Monday, July 4, 2011

Shrimp Gumbo

I apologize for my absence.  I've made some incredibly good food since my last entry, and I promise to share.  Virtually, that is.  Unless you feel like coming over for dinner, in which case it will be my pleasure to whip up something tasty and paleo-friendly.

This morning I lounged.  Truly lounged.  I laid in bed in less-than-pj's and read a book under the mild breeze of the ceiling fan until it was lunchtime, and then my adorable 13-year-old poked her head past my door and asked if I wanted paleo crepes for breakfast.  And then she brought one to me.  In bed.  I am the luckiest woman.

For the past week I have been busy being Summer Camp Julie.  Superman's sons and I picked berries and peaches and apricots, squeezed lemons, made zucchini muffins, moved furniture around at my mom's house, dipped strawberries in chocolate, went swimming, planted flowers and took out two trees with a chainsaw (okay, that last one was more Superman, but we were also there).  I taught them to play the piano and had them clean mirrors and started a tradition of Window Patrol every time we left the house (so no robbers would sneak in and steal the Wii).  We read Calvin and Hobbes and watched The Incredibles and I got whomped at every Wii game we played.  We painted t-shirts with special nail polish that changes color in the sunlight.  And though I made tons of good caveman food, I also made cheesecake and soft pretzels and strawberry-rhubarb muffins with streusel topping and we had root beer floats and Doritos for dinner one night.  And my bowels aren't terribly happy with me about that, but they'll recover.

So, my workouts fell by the wayside.  I could say I just didn't have time, but that's such a lame excuse.  Truthfully, I stayed up late enjoying the company of the love of my life, laughing and talking and kissing and just staring at that wonderful man, and then I was much too tired to wake up early enough to squeeze in a wod and a shower before the boys needed me.  In fact, just squeezing in a shower in the morning proved to be a challenge.  However, I did make time for one wod of my own creation one afternoon while the boys made swords with Tinker Toys.  It wasn't terribly challenging, but it got me moving.  A 10 minute AMRAP of 20 air squats, 15 jumping jacks (as fast as possible!), 10 push ups.  Ahhhhh.  I have never regretted making time to work out, no matter how busy my day gets.

Now the food.  I concocted a couple of winners last week. 

Sweet Potato Butternut Bisque 
This bisque was delicious and mild, but I think it could have used a bit more kick.  Maybe some red pepper flakes or something.  Perhaps more garlic.  Maybe a little white cooking wine.  I'll have to play with it.

3 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut up in chunks
one medium butternut squash, peeled and cut up in chunks
1/2 large onion, chopped
2 c. chicken broth or stock
2 cloves garlic, minced

Boil above until vegetables are tender.  Puree.  Serve with canned coconut milk.

Crockpot Shrimp Gumbo
I have to not-so-humbly admit that I was absolutely impressed with this paleo adaptation I created.  I sang my own praises every time I took a mouthful.  Just ask Superman.

1 onion, chopped
1 medium zucchini, diced
1 - 2 jalapeno peppers, diced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 cup frozen okra (at least.  Maybe more.)
1 can diced tomatoes
1 small can tomato paste
2 c. shredded cauliflower
1 lb. cooked homemade turkey sausage:
crumbled and cooked ground turkey with
½ T. salt
1 T. chili powder
½ t. fennel seed
½ t. ground black pepper
Throw everything in the crockpot.  Stir, and ignore the fact that there is very little water in the soup.  In other words, none.  Trust me, this will work.  After everything has cooked until tender, throw in:

a couple large handfuls of cooked shrimp 

Continue cooking until the shrimp is ready.  Serve in large bowls and prepare to eat until you're ready to pop.  This is amazingly good, if I do say so myself.

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