Recipe: Gumbo for Vegans

Tomorrow, my dear friends, is Fat Tuesday.

It’s that time of year when everyone is getting into the Mardi Gras spirit.  King Cakes are being baked, brought into office/home, and consumed.  Cajun food is a big, big thing.  And it lasts…all the way through Mardi Gras.

But most Cajun food is very sausage and seafood heavy.  And for someone like me…a gluten-free vegetarian, that’s not a good thing.  Especially since…I love Cajun food.  Red beans and rice…heck yeah!  Gumbo…bring it!  Jambalaya…oh yeah.  Loved it all.  And ate plenty of it prior to becoming a vegetarian.

Some Cajun food does happen to be vegetarian friendly.  Some is even gluten-free friendly.  But finding a combination of the two isn’t easy.  Especially out in the wild.

So, with the upcoming Fat Tuesday falling tomorrow, I took a recipe from Top Chef alumni (and fan favorite) Fabio Viviani and made a few changes to it in order to truly make it gluten-free and vegan.  And I cooked this all up on Sunday night for dinner…and it made enough for my roommate and I to dine on it all the way through Fat Tuesday.  Gotta love that.

Below is the recipe with my modifications.  What emerges is a delicious dish and meal that will satisfy even the most savvy Cajun carnivore.  I hope to make it again sometime soon.

Recipe: Gumbo for Vegans

Gumbo for Vegans

Gumbo for Vegans

Servings: 6
Time: Prep 20 minutes; Cook 30 minutes


  • 2 tbsp flour (I used Hodgson Mill Gluten-Free Multi-Purpose Flour)
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 1 chopped green bell pepper (I used a red pepper because they just looked better at the grocery store)
  • 2 chopped celery stalks
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire Sauce (I  used Colgin Liquid Smoke)
  • 1 tbsp file powder (I used cornstarch)
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 2 cups vegetable broth (I used Pacific Natural Foods low sodium)
  • 1 lb chopped baby collard greens (I used rainbow chard)
  • 10 oz frozen black-eyed peas (I couldn’t find frozen, so I used one can of organic black-eyed peas)
  • 1 cup dried jasmine rice


In a saucepan, bring 1 cup of dried jasmine rice and 2 cups of water to a boil.  Cover and allow to simmer for about 20 minutes.

While the rice cooks, in a large saucepan, cook 2 tablespoons of flour in 3 tablespoons olive oil until golden, about 3 minutes.

Add the chopped onion, pepper, celery stalks, salt and pepper.  Cook the vegetables until soft, about 8 minutes.

Stir in 1 tablespoon of Liquid Smoke, cornstarch, and 1 teaspoon smoked paprika.

Add 2 cups vegetable broth.

Bring all the ingredients up to a boil and add in the chopped baby collard greens and the black eyed peas.  Simmer until tender, about 15 minutes.

Serve over white rice.

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