See the list of all the Shirtless Chef recipes at www.mysaline.com/shirtless.
American food, much like most of the people in it, originates from other lands. Unless you are a descendant of Native Americans, at some point in the past, an ancestor arrived here in one way or another. Many arrived with just the clothes on their backs, and some arrived with even less than that against their will.
The one constant that traveled with all were the recipes and culinary techniques of their homeland. The country has been described as a melting pot, and the cuisine should be no different.
As with the people, food can be at its best when they integrate and work together. Take Cajun food for instance. Most people think of it only as Southern food, but its origins are French. The very first settlers of that territory are responsible for both the delicious Cajun cuisine and the almost indecipherable accent.
I’m all about meals that cook themselves to save time. I need it to be packed with protein, fiber, healthy fats, vitamins, and also to be delicious. Cajun gumbo pretty much cooks itself. Once you do a little prep, you just throw it all in a slow cooker and let it do its thing while you go about your business.
Gumbo also lends itself to letting you throw in whatever you happen to have on hand. I had fresh pico and avocado on hand, as well as a can of rotel. I did not have the traditional celery or green bell pepper, so I thought why not bring some Mexican flair to the French Cajun party? Mexican food is delicious. Cajun food is delicious. Seemed like a win win to me.
So the Instapot became a literal and figurative melting pot, and the result was spectacular. I usually compare the nutrition stats with what I am making to the commercially available product, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen this particular item anywhere else before.
I do know that most restaurant cajun food has enough sodium to turn a bayou alligator into a saltwater crocodile, and the same goes for mexican food as well. We will avoid that here by making our own. Use this as a template and grab whatever you happen to have on hand, no matter where it is from originally.
Make something beautiful out of it. Remember, there is no them, there’s only us, to quote U2. When you apply that in the kitchen, you might discover you have a new healthy favorite on your hands.
Mexican Cajun Gumbo:
1 package boneless skinless chicken thighs
1 package cajun andouille chicken sausage
1 can rotel
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 yellow onion diced
1 bunch green onions
1 package mushrooms, sliced
1 package frozen cauliflower rice
4 oz pepper jack cheese shredded
1 cup plain greek yogurt
1 tbsp avocado oil
1 tbsp butter
Fresh pico, diced avocado
Black bean chips
1 tbsp cumin, 1/2 tsp chili powder, onion powder, garlic powder, black pepper, sea salt
Early in the morning, throw your chicken thighs in the slow cooker with the spices and black beans. Drain the can of rotel and add to the chicken, along with the sliced whites of the green onions. Set to cook for 6 – 8 hours, depending on how much time you have.
With about an hour to go on the slow cooker, set two large skillets out. Add the butter to one and the avocado oil to the other. Cook the onions and mushrooms in the butter until soft, hit with just a pinch of sea salt and pepper. Cook the cauliflower rice in the avocado oil. Cook until the moisture is gone and the cauliflower just starts to brown.
Shred the chicken breasts with forks in the slow cooker when the time is up:
Add the golden brown and delicious air fried chicken sausage:
Remove the cauliflower rice from heat, then add the pepper jack cheese and greek yogurt. Stir in until the cheese is melted. To build a bowl, first add some rice:
Then add your chicken and sausage mix:
Top with pico, avocado, black bean chips, and the greens from the green onions: