Shrimp Gumbo (the healthy way)

One type of cuisine I had never really been exposed to in my life is Cajun, referring to the style of cooking that French speaking Acadians who settled in Louisiana (U.S.A.) adapted.  Cajun, or Creole cuisine, is spicy and flavorful, and well, my family had steamed veggies of all sorts, fish, and very low sodium meals, so I never had it until I was in college.  Since I'll be doing my rotations in New Orleans in about a year and a half, I decided to try out some Cajun cooking!

My first memory of having Cajun food was in Texas, with gumbo being the very first Cajun "dish" I had.  I can't remember where it was, but I remember it being so delicious and flavorful that my tummy just begged for more and more!  Upon coming to Brisbane, I realized that quite a number of people have never really been exposed to Cajun food, and not many knew what gumbo was.  It really is just a soup or stew that is eaten with rice (often times), and is characterized by its thickener, roux or okra.  It also often times contains sausages, and the Cajun "holy trinity" - celery, bell peppers, and onions.

After researching the cuisine and looking up some recipes, I decided that some of them called for a little more fat and flavor that I would like, so I used olive oil in my gumbo, rather than using lard or any other kind of oil in my "roux" - which is usually made of flour and lard.  (I've never seen okra in Brisbane, so I didn't bother looking for it for the thickener)

My very mini-sized "gumbo pot"
I threw in the grilled vegetables with some chorizos (I don't know where to get Andouille in Brisbane), added water, and slowly added sifted flour into the pot to thicken the stew.  I put the shrimp in last so that it wouldn't cook for as long, to retain its texture.

And here is the final product!
I threw some raw spinach on top and decided to eat it with bread because they had been in my fridge for a while.  Otherwise, it is often eaten with rice, and possibly with another dish of veggies.  Either way, this is a fun, scrumptious, and pretty simple dish to make!

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