The season of Lent has begun and the search is on for more meatless dishes. Fortunately, there is a wide variety of seafood to choose from and numerous ways to prepare it. Shrimp is often a top choice. It is delicious and can served alone as a main dish or used in salads, casseroles and even a number of Cajun or Creole dishes, like this recipe for New Orleans Shrimp Creole.

This popular Southern dish is especially flavorful if prepared in an old-fashioned cast iron Dutch oven. The spices seem to blend perfectly with the vegetables and shrimp as it slowly simmers.

If you chop the vegetables ahead of time and place them in Ziploc bags or small plastic containers, you can have the dish ready in less than a half hour. The dish is so easy to make and tastes so good, you may find you’ll want to serve this comfort food all year long, not just during Lent.


1/2 cup chopped onion

1/2 cup chopped celery

1 garlic clove, minced

1 (14 1/2- or 16-ounce) can stewed tomatoes, undrained

1 teaspoon sugar

1/2 to 1 teaspoon chili powder

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

Dash of hot pepper sauce, according to taste

1 pound uncooked medium shrimp, shelled and deveined

1/2 cup finely chopped green bell pepper

4 cups hot cooked rice (cooked without margarine)

Salt and pepper to taste

Spray nonstick Dutch oven or large saucepan with nonstick cooking spray. Add onion, celery and garlic and cook over medium heat for about 3 minutes or until crisp-tender.

Stir in tomatoes, sugar, chili powder, Worcestershire sauce and hot pepper sauce. Add salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cover and simmer about 10 minutes.

Add shrimp and bell pepper; cover and simmer 3 to 6 minutes or until shrimp turn pink. Serve over hot, cooked rice. Makes 4 to 6 servings.

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