Taste the Spicy Rainbow

For me the period between Thanksgiving and Christmas is a perfect time for plannedovers. Plannedovers are leftovers that are created with a plan in mind. They can be comprised of nearly anything, but some of my favorites include chopped poultry, rice, and those little odds and ends bits of produce that always seem to want a purpose. This time around, that purpose is gumbo.

Gumbo really is just a spicy rice casserole with lots of protein, produce, and heat. I like to add some seafood to the mix and use Penzeys Cajun Seasoning, although you can choose spicy sausage and seasonings to suit your tastes. You can also tweak the vegetables in this gumbo, but make sure you've got a juicy mix, as they help create the sauce in this quick dish.

While a meal on its own, I do enjoy serving gumbo with cheesy cornbread. You could even whip up a batch in the oven as you put together this quick meal. Warm and comforting while taking less than a half hour is just what we all need as gift-giving, big meal, and party seasons descend upon us all. Meals like this help us stay on top if it all!

Weekday Rainbow Gumbo

  • 1 T. cooking fat (I used bacon fat)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 small red onion, peeled and slivered
  • 1 c. diced red and orange pepper
  • 2 tsp. Cajun seasoning
  • 1 - 14 oz. can fire roasted tomatoes with juices
  • 2 c. cooked rice
  • 1 handful yellow pear tomatoes
  • 1 c. diced cooked chicken or turkey
  • 6 oz. raw shrimp, peeled and deveined

Heat the cooking fat of your choice over medium-high heat in a large nonstick skillet. Add the garlic, onion, and diced peppers. Sauté for a couple of minutes before adding the Cajun seasoning and continuing to sauté for another few minutes until the vegetables are softened and fragrant. Add the tomatoes with their juices and the rice. Stir well to combine, cover, and turn to medium-low; allow to cook for another 5 minutes.

Remove the lid and add the remaining ingredients. Replace the lid and allow to cook for another 5 minutes. Stir once more and serve immediately.

  • Yields: 4 servings
  • Preparation Time: 20 minutes