In the absence of my missed “Meatless Monday” blog post yesterday and in the spirit and celebration of Mardi Gras, I decided to make today a Meatless “Fat Tuesday” blog post.
Over the weekend I had the pleasure of sharing and instructing my client on how to make a delicious vegan gumbo. It was interesting because when she first asked if I could show her how to make gumbo the first thing she said was, “but I don’t like okra!” Which I lovingly replied, “how are you going to cook/eat gumbo with no okra? Because as you know okra is a staple ingredient in gumbo?” “Yes” she replied but I just don’t like it.
However, I knew that she, like most people really don’t like the texture of okra and how it looks after it’s cooked; rather than just NOT liking okra (I use to be one of those people). So, I asked her, “If I can show you how to add and cook the okra into the gumbo in a way that makes it transparent, would you be open to cooking and eating it in your gumbo? And she said, “yes…you can do that?”
It was an awesome experience! We chopped, talked, drank wine, sauteed, laughed, boiled and cooked gumbo and my southern styled ‘cheezy’ corn grits! In the end, she said, “that was some of the best tasting gumbo and non ‘cheezy’ grits she had ever had!” AND she texted me the next day to let me know it was even better the second day!
“Changing the World One Vegetarian Meal at a Time!” is both my personal and professional mission and goal. Each time I walk away from a happy and fulfilled client or event, let’s me know that I am that much closer to achieving my goal and fulfilling my mission…and that inspires me to share even more.
Recreated from an original family recipe, this vegan version of gumbo has been created and recreated several times by me to get it just right for my taste. Feel free to experiment with it and remember the rule: when you change adjust 3 or more ingredients in a recipe it then becomes “your” recipe.
Happy Meatless “Fat Tuesday!” Enjoy!
Ifayomi’s Vegan Gumbo
Prep Time: 35 Minutes
Cook Time: 30 Minutes
16oz. Tofurky Sausage Links, cut links into half and lightly fry in 2 Tbs of oil until browned on both
sides, cool and cut into1 inch pieces. Set aside.
1 package of vegan shrimp, thawed
1 package of beyond meat chik strips, browned
2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 cup frozen or fresh cut okra (to make okra more transparent in the gumbo, place in a food processor
and liquefy before cooking – if using frozen okra allow it to thaw before putting it in the food
1 large onion, chopped
1 large green pepper, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
2 cloves fresh garlic, minced
½ tsp dried thyme
¼ tsp ground red pepper flakes
1 16 ounce can diced tomatoes
1 cup celery, chopped
5 cups of vegetable stock
2 cups cooked brown rice
1 stalk of scallions, diced (optional garnish)
2 ½ Tbsp 21 seasonings blend
salt and Tabasco to taste
After lightly frying the sausage links and chik strips, set to the side. Under medium heat add 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil. Sautee okra, onion peppers, garlic, thyme, red pepper flakes and 21 seasonings blend until slightly browned. Set aside.
Under medium/high heat, heat the 2Tbsp of extra virgin olive oil, add flour and stir constantly until desired thickness and browning (making adjustments as needed). Once browned, stir in sautéed okra, onion, peppers, garlic, thyme and red pepper flakes. Cook for 1 minute on medium heat, stirring frequently.
Stir in veggie sausage, shrimp, chik strips, tomatoes, celery, vegetable stock and cook for 20 minutes or until thoroughly heated, stirring frequently. Add salt and Tabasco sauce if desired. Serve over rice. Garnish with diced Scallions.
Yields: 6 to 8 Servings
Chef’s Tip: This is a recreation…of a recreation…of a recreation of an old family recipe that I have adapted into a scrumptious comfort food favorite…without the guilt. Add a vegan cornbread muffin and enjoy!
Chef’s Tip II: You can substitute the faux sausage, chik and shrimp with your favorite veggies.
Ifayomi’s Southern Style Corn Grits
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
1 Cup Organic Yellow Corn Grits (Polenta)
2 Cups Veggie Broth
1 ½ Cups of Water
2 Tbsp of 21 Seasoning Blend
1 Tsp Organic Earth Balance Buttery Spread
2 Tbsp of Daiya Vegan Cheez Shreds
½ Tsp of Sea Salt or to Taste (Optional)
1 Tbsp Scallions, Diced
In a medium sauce pan bring veggie broth, water and 21 seasoning blend to a boil. Reduce heat and while stirring pour slowly pour in yellow corn grits (making sure not to create lumps). Continue to stir for 5 to 8 minutes or until desired thickness.
In a bowl add the Daiya Vegan Cheez Shreds. Pour grits over Cheez Shred. Add Earth Balance Buttery Spread,
Sea Salt and sprinkle with Cayenne Pepper and garnish with diced Scallions.
Stir from the bottom to combine all the ingredients together before eating.
Yields 6 Servings
Chef’s Tip: For thicker grits allow grits to cook longer. For a thinner more running consistency add more