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
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.