Start With Comfort
If you are like us, you have probably noticed the sun starting to drift its way lower in the sky bringing on shorter days, cooler temperatures, and the inevitable sign that winter is just around the corner. Don’t get us wrong, we love sweater weather, a good spiced chai, or some mulled cider, but the changing of the seasons is also a perfect excuse to let your eating habits slip as comfort foods like mac and cheese and braised short ribs start to call your name. We also get that all too familiar loss of energy, where you have to fight to stay awake to watch your favorite show until 10pm, as you are cuddled under your favorite blanket with your furry family member.
Staying healthy during this time of year is a challenge for everyone, and just because your body is craving comfort doesn’t mean that you have to force yourself to eat a salad. There are plenty of quick, healthy recipes that can still provide you with that stick to your ribs feeling that you are craving.
Cajun = Butter + Love – Healthy
If you’ve ever been to New Orleans and tried a traditionally prepared Gumbo, you know it is anything but healthy. A dark roux made from flour and butter (or sometimes bacon grease, because, why not?) is the base where flavors start to develop. While there’s nothing wrong with “the holy trinity” (a cajun term for diced onion, peppers, and celery) as soon as you throw that into your butter and flour and cook it until it loses all of its nutritional value, it isn’t doing much for your overall health. Then you layer in fatty and delicious andouille sausage, maybe some shrimp, sure you could throw some chicken in there too, maybe some more bacon grease, and you let it simmer for a few hours until all those incredible fats blend into a beautiful stew. To finish, you put a heap of white rice in a bowl and ladle a huge portion of the Gumbo on top to ensure that you will be in a food-induced coma following the meal.
Paramount Fresh’s Whole30 Friendly Gumbo
We are not going to try to claim that our version of Gumbo is going to be that super-rich, super unhealthy traditional Cajun Gumbo, but what we can offer is something that will check the box for that craving without blowing your calorie budget, and if you are trying to keep your health in check with Whole30, this recipe is a perfect addition to your repertoire. Our take not only cuts out a lot of the super fatty ingredients, but we cut down on the time it takes to make as well. This recipe is perfect for the slow-cooker, or even in your insta-pot.
Swapping avocado oil or coconut oil for butter is a great way to save on calories while still getting some healthy fats that give the dish that comfort factor. Utilizing bone broth is also a great way to add some additional protein. Did you know that a cup of bone broth can have up to 8 grams of protein with only 35 calories? Compare that to your protein bar “lunch” sitting at around 230 calories with only 16 grams of protein! Paramount Fresh can also save you time on your veggie and protein prep further cutting down the time to get this recipe ready for your family before the sun sets at 5:30pm.
Get Your Gumbo Goin’
Prep Time Without Paramount Fresh – 10 Minutes
Prep Time With Paramount Fresh 2 Minutes
- Instant Pot – 25 Minutes
- Slow Cooker – 3 Hours
- Stove Top – 30 Minutes
Estimated Calories Whole30 with Cauliflower Rice – 350
Estimated Calories High Protein with Red Quinoa – 550
Paramount Fresh Shopping List
1 – Medium Container of Diced Onions
1 – Medium Container of Julienne Peppers
1 – Medium Container of Celery (will only need ½ container)
1 – Large Container of Cherry Tomatoes
2 – Grilled Herb Chicken Breasts
Dozen – Cocktail Shrimp (Optional)
1 – Large Container of Red Quinoa (Not Whole30 Compliant, but great if you are doing a high protein diet)
Grocery Store Shopping List
3 Tablespoons of Ghee or Avocado Oil
3 Tablespoons of Cajun Seasoning (or Creole Seasoning)
¼ Cup of Tomato Paste (CLICK HERE for a list of Whole30 Friendly Pantry Items)
3 Bay Leaves
1 ½ Cup of Bone Broth
Riced Cauliflower (Option & Whole30 Compliant)
- Ready all ingredients on the counter for easy access. Halve Cherry Tomatoes, and Dice Celery & Julienne Peppers. Cube Chicken.
- Instant Pot, add the Ghee or Avocado Oil and push “Saute”. Wait until it reads “hot” and add the onions, pepper, celery, and cajun seasoning. Cook until fragrant and then push “keep warm/cancel”
Slow Cooker, add all ingredients except for the Chicken & Shrimp to the slow cooker. Cook on High for a minimum of 3 Hours.
Stovetop, Add Oil or Ghee to Large Pot and once hot add the onion, pepper, celery, and cajun seasoning. Cook until fragrant.
- Instant Pot, add chicken, shrimp, tomatoes, tomato paste, bay leaves, and bone broth and stir. Put the lid back on and seat to “Sealing” Push “Manual” and set the time for just 5 minutes. The Instant Pot will slowly build up to a high-pressure point once it reaches that point, the gumbo will cook for 5 minutes.
Stovetop, Add tomatoes, tomato paste, bay leaves, and bone broth and stir. Let the ingredients come to a boil and then reduce heat to simmer for 20 minutes.
- Instant Pot, Once the 5 minutes have ended, press the “Keep Warm/Cancel Button”. Cautiously change the “sealing valve” over to “venting” which will manually release the pressure. Once the pressure has been released (this will take a few minutes) remove the lid and change the setting to “saute” again. Add the Chicken and Shrimp. Stir until heated through, and then press the “Keep Warm/Cancel Button” Add salt and pepper to taste.
Slow Cooker Add chicken and shrimp to pot and cook until warmed through. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Stovetop Add chicken and shrimp to pot and cook until warmed through. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Whole30 – Serve over warmed riced cauliflower
High Protein – Serve over warmed red quinoa
Alternative – Serve over warmed brown rice.