Heart-Healthy Slow-Cooker Shrimp Jambalaya

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If you’re like me, the slightest sign of fall – a crisp morning or a few falling leaves – gets me thinking about cozy autumn slow-cooked meals that fill the house with good smells. Well, dust off your slow cooker because the American Heart Association’s new cookbook has readied more than 200 slow-cooker recipes that will fill your fall and winter with warm, heart-healthy meals. The newest addition to its collection of bestselling healthy cookbooks, the American Heart Association Healthy Slow Cooker Cookbook, shows how to cook heart-smart whole foods and lean meats low and slow, which makes them tender and juicy. Here’s a sneak peek recipe: easy and flavorful Shrimp Jambalaya.

Shrimp Jambalaya
The word “jambalaya” is thought to come from jambon, the French word for ham. It’s a given, then, that ham is one of the primary ingredients of jambalaya; however, you don’t need much when you use smoked ham and chop it finely to distribute its distinct flavor throughout the dish. Makes four 1 1/2-cup servings.

1 14.5-ounce can no-salt-added tomatoes, undrained
1 cup water (if cooking on low) or 1 1/2 cups water (if cooking on high)
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1 medium rib of celery, sliced crosswise
1 small green bell pepper, chopped
2 ounces lower-sodium, low-fat smoked ham, all visible fat discarded, finely chopped (about 1/3 cup)
2 teaspoons dried parsley, crumbled
1 teaspoon dried oregano, crumbled
2 medium garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme, crumbled
1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1 medium dried bay leaf
8 ounces raw medium shrimp, thawed if frozen, peeled, rinsed, and patted dry
1 cup frozen cut okra, thawed
1 cup uncooked instant brown rice
1/4 cup snipped fresh parsley

In a 3- to 4 1/4-quart round or oval slow cooker, stir together the tomatoes with liquid, water, onion, celery, bell pepper, ham, parsley, oregano, garlic, thyme, cayenne, and bay leaf. Cook, covered, on low for 5 to 6 hours or on high for 2 1/2 to 3 hours, or until the vegetables are tender.

If using the low setting, change it to high. Quickly stir in the shrimp, okra, and rice and re-cover the slow cooker. Cook for 30 minutes, or until the rice is tender. Discard the bay leaf. Serve the jambalaya sprinkled with the parsley.

Nutrition information per serving
Calories: 196
Total Fat: 2.0 g
Saturated Fat: 0.5 g
Trans Fat: 0.0 g
Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.5 g
Monounsaturated Fat: 0.5 g
Cholesterol: 78 mg
Sodium: 472 mg
Carbohydrates: 30 g
Fiber: 4 g
Sugars: 7 g
Protein: 14 g

Dietary Exchanges
1 1/2 starch, 2 vegetable, 1 1/2 lean meat

Read more about heart health

Visit The Recipe Club to read a Q&A with the American Heart Association about the AHA Healthy Slow-Cooker Cookbook. 

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