Hello! Man we’ve been croupy over here, how are ya’ll holding up?  The pollen recently dropped everywhere, then we had a conveniently timed cold front that stirred it all up. I was sick, now my poor little guy has a cold. Not the best way to start off this beautiful spring! Glad hubby is holding strong! *crossing fingers.

There’s nothing like a nice, healthy, hot dish to cheer everyone up. Shrimp Creole is one of our family favorites, and it is great no matter what time of year. Those Cajun dishes are notoriously a killer in sodium, however, so I tweaked a well-known recipe from the popular Luby’s cookbook. I know what you’re thinking…Luby’s? The cafeteria?? The place I was dragged to with Grandma to get the LuAnn platter??  Yes, the Luby’s 50th Anniversary Cookbook (which now sells on Amazon for $32!), ironically has the best creole recipe I have EVER had, even beating fancy restaurant creole. It is just a tad high on the sodium, so I played with ways to make it taste just as good.

So if you’re looking for something different to make for your family tonight, try this seafood dish out. Shrimp is an excellent source of lean protein, and it’s a good variation from the chicken/beef rut. When buying shrimp at the grocery, I recommend wild caught shrimp, or AMERICAN farm-raised. The key word there is AMERICAN, because farm-raised shrimp from elsewhere can be fed with the nastiest stuff you can imagine. (I won’t go into too much “crappy” detail, but I’m sure you catch my drift..). The same goes for other seafood, like tiliapia, so always, always, always check where it is coming from.

With any recipe that calls for canned products, another tip is use no-salt added ones. For instance, this HEB brand no-salt added tomato sauce has only 15mg sodium.

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Most regular cans of tomato sauce can have anywhere from 400-600mg! Quite a difference in number, but I honestly don’t notice a difference in taste. Seems like they should make them all that way…hmmm..

Shrimp Creole (serves 5-6)

2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1 cup chopped onion (about 1/2 large)
1 green bell pepper, thinly sliced into strips
1 cup celery, diagonally sliced (should make little half moons)
1 can no-added salt whole peeled tomatoes, drained (can also use diced if you prefer)
1 can no-added salt tomato sauce (8oz)
1 can low-sodium chicken broth (14.5oz)
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
2 1/4 tsp of chili powder
1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 tsp seasoned salt
2 tsp Worcestershire Sauce (I use reduced sodium)
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 small bay leaf
3 drops hot pepper sauce (I use Cholula)
Optional: 1 tablespoon dry sherry
1 -2lbs of large or jumbo peeled uncooked shrimp (depending on how shrimpy you want it, I used frozen)
Hot cooked rice, brown or white depending on preference.

Directions:
1) Sauté bell pepper, onion, and celery in hot olive oil in a large, deep pan, until vegetables are cooked through
2) Add rest of ingredients, except for shrimp. Simmer for about 30 minutes.
3) Add peeled shrimp. Be careful, shrimp cook fast. Cook about 6 minutes more or until shrimp are nice and pink.
4) Serve over hot, cooked rice. Goes great with a nice green salad if you wish, and a glass of white wine. Enjoy!

Side note: Some Cajun lovers like the spice. This dish isn’t real spicy, so feel free to add more hot pepper sauce at the end if you feel it needs more zing.

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Food photography – not my forte. Looks much better in person, I promise.

Want more tips on eating better? Have specific health goals you are trying to reach? I’m here to provide 1 on 1 personalized nutrition counseling. Also, on Thursday, April 7 at 6:30pm, I will be holding the class – Calorie Counting for Weight Loss at my office. Just contact me to sign up! Check out www.food4success.com for more information, or like my Facebook page, Food 4 Success, LLC for the latest health tips and more.

Have a great and healthy week! Until next time!!