Birthday, Yoga and Gumbo

22 Aug

I recently had a birthday.  28!  This year I decided to make a couple birthday resolutions.  Now, I know that resolutions are typically meant for the New Year, but 28 is a new year for me, and why shouldn’t we always strive to be better – our best self (I think one of Oprah’s entourage coined that one.)

Birthday drinks with my entourage

My two birthday resolutions are to drink more water and to be more active.  To jumpstart both of those, I signed myself up for an introductory week at a Bikram yoga studio.  Bikram yoga is HOT yoga, so you basically have to increase your water intake if you want to get through the 90 minute class without passing out.

Unfortunately, the studio is a half-hour drive from my house, so for the 6:30 p.m. class, I’m away from the house from 6-8:30 p.m., which is prime dinner-making time.  So, I busted the crock pot out of its summer hibernation and threw together a gumbo.

Yum-bo

Normally, I wouldn’t think to use the crock pot in the summer, because when I look at it, I think chili, soup, stew – hearty winter meals.  But when you think about it a little deeper, the crock pot is the perfect solution for those hot summer days when you can’t bear the thought of standing over a hot stove or turning on the oven.  And let’s not forget the fact that the low and slow cooking time can really bring out the flavors of a dish that you couldn’t match with high and fast cooking.  It’s like how sometimes your leftovers are even better the next day – they are no longer just ingredients thrown together – its is something entirely new and different.  Greater than the sum of its parts.  Its best self  🙂

Anyhoo, this gumbo was amazing.  So good that with every bite I was a little shocked at how good it was!  And after an hour and a half of hot sweaty yoga, it was a great meal to come home to!

This recipe can be adapted based on what you have.  For instance, the original recipe called for carrot.  I didn’t have any, but I had butternut squash, so I used that.  It called for celery.  I didn’t have any, but I did have frozen okra and peas.  Play with it!

Crock Pot Gumbo

Adapted from The Slow Cooker Bible 

–1 regular-sized can of tomatoes (diced or whole plum broken up slightly)

–1 cup of stock (chicken or veg)

–1 tbsp butter

–1 tbsp olive oil

–2 tbsp flour

–3/4 pound andouille sausage, sliced

–1 medium onion

–2 bell peppers

–2 cups frozen, sliced okra

–1/2 cup frozen peas

–3/4 cup diced butternut squash

–1/2 tsp celery salt

–Dried of fresh thyme to taste

–Black pepper to taste

–Red pepper flakes to taste

–Cooked rice for serving (brown or white)

Set your crock pot to low and throw in the tomatoes and the stock.  In a small saucepan, heat the butter and oil.  Add the flour and continuously whisk.  You are making a roux.  Keep whisking until the roux is golden in color.  Whisk the roux into the tomatoes and stock in the crock pot.

Chop all veggies and your sausage and get it into the crock pot.  Add your seasonings.  Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours.  After about 4 hours, you can taste for seasoning, adjust as necessary and give it a stir.  You want to try not to peak too often so the heat stays in the pot!

Serve over rice.  Enjoy!

~Carla

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One Response to “Birthday, Yoga and Gumbo”

  1. Crystal August 22, 2011 at 3:26 pm #

    Love the photo!!

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