What to eat the night before my annual physical exam? (a meal, of course, which would be my last food to ingest before my fast began—necessary for accurate bloodwork). Only one solution to that, of course—fish and more fish. I wanted those bad-cholesterol numbers in the bloodwork to be as low as possible. Just a little more fish, after consuming it and nuts and oatmeal and fish-oil tablets all year, would never hurt.
Actually, I couldn’t help be a tad excited about this necessary evil, the annual exam. It would be my first checkup since I became a runner 15 months ago and since we began Hubby’s Extreme Healthy Eating Plan, prompted by his uncomplimentary bloodwork in November 2009. Last year’s physical occurred after I had only about three months of our new-world order under my belt. This year’s would be the first to reflect a whole 12 months of running and major outrageous eating.
My “last supper” featured my Big Easy Gumbo recipe from Southern Living. Lots of sweet onion, green bell pepper, and celery went into the stock pot; fiberific black-eyed peas, cooked chicken, turkey sausage, and the seafood element—shrimp, all served over brown rice. This hearty Creole gumbo was super-filling and would tide me over until after I could break my fast with a late-breakfast after the exam. (Years ago I learned to book the earliest-possible appointment time so I could resume eating as quickly as possible.)
Back to the recipe. Hubby and I just loved the Gumbo. The minced garlic and salt-free seasoning were just enough to spice up the mixture. The recipe made enough for dining before 10 pre-doctor’s visits. Hopefully that last boost of Omega-3’s from the fish will put me over the top for a good report.
I may well file this recipe under my New-Year’s Day recipe section since it features black-eyed peas. Looks to me as though it would make a good lucky ticket for a new year. We’ll see if it was my lucky ticket for a successful annual exam.
“Big Easy” Gumbo
1/2 cup peanut oil
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup chopped sweet onion
1 cup chopped green bell pepper
1 cup chopped celery
2 teaspoons salt-free Creole seasoning
2 teaspoons minced garlic
3 (14-ounce) cans low-sodium chicken broth
4 cups shredded cooked chicken
1/2 pound turkey sausage, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
1 1/2 cups frozen black-eyed peas, thawed
1 pound peeled, large raw shrimp (16/20 count)
Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat; gradually whisk in flour and cook, whisking constantly, 5 to 7 minutes, or until flour is chocolate-colored. (Do not burn mixture.) Reduce heat to medium. Stir in onion and next 4 ingredients and cook, stirring constantly, 3 minutes. Gradually stir in chicken broth; add chicken and next 2 ingredients. Increase heat to medium-high and bring mixture to boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, 20 minutes. Add shrimp and cook 5 minutes or just until shrimp turn pink. Makes 8 to 10 servings.