laissez les bon temps rouler
“Let the good times roll,” as they say in Louisiana!
My husband and his family are New Orleans born and bred! They don’t call my husband “The Cajun” for nothing! If you spend any time at our house, you are sure to enjoy some Camellia red beans and rice, Mardi Gras King cake’s, Crystal’s hot sauce, spicy crawfish, and gumbo!
With Mardi Gras just around the corner, I wrestled a gator to bring you this yummy and really healthy Louisianna-style version of vegetarian gumbo! It’s antioxidant-rich with spices like oregano (truly a super-spice with anti-microbial properties, one teaspoon has the amount of antioxidants as a whole apple!), cinnamon (high in fiber, calcium, manganese…just smelling cinnamon boosts brain activity), and turmeric (this is the golden spice, amazing anti-inflamatory).
Most gumbos start with a traditional roux of oil and flour. It’s what gives the base a caramel color. You can easily leave off the flour so the recipe is gluten free. I prepare the gumbo in my Le Creuset dutch oven.
1/2 cup of olive oil
1 diced onion
1 diced green pepper
1 diced yellow pepper
1 cup diced celery
1 cup diced carrots
2 cups of French green beans (the skinny ones!)
1 bag of frozen okra
2 cups of frozen edamame
2 cans of San Marzano whole tomatoes and juice
2 cans of liquid (water, chicken, or vegetable stock)
2 Tbs. dried oregano
3 sprigs fresh tyme
1 1/2 Tbs. cumin
1 1/2 Tbs. Spanish paprika
1 1/2 Tbs. Herbes de Provence
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 rind off of block of Parmesan cheese
Stir olive oil, carrots, onions, celery, peppers, and all spices on high heat until the vegetables are soft and you have a nice, oily roux. Next, pour in your 2 cans of tomatoes, and two more cans of water or chicken stock and allow to cook for 20 minutes. I usually cut up the tomatoes while they are cooking. Next, add the frozen okra, green beans, and edamame and allow to cook for another 20 minutes, tasting all along the way. You may want to add more spices and a little brown sugar to even out the acidity.
I usually serve the gumbo over my favorite brown Jasmine rice. Worth noting, I recently came upon a new brown rice called Brown Gaba rice. It’s a naturally sprouted rice that produces higher amounts of Gaba, an essential amino acid known to relieve stress, relax muscles, and create an overall calming effect. My secret for a creamier brown rice that my kids will eat is to use more water than the instructions call for. For example, I usually do 2 1/2-3 cups of water per cup of brown rice. Once the rice has soaked up most of the water, I turn off the heat and let it cook a little longer in the pot. I add a cup of shavings off the block of Parmesan cheese, butter, and salt. I promise it’s yummy!