Ah, Fat Tuesday. Mardi Gras, as most folks would say. How I love the sweet aroma of gumbo and king cake. And there’s something so satisfying about making a cow out of myself for this one day since I can justify it by sacrificing something monumental over the next 40 days. Like caffeinated sodas, for instance. That’s what my 5-year-old is giving up for Lent. Never mind that she isn’t allowed to drink caffeinated sodas except on special occasions…like Easter.
Anyway, Fat Tuesday is all about pigging out, so I figure it’s the perfect day to start a cooking blog. However, I must include a pretty large caveat here – if you are planning to get fat from this blog on Fat Tuesday, forget it, because Super Momma can’t make her babies fat, even on Fat Tuesday. Stuffed with scrumptious food? Yes. Begging for more? Definitely. But the recipes on this blog will be low in saturated fat and cholesterol as well as packed with protein and veggies. That said, I refuse to cook anything twice (or give out a recipe) unless it’s super yummy. So plan to find only the tastiest stuff here. Even your kids should dig this food. Well, most kids. I’m not making any guarantees for the ultra picky who won’t touch anything but chicken nuggets and French fries. But for those kiddos who are willing to at least sniff carrots when they are doused in honey, these recipes should do the trick in a big way.
Finally, and here’s the real kicker – these recipes (unless noted otherwise) will not keep you in the kitchen all night. Most should take no longer than 20 minutes to prep, occasionally 30 for the doozies that are well worth it. And then Super Momma has a few minutes to breathe (or do a load of laundry) while dinner is in the oven or simmering in the pot.
So here’s to all you Super Mommas (and Super Daddies) – this blog’s for you. You can feed your kids a quick and yummy meal that won’t break the bank or your belt, and still get everyone to bed on time. And Fat Tuesday is a great day to commit! Celebrate the richness of life with your family by fixin’ up some soothing creole comfort food with Super Momma’s inaugural recipe, Guilt-free Mardi Gras Gumbo. It’s all in one pot for easy clean up, and it’s sinfully good…but not sinfully bad. Now shake that booty.
Guilt-free Mardi Gras Gumbo
Serves 8 (plenty for leftovers!)
- Prep time: 20 to 30 minutes
- Simmer time: 30 minutes
- Approx. 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
- 1 green pepper, chopped
- 3 celery stalks, chopped
- 6 cloves garlic (or thereabouts), minced/pressed
- Approx. 1 pound chicken apple sausage (about 5 large links…I buy this at club stores such as Sam’s Club)
- 2 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp black pepper (fresh ground if you have it)
- 1/2 tsp onion powder
- 1/2 tsp cayenne
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp dried thyme
- 12 oz beer, preferably amber ale (or your favorite vinegar)
- 1 (28 oz) can diced tomatoes (preferably petite diced)
- 2 cans red beans, drained
- 1 can black beans, drained
- 4 cups chicken broth
- In a large soup pot or Dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium heat until shimmering but not popping.
- Add the holy trinity (onion, green pepper, and celery) and cook about 5 minutes, stirring often.
- Meanwhile thinly slice sausage into bitesize pieces.
- Add the garlic to the pot, stirring for 1 minute.
- Stir in sausage and spices. (If garlic starts to burn, lower the heat.)
- Stir in the beer and bring to a simmer. (If you’d rather not use beer, just add 1 to 2 Tbsp vinegar instead…any kind will do…I prefer white wine vinegar, but apple cider vinegar, red wine vinegar, or plain old distilled works great.)
- Add tomatoes, beans, and broth, and bring to a simmer. Stir well, and simmer on very low heat for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. The longer it simmers, the thicker it will get.
- Serve over your favorite rice.