I have often mentioned in the past my passion for being in the Knight Kitchen, whether baking, cooking, canning, or prepping herbs and vegetables from our garden. Another passion I have not mentioned is finding ways to alter recipes so my wife, Angie, can enjoy them. She is allergic to pepper (black, red, white, lemon, etc) and capsaicin. Basically, she cannot have things with “heat” in them. Even a tiny amount can swell up her lips.

I don’t have a huge tolerance for “heat”, but I do enjoy flavorful spicy foods such as blackened fish, Cajun, Tex-Mex, etc. I just don’t like my foods so hot that after a few bites I cannot taste my drink or dessert. So, I have been playing in the kitchen to find alternative ways to make traditionally spicy foods so my wife can enjoy them. Developing these altered recipes is challenging for me to experiment with until I find a flavor that is close to the original but friendly for Angie. Most recently, I worked up a gumbo recipe that she can enjoy.

Angie Friendly Cajun Seasoning

2 tbsp. smoked paprika
2 tbsp. garlic powder
2 tbsp. oregano
1 tbsp. kosher salt
1 tbsp. onion powder


  • In a medium bowl, mix together all ingredients.
  • Put in spice jar (or other sealed container)
  • Use as desired.

The paprika is adding in a smokey hint of heat without anything Angie will react to.

Angie Friendly Crockpot Gumbo


1 lb bacon
1/2 cup flour
2 tablespoons cajun seasoning (I used my own mix – See Angie Friend Cajun Seasoning)
3 garlic cloves (minced)
1 medium onion (chopped)
2 large green peppers (chopped)
4 stalks celery (chopped)
1 lb boneless chicken breast
2 lbs of andouille sausage (or 2 packages of skinless smoked sausage for Angie)
2 lbs shrimp (raw, peeled, deveined)



  • Fry bacon and set aside on paper towels.
  • Reserve 6 tbs. bacon grease.
  • In a skillet on low heat, add 4 tbs. of bacon grease, flour, and cajun seasoning. Brown flour slowly, stirring constantly, until dark copper brown. Be careful not to burn flour.


  • Transfer roux to crock pot.
  • Lightly saute garlic, onion, celery, and green pepper in 2 tbs. of bacon grease and add to crock pot.
  • Crumble bacon and add to crock pot.
  • Brown chicken, cube, and add to crock pot.
  • Slice sausage and add to crock pot.
  • Add 6 cups of hot water to crock pot and stir until water and roux are blended.
  • Cook on low heat for 6-8 hours.
  • Just before serving add shrimp to crock pot and cook until shrimp turn pink.
  • Add cornstarch if needed to thicken
  • Serve over cooked rice.

The smoked sausage replaces the andouille sausage which has black pepper in it. This gumbo has a rich flavor and plenty of spice, without the “heat” that Angie cannot have. We have had this a few times since I got the recipe working and it has become a favorite.

Currently, we tried my first attempte at a Huevos Rancheros recipe which I already have ideas to make it better and this weekend I am going to use the Angie Friendly Cajun Seasoning and take a first shot at a Red Beans and Rice recipe. Any suggestions for other Angie Friendly Recipes I should be working on? Any hints as to other ways I can replace the “hot” spices with others that offer the flavor but not the “heat”?

Side Project: Angie Friendly Recipes

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