Cajun Sausage Veggie Gumbo. What a mouthful. This little dish is so good, and the best thing about it is it’s flexible – and what I mean by that is you can add or take away some ingredients depending on what you’re feeling. We’ll get to that later. 

First things first. NEW ORLEANS. Wow. It is a special place indeed…kinda like the fair for adults. We went because Daniel is working this week near there. I flew back Sunday night. He stayed. I went to New Orleans back in 2008 on a mission trip to help with Katrina victims, but we didn’t get to see much then. So, this was my first time getting to see the downtown sights and eat all the good food!

The people were great (besides the two young ladies on Bourbon St. that totally robbed us – our fault though). Also, SAINTS fans are the best. Not that I know anything really about NFL, BUT I was already a little bit of a Saints fan because of Drew Brees. <<He wrote an easy to read book about overcoming adversity and his faith and his move to NOLA. I read it, and I became a fan>>. BUT now I love the Saints a little more now because their fans are so PUMPED UP. Being in NOLA on game day was cool. 

What I loved about it (in order of importance):

  • The food! DUH. Did you see my instastories? And just a disclaimer because I’ve had a few people ask (some in a more snoody way than others…) but everything I posted, we split. We ate SO MUCH. I totally didn’t track my food, and when we got back, I was craving all the veggies. BUT, we definitely lived it up, ate some good food (mostly GATOR and KING CAKE), and enjoyed it. It did take my stomach the first night to get used to that rich food though. 
  • The music!! There is music on every corner. We walked so much while we were there, and Daniel and I agreed that our advice to anyone going would be to carry a good bit of $1 – $5 bills. Not for what you’re thinking. BUT so you can tip these talented people if you want! I had so much appreciation for them – especially to play, sing, and stomp in the cold like that. 
  • The fact that we got to be there when Mardi Gras was kicking off. From what I gathered, It’s like a 6 week long festival, and we got to see the first official parade go down and see some fireworks. It was one to cross off the bucketlist, for sure. 
  • The art – I’m not a big know it all when it comes to art, but I can still appreciate the local vendors.
  • People watching. Enough said. 
  • The French Market…where we bought some gator on a stick, a George Rodrigue knockoff (ya know, the blue dog painings?), and a Mardi Gras mask.
  • Being able to drink a cocktail walking down the street. I grew up in Savannah, where this is also legal. However growing up, you knew to not do that if you were under 21 because Savannah FIVE O is in full force. Not that we drank a lot or anything (Saturday we split 4 drinks for the whole day). BUT it was a cool experience getting to walk down the street with our drank.

What I didn’t love as much about it: 

  • Like I said, it’s like the fair for adults. I’m a one shower a day kind of girl, but I definitely took two showers a day here. That’s big time for me. I don’t think I even did that in NYC.
  • Our hotel was nice for the first night, but unfortunately our bath tub somehow overflowed into our room while we were gone Saturday (apparently only our’s did this??) So they moved us because our room smelled like good ole NOLA doo doo. And then the room we moved to also had plumbing probs… as in the shower didn’t drain at all, and when you turned the water on from the sink or shower, the toilet water would almost explode out of the toilet. You had to be very careful in there. Maybe the problem was us since it happened twice. I dunno. So, they moved us again to a room next to a drunk man who banged on our door all night from the joining room next door. So, needless to say, I didn’t sleep much. 
  • It was cold. — I know, not your fault NOLA, but still. 
  • If you’re not there to get sloshed (we weren’t), you can really see all you want to see in a day of walking. 24 hours, and that’s all ya need.

Overall, it was fun. I’m sad Daniel is still there, but I haven’t really been home. Except to watch football. What a game. Sad for the dawgs. I’m too scared to text my brother or my mom. I would go back, but maybe a long time from now, and when it’s warmer!

Ok, wow. Long post. Sorry. When I came back, I knew I wanted to make a good, cajun recipe – but as a healthier alternative…as in, with veggies. This is good! I hope you enjoy it. Check out the notes at the bottom to see what you can take out if you prefer. Because of it’s flexibility, I didn’t do a macro count. But good news. I’m going to have a post soon all about what I’m learning with macro counting and MyFitnessPal.

Cajun Sausage Veggie Gumbo

Serves 4

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes

Ingredients: 

  • 2 tbsp olive oil or avocado oil. I used olive because Daniel’s mom gave us some fancy olive oils for Christmas and this one was a red pepper oil.

  • 1/2 sweet onion – diced.

  • 1/2 bunch asparagus – quarter sliced.

  • 1 package of chicken sausage – 4 links at 85 g each (about 340 grams) – sliced (I used the al fresco brand from publix. nothing fancy).

  • 2 – 6 inch long yellow squash – sliced into 1/4 inch circles

  • 2 – 6 inch long zuchinnis, sliced into 1/4 inch circles

  • 2 cups broccoli (small florets work best)

  • 1 yellow bell pepper – sliced and diced, remove middle and seeds. 

  • 1 red bell pepper – sliced and diced, remove middle and seeds.

  • 1 cup chicken bone broth

  • Salt and Pepper – to taste

  • 1 tbsp cumin

  • 2 tbsp cajun seasoning – (this was harder to find than I thought it would be at publix. I found a good gluten free creole seasoning, and I liked it)

  • 4 cups cauliflower rice (optional) – I just used the Trader Joe’s frozen cauli mix, and split into 1 cup serving sizes.
  • Juice from 1 lemon – optional

Instructions: 

  • Heat medium-large, non stick skillet on low- medium heat. Add oil.

  • Slice/Dice veggies AND chicken sausage in above order. Once they are sliced/diced, add to pan. For example, start with the onions. Wait 5 minutes. Then, add the asparagus, followed by the chicken sausage, and so on. Finish with the chicken broth/bone broth.

  • Continue stirring/mixing as you go. 

  • Once veggies are almost done cooking, add seasoning.

  • Allow to sit on low heat for about 5 minutes, but keep stirring. Make sure that creole or cajun seasoning is all spread out. 

  • Add coconut rice if you would like. 

  • Top with lemon juice, if you would like. It’s good though, so you should.

Notes: Don’t feel like you have to do the cauli rice, but that + the chicken bone broth does give it more of a gumbo jambalaya feel. If you would rather just have a veggie/sausage mix, take out the broth. And last, but not least, shrimp would be another great option to add to this, however, I knew the Lake Hartwell shrimp (jk, but who knows?) wouldn’t compare to the Mississippi River/Gulf shrimp.

Let me know if you have any questions!