It’s great to be back in the blog world.  Yesterday’s post sparked some wonderful conversation, and I appreciate everyone’s comments (both good and bad).  It was pretty clear that just as I hadn’t read the book “Wheat Belly”, many of those who posted comments also didn’t read my entire post. I was not writing a review of the book, but mainly trying to back-up what I teach to my clients, that wheat can be a part of a healthy and balanced diet. Working in a grocery store I have to be open to all types of diets, views, and opinions (and really, being an RD in most community settings this is the case).  And, as a practicing dietitian and professional, I believe that it’s important to teach evidence-based nutrition information (and not to fall for the naive idea that “correlation indicates causation”, as one RD pointed out in her comments yesterday), and I am still not convinced that wheat (or any grain) is bad (unless, of course, you are medically unable to consume them). Until it is proven otherwise, I will continue to believe that Americans are consuming too many grains, and the wrong types (mainly refined instead of whole) and that that is one of our many dietary shortcomings. I am not yet able to agree that wheat is bad, but only that we are eating too much (and what is the right amount? I don’t think we know that quite yet either…..).   I am happy for anyone who has followed wheat or gluten-free diet for reasons other than an allergy or Celiac and who have had success (like I said yesterday, I am one of them!).

Ok, it’s food time.

I love slow cookers.

I can throw a bunch of seemingly random ingredients into a large pot, turn on the heat, walk away for several hours, and come home to deliciousness…….

The recipe is called “Slow-Cooker Cajun Shrimp and Rice”, but this looks more like a stew to me, no? Read my notes below and you’ll see that my choice of using brown rice might have been what turned this slow-cooker meal into more of a stew.  Not that it really mattered, as Nick and I still devoured this meal for three nights straight.

I seriously love shrimp. I could eat it each and every night if I could.  But I don’t, because variety is important.  While shrimp is high in selenium, omega-3, and a special kind of carotenoid called astaxanthin (it has many anti-inflammatory properties), it’s also pretty high in cholesterol. But let’s be honest, most research suggests saturated fat is the main culprit for increasing your cholesterol numbers, and shrimp is a low saturated fat food (making it a great substitute for that burger you’re about to eat. )

I didn’t use wild rice, as the recipe suggested.  If I make this again, I will.  I actually used all brown rice, and I think it cooked much faster than wild rice and became more starchy.  Oops!  It was still delicious.

Cajun Shrimp and Rice

Slightly modified from a recipe found in Fitness Magazine

Makes: 6 servings

Ingredients

1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes

1 14-ounce can low-sodium chicken broth

1 cup chopped yellow onions

2 cups chopped green or yellow bell pepper

1 6- to 6-1/4-ounce package long-grain and wild rice mix (found in any grocery store)

1/4 cup water

1 garlic clove, chopped

1/2 teaspoon Cajun seasoning

1 pound cooked, shelled and deveined shrimp

Hot Sauce

NOTE:  If you’re following a low FODMAPs diet, this recipe is probably not for you.  I tried to reduce the onion and garlic, but it was still pretty loaded.  I stuck to a fairly small serving each time I ate this, so it didn’t cause me too many problems.  I also cut the onion into very large chunks, so it was easy to avoid, but still not FODMAPs-free.

Directions 

  1. In a 3-1/2- or 4-quart slow cooker, combine tomatoes with their juices, chicken broth, onions, bell pepper, rice mix with seasoning packet, water, garlic, and Cajun seasoning.
  2. Cover; cook on low-heat setting 4-5 hours or on high-heat setting 2 1/2 – 3 hours.
  3. Stir shrimp into rice mixture. Cover; cook for 15 minutes longer at high-heat setting. Sprinkle with hot sauce (if desired).

Estimated Nutrition Facts for 1/6th of recipe