery
3 cups frozen okra
8 oz. can tomato sauce
Liquid crab boil (to taste) 
Gumbo file powder (to taste)
Olive Oil

Of course, gumbo is as much an art as a science, and everyone does theirs a bit differently. To bring it into low-carb territory, this recipe does not use a flour-based roux. As always, this just a rough guide; feel free to vary it to taste. 

Chop the onions, celery, and bell peppers (we used a food processor, but whatever works), then stew them over medium-high heat in your gumbo pot with some olive oil for a few minutes until combined. Add the okra along with just enough water to cover.

After the okra has softened, take the back of your spoon and mash it. The okra will help to thicken the mixture. Did you know that the word "gumbo" supposedly comes from an African word for okra? 

Stir in the tomato sauce and boil until thickened. Add water at this point to reach your desired consistency. Add the seafood (it's okay to add it frozen -- break it up with your spoon as it thaws) and continue boiling for a few minutes to make sure the seafood is cooked. Then reduce to a simmer, add your seasonings (file powder and crab boil, or whatever you want), and cover. Simmer for 15-20 minutes. Eat.

Wait a sec, what about rice or crackers? Nope. 

Instead, send some cauliflower through the food processor until it's roughly the consistency of rice, then boil and drain it. Presto! There's something you can shamelessly pour that low-carb gumbo over.

Total carbs: Not many

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