Seafood is often considered an expensive, bougie treat. I’ve noticed that I tend to suggest replacing a majority of the red meat in ones diet with seafood for the obvious health benefits, while ignoring the strain that this places on ones wallet.
Shrimp tends to be the least-expensive option in the seafood section, and has some amazing health benefits. Although shrimp has been widely debated for containing cholesterol, it is low in saturated fat, and runs about 7 calories per medium-sized shrimp. They are also high in vitamins and minerals, and contain a lot of free-radical fighting antioxidants, so unless you have extremely high cholesterol (it’s unclear how much dietary cholesterol impacts cholesterol levels), start upping your shrimp game with this shrimp and okra gumbo.
My dad grew up in the south, and often talks about his grandmother’s fried okra. Okra was a vegetable I was completely unfamiliar with prior to my trip to Fiji. In Fiji, I ate okra almost everyday in the form of bhindi, an unbelievably flavorful Indian curry.
Since that summer in Fiji, I’ve made many dishes with okra as an ingredient, and this one is by far the best. It may not be your grandmother’s gumbo, but this lighter Southern Californian version with its rich flavors and gorgeous color is sure to impress. Even better, this version is rich and flavorful without being heavy and caloric.
Southern Californian Shrimp and Okra Gumbo
- 2 cups chopped okra (remove caps and tips)
- 1 onion
- 1 tbs. Salt
- 1 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 green bell pepper
- 2 cups sun gold tomatoes halved
- 1/2 cup white wine
- 1/2 cup chicken broth
- 1 lb shrimp cleaned
- 1 bunch Italian parsley
Rinse okra in cold water and set aside. Dice onion and chop pepper. Chop garlic.
In a large pot, place onion, olive oil, salt, and cayenne pepper. Cook over medium heat until onions are soft and translucent.
Add garlic, bell pepper, okra and tomatoes. Cook on medium for 10-15 minutes or until bell peppers begin to soften.
Add white wine and chicken broth. Cover and simmer on low for 30 minutes.
Turn up heat and add shrimp. Cook for 5-10 minutes or until shrimp is pink and no longer translucent.
Turn off heat and add chopped parsley.
Serve with wild rice or some fresh sourdough bread.