I read this recipe in Everyday with Rachel Ray and knew I had to try it because it uses mostly inexpensive pantry staples! The bacon was the star of the recipe (and I almost wish we’d used more) and we added a few extras like okra, carrots and leftover spaghetti squash (which kind of got lost in the sea of tomatoy deliciousness!) It was basically like a tuna-hinted ratatouille/veggie tomato sauce. If you hate tuna, you could substitute shrimp, fish, chicken, beans – anything. But if you use too much fresh seafood it wouldn’t be poor man’s gumbo!
We made our own modifications as usual. Here’s our version:
- 3 slices of all-natural bacon (maybe5 slices next time?)
- 1 large carrot, chopped
- 3 large stalks celery, chopped
- 1 jalapeno, de-seeded and minced
- About 1/3 cup leftover spaghetti squash (which is totally optional because I didn’t even notice it)
- 3/4 cup frozen okra, thawed (a really nice addition!)
- 2 cups frozen bell peppers, thawed
- 1 can diced tomatoes
- 1 can tomato paste
- 1 6 oz can chunk light tuna
- Thyme, savory, Cajon seasoning and S+P to taste.
Brown bacon until crispy. Remove bacon and rest on paper towel. Add carrots and celery to pan and cook until carrot softens. Add remaining veggies. Cook for a bit:
Add tomatoes (and their juice), tuna (I drained it), and tomato paste plus seasonings. Stir and cook until it’s all combined and flavorful.
Pour over brown rice, sprinkle with bacon!
Makes 3 servings, about 375 kcal, 11 grams fiber and 26 grams protein each.
I had a few crackers on the side. I think I love them so much with soups and stews because they cleanse my palate between bites. I have one about every 4-5th bite and it’s a great break in flavor.
All together with some wine!
Not including wine, this dinner was about 450 kcal, 12 grams fiber and 28 grams protein. And I’m completely full and satisfied!
The husband and I finished off our open bottle from Monday. It aged for the better 8)
I didn’t need a snack this afternoon, probably due to a lot of fat (healthy and maybe not) at lunch: almonds, goat’s cheese, bacon slice (double today!), olive oil dressing, scone.
When I got home I had to do some studying for an exam tomorrow. What I really wanted to do was go outside and enjoy the weather so I compromised and took my notecards for a walk again. There were so many people out in our neighborhood today! I got a good bit of studying done and stretched my legs after a long chemistry lab. So refreshing before dinner!
I’m off to read Eat, Pray, Love (yes, I’m STILL reading it – I only get through about 10-20 pages a night!)
See you in the AM!