Creole foods are created by melding very different culinary traditions. The seasonings in this recipe reflects the tastes of some of the diverse people that settled in the New Orleans area -- French, Spanish, Native Americans, Germans, Italians, and Africans. Feel free to create your own Creole sauce by changing the seasoning to suit your tastes.

1 tablespoon canola oil 1 large onion, diced 1 large green pepper, diced 1 large red or yellow pepper, diced 1 cup finely chopped celery 1 teaspoon minced garlic 1 can (30 ounces) crushed tomatoes 1 can (15 ounces) diced seasoned tomatoes (green pepper, celery & onion) 2 tablespoons Creole or Cajun seasoning* or to taste 1 pound fresh or pre-cooked shrimp, peeled and deveined 1/2 cup fat-free chicken broth, optional Salt and extra red pepper to taste

In a large skillet, heat oil. Add onions and cook until translucent. Add green pepper, celery, and garlic. Cook until peppers are tender. Add crushed tomatoes, diced tomatoes, and Creole seasoning. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Add shrimp and heat through. Add chicken broth if needed to thin to desired consistency. Adjust seasoning by adding salt, red pepper, and extra Creole seasoning to taste. Serve over cooked rice.

*Creole seasoning can be purchased but many of the Creole or Cajun seasoning mixtures are mainly salt. You can make your own great spice combination with the following recipe but feel free to adjust it to suit your taste.

Donna's Creole Seasoning Mix

2 tablespoons sweet paprika 1 teaspoon turmeric 1 tablespoon chili powder or red chili pepper powder 1 teaspoon oregano or Italian seasoning 2 teaspoons sugar 1 teaspoon dried basil 1 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon dill weed 1 teaspoon garlic powder ½ teaspoon ground thyme 1 teaspoon black pepper ½ teaspoon cayenne red pepper

Serves 6

Nutritional Information per serving without the rice:

Calories: 170 Fat, gm.: 4 Protein, gm.: 18 Carbs, gm.: 16 Cholesterol, mg.: 115 Fiber, gm.: 3.4