Diabetic Cooking

Pigeon pea gumbo

Preparation time: 20 minutes. Cooking time: 30 minutes.


  • 2 ounces extra-lean, cured ham, chopped finely
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon achiote coloring (if not available, may substitute 1 teaspoon vegetable oil mixed with 1 teaspoon paprika or 1/4 teaspoon saffron)
  • 1/2 teaspoon whole dried oregano, crushed
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 green pepper, chopped finely
  • sweet chilies, seeded and chopped finely
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1 fresh tomato, chopped
  • 6 Spanish olives stuffed with pimientos
  • 1 tablespoon capers
  • 1/4 cup tomato sauce, unsalted
  • 1 can (15 ounces) pigeon peas, unsalted
  • 1 1/2 cups long-grain rice
  • 5 cups water



In a large, heavy pot, make sofrito by browning ham in vegetable oil over medium heat. Add achiote, oregano, garlic, green pepper, chilies, cilantro, and tomato. Cook and stir for 10 minutes. Add olives, capers, and tomato sauce to the sofrito. Add pigeon peas (undrained), rice, and water. Reduce heat to low and simmer for approximately 20 minutes uncovered until rice is tender, stirring occasionally. Consistency should be moist; may need to add additional water during the cooking process. Serve immediately.

Yield: 12 servings.

Serving size: 2/3 cup.

Nutrition Facts Per Serving:
Calories: 136 calories, Carbohydrates: 27 g, Protein: 5 g, Fat: 1 g, Saturated Fat: 0 g, Sodium: 99 mg, Fiber: 3 g

Exchanges per serving: 1 1/2 starch, 1 non-starchy vegetable. Carbohydrate choices: 2.

This recipe was developed by Sharon Palmer, a registered dietitian and freelance writer in Southern California.