So many of the great slow-pot foods of the South are easy to modify for a low fat diet-like this gumbo, thickened with okra and tomatoes instead of an oily roux. Try this heart healthy recipe today. Remember that leftovers freeze well.

Serves 8

Per serving: 264 calories, 22.4g protein, 32.1g carbohydrate, 4.9g dietary fiber, 5.4g total fat (0.9g saturated fat), 166mg cholesterol, 219mg sodium Carbohydrate choices: 2.1


  • 2 pounds medium headless shrimp, unpeeled
  • 1 small yellow onion, unpeeled and quartered
  • 6 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons olive or canola oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 2 celery ribs, finely chopped
  • 1 medium bell pepper, seeded and finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme leaves
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano leaves
  • 1 pound okra (fresh or frozen), sliced
  • One 14½-ounce can no-salt-added diced tomatoes
  • Cayenne and black pepper
  • 4 cups steamed long-grain brown rice, no salt added

PEEL, DEVEIN, and refrigerate the shrimp. Rinse the shells; drain well; place them in a large saucepan with the quartered onion and the water. Bring to a boil; lower the heat and simmer for 1 hour. Strain; discard the solids.

HEAT a large nonstick skillet on medium high; swirl the oil around the bottom of the hot pan. Add the chopped onion, celery, and bell pepper; cook, stirring often, until tender and browned, 10 minutes. Add the garlic, bay leaves, thyme, oregano, and okra; stir until the okra browns around the edges and loses some of its viscous texture, 10 to 15 minutes.

SCRAPE the okra and seasonings into a soup pot; add the shrimp stock and tomatoes. Bring to a boil, continue boiling for 10 minutes. Reduce the heat, cover; simmer for 45 minutes, until the okra is very tender and the gumbo is thick.

ADD the shrimp; simmer until pink, 3 to 5 minutes. Season well with cayenne and black pepper. Discard the bay leaves. Serve the gumbo over steamed brown rice in wide bowls.