Last week was Mardi Gras and as a Cajun-Indian who recently turned vegan (pescatarian really), what better way to celebrate than making Okra Gumbo with Chia Corn Bread! My first time making Okra Gumbo and I had fun learning how to make roux. Well, a little less fatty than the regular roux that’s usually made with bacon fat. As I made this dish, I couldn’t help thinking about the amazing Vegan Wild Mushroom Jambalaya that I ate at Angelina’s Kitchen the night before the Berkeley Half Marathon. Gotta try and make that one another time.
The ingredient list for making the Okra Gumbo is innocuous enough, but since it’s a stew, takes a while get it simmered to the right consistency.
- 3 tbsps Olive Oil
- ¼ cup Unbleached Wheat Flour
- 1 medium sized onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup super sweet Baby Bell peppers, diced (from Trader Joe’s)
- 2 cups cherry tomatoes, diced
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 tsps Paprika
- 2 tsps Thyme
- 2 cups fresh Okra, sliced
- 2 cubes of Rapunzel Vegan Bouillon
- 1 15oz can of Eden’s Organic Kidney Beans
Get a pot of rice going. We usually cook a mixed, 1 cup white and 1 cup brown in a rice cooker, just so the kids eat it. I guess it’s a good compromise as we gently nudge them to eat whole grain carbs. Also boil 4 cups of water and dunk the cubes of Rapunzel Vegan Bouillon to make the broth and set aside. First step in making the Okra Gumbo is to make the roux. Here’s what I learned.
On a heated, oiled pan, slowly trickle in the flour and keep stirring, so it doesn’t clump up. Cook the flour until it’s mixed in evenly with the oil and starts to brown a little. Add the onion and mix until they are evenly coated with the flour. A few minutes of cooking later, add in the garlic. Then the bell peppers and cherry tomatoes go on and the moisture from the tomatoes will help the mixture get thick and pasty. Add a few tablespoons of the broth if paste gets too sticky.
Transfer the contents into a largish pot, add the okra and beans along with the seasonings and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 30 minutes (or until the Okra is tender and cooked) stirring occasionally. Salt and pepper to taste. To make this kid-friendly, I intentionally left the Cajun spices out. To spice it up, use Tony Chachere’s Creole Seasoning (the best!) and a little bit of Cajun’s Choice Blackened Seasoning. You can also add vegan sausage to the mix. And of course, don’t forget the Tabasco. To serve, scoop a bit of the rice and smother it with the Okra Gumbo. Pairs well with Chia Corn Bread.
Have you made Okra Gumbo before? How do you make it?
Absolutely N.O. spam. No more than two emails each week. Learn about injury-free running, race reports, new trail routes, awesome recipes and amazing interviews.