Recipe Experiment: Healthy Cajun Shrimp Boil with Interesting Ingredients

Drew and I are trying to eat healthier: more protein, less carbs and sugar, blah blah blah. Anyway, we love doing a cajun shrimp boil with potatoes and corn cobs pretty regularly at home. To make this a healthier meal, we decided to scratch the potatoes and corn, and experiment with a few new vegetables. Spoiler alert: most were terrible. Here’s the breakdown:

First off, I always use a bag of Zatarain’s Crawfish, Shrimp, & Crab boil, with 8 cups of water, in a very large pot.
While I have made my own crab boil recipes, I simply can’t get any to taste as spicy and delicious as this brand. I’m sure its because of all the extra salt. Either way, make your own, use what you like, just make sure you have enough seasoning to fill about 8 cups of water.


*Forgot to grab a snapshot first, my apologies*
The first ingredient we had on the list was turnips. Turnips have a similar texture to a potato, though they are a little bitter. However, nutrition-wise, they are awesome. Here’s a comparison of the same size (1 cup) potato vs. turnip:
Potato:                                  Turnip:
Cal: 60                                   Cal: 18
Carbs: 13.5                         Carbs: 4

I cut off the top and bottom of the turnip, but left the skin on. Then, I quartered each medium-sized turnip, using three turnips total.

Other ingredients included:
-half baby portabella mushrooms (~2 cups)
-small brussels sprouts (~3 cups)
-fresh green beans (~3 cups)
– 2 lb large shrimp, tail and shell still on. (You don’t have to use this
much, but I love cold, leftover spicy shrimp to snack on.)

1. Add packet of seasoning to 8 cups cold water. Add the turnips and
turn heat on high until it boils. Once boiling, turning it down to
medium-high to keep a steady boil is best. (Keep the lid off the
entire time, this will help the turnips release some of the gasses
that make them bitter.)
2. From the time you put the pot on the heat, 15 minutes after that,
add the frozen shrimp.
3. 9 minutes after this, add the mushrooms.
4. 2 minutes after this, add the brussels sprouts and green beans.
5. After 5 more minutes, everything is ready to be drained from the
water and eaten.

After I removed all the food and turned the heat off, I dropped an egg in for a poached egg. It fell apart a little, but after just a minute, the most perfect soft yolk came out. It was flavorful and perfectly cooked- winner.

What did we think? Well, I have some strong opinions here.
– Shrimp: Absolutely perfect as always. Tender, easy to peel, and just
spicy enough to give it great flavor without burning your mouth.
– Turnips: The texture was great, a little more al dente than a potato,
which I liked. However, the bitterness overwhelmed the cajun
spices, and I was not a fan.  I read online one suggestion is to add
just one potato to the mix to help it catch some of the bitterness.
So, I’d give that a shot if I were to do this again.
-Mushrooms: Ugh, that rubbery texture! The flavor was great, but
the texture I could not get past. If you like boiled mushrooms, you’ll
love this. If not, stay away.
-Brussels Sprouts: I just hate the flavor of brussels sprouts. The only
time I have eaten them and enjoyed them was the fried ones with
bacon and pecans at Table 28. These, while that first bite was full of
good, spicy flavors, also fell into the “fail” category for me. Their
bitterness comes through after a couple chews.
-Green Beans: These were great! I would have cooked them a
minute less because I like a little crunch left in them. But the flavor
was very good. Just a little spicy, no need for any additions such as
butter or bacon grease. I will definitely use green beans in our boils
from now on.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *