Monday, August 16, 2010


After last week's disasters (think Racoon Repellent and some inedible chowder), I was ready for a winner. These recipe modifications are fun and and exciting to test out, but they're actually a little bit of work. We review each recipe, figure our modifications and the type in the recipes and get calculations for both. Then we have to actually make the recipe, remember to take pictures and whip out some witty commentary about our adventures. Not to mention a lot of her recipes include lots of chopping and dish-dirty-ing. Usually the whole process is super fun, but when you knock out two duds in a row, it's discouraging.

I approached Paula Deen's recipe for Gumbo with mediocre enthusiasm, but got to work, because this recipe had several steps and involved a lot of sitting and simmering.

I used cooking spray instead of oil and turkey sausage instead of regular sausage to cut out some fat and calories.

I made my roux with Smart Balance Light and Whole Wheat flour.

I didn't make any exceptions to the veggies, but did omit the salt and used dried parsley. I wish they sold frozen chopped celery. Is it just me or does it take forever to chop??

I was looking for some low sodium beef bullion or something similar and there just wasn't much. There was low sodium beef broth, but no bullion. I did find this stuff, though.

I don't know too much about broths and bullions and bases, but this beef base was lower in salt than all of the bullion cubes by ~200 mg. It's not much, but making a recipe healthier is all about finding a balance of health and taste, so I decided to give it a try.

Once all that was cooking, I added the pre-cooked chicken and turkey sausage to the roux and veggie mix and let it do its thing in the pot. After 45 minutes of simmering, I added the frozen okra and tomatoes.

I actually forgot to add the green onion and I omitted the shrimp (I know it's part of the recipe, but I just couldn't do it!! I needed a winner!! I did include it in the recipe and nutritional breakdown, though).

I served it with some frozen corn muffins I made to go with my failed chowder last week and YUM!! It was so good. I just ate, but I think I could eat some more. I would imagine adding shrimp wouldn't hurt, if you like shrimp, but I thought it was absolutely delicious as it was! Finally!

Here's the stats, still high in sodium, mostly in part to not using low sodium canned tomatoes and the turkey sausage.

Nutritional Information (OLD) Nutritional Information (NEW)
Servings Per Recipe: 8 Servings Per Recipe: 8
Amount Per Serving Amount Per Serving
Calories: 511 Calories: 330
Fat: 30.9 g Fat: 10.3 g
Sodium: 1678 mg Sodium: 1412 mg
Fiber: 2.8 g Fiber: 3.4 g

And here's the winning recipe!

Some Good Gumbo
3 large boneless skinless chicken breast halves, chopped
1 pound turkey smoked sausage, cut into 1/4-inch slices
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
5 tablespoons Smart Balance light margarine
1 large onion, chopped
8 cloves garlic minced
1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
3 stalks celery chopped
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tbsp dried parsley
5 tsp Better Than Bullion Paste
1 (14-ounce can) stewed tomatoes with juice
2 cups frozen sliced okra
4 green onions, sliced, white and green parts
1/2 pound small shrimp, peeled, deveined and cooked

Spray a large pot with cooking spray and cook the chicken until browned on both sides and remove. Add the turkey sausage and cook until browned, then remove. Sprinkle the flour over the remaining juices, add 2 tablespoons of margarine and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until brown, about 10 minutes. Let the roux cool.

Return the Dutch oven to low heat and melt the remaining 3 tablespoons margarine. Add the onion, garlic, green pepper and celery and cook for 10 minutes. Add Worcestershire sauce, pepper, to taste and the 1/4 bunch parsley. Cook, while stirring frequently, for 10 minutes. Add 4 cups hot water and bouillon paste, whisking constantly. Add the chicken and turkey sausage. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat, cover, and simmer for 45 minutes. Add tomatoes and okra. Cover and simmer for 1 hour. Just before serving add the green onions, shrimp and chopped parsley.


  1. Coming from the south, I grew up on gumbo, and I'm happy to see a lightened recipe! This looks just as good as what my Grammy makes and a bit healthier too. Thank you for sharing!

  2. I need to make this! I love gumbo but most of them seem to ALWAYS have some sort of seafood, especially around here!