Vegan Gumbo Z’Herbes

Not sure if this happens to you but I woke up this morning thinking about this awesome recipe that I wanted to share.  Its more of a rainy day recipe so my thought was to wait until it rained again. After dozing off, I was awakened by the pitter patter of rain on my roof!

I jumped out of bed, ran to my patio door and was so delighted to see the rain. Now since it is raining in the Bay Area, though this is supposed to be my off day (off to the farmers market), today is actually a perfect day to share.  And after sharing, you will find me out somewhere playing in the rain.

This was my first vegan gumbo and it was love at first bite.  Have you tried gumbo z’herbes?  If not, I recommend that you grab a bunch of greens and start brewing.  Most recipes call for bunches and bunches of greens but the Spring Vegan household is small for now, therefore I scaled it down quite a bit.

The gumbo is loaded with greens (whichever you choose to add) which are chocked with vitamins and nutrients and also detoxifying and cleansing qualities.  I also used brown rice flour for the roux for a gluten free version.

The taste took me back to childhood memories of my grandmother making huge pots of gumbo.  If you’ve never seen a gumbo pot, think 36 qts or more (tamale pot on steroids).  The file powder is crucial in getting that back home flavor.  Some people add the file to the entire pot, but my family added it to their individual bowls.  Yumsters!

Gumbo Z’Herbes

1/2 lb greens, chopped (use any greens you like, I used watercress, beet greens, turnips, and arugula)
1-2 tablespoons kelp powder
4 cups water/broth
1/4 cup brown rice flour
1/2 onion, diced
2 celery stalks, diced
2-3 bay leaves
2 allspice berries
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
3 garlic cloves, minced (separate 1)
1 cup portobello mushroom, diced
1/4 teaspoon liquid smoke
file powder

Place the chopped greens and kelp powder in a pot with 4 cups of water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 5-10 minutes and then take off of the heat.

While the greens are simmering, heat a small cast iron skillet on medium and dry cook the flour, stirring and scraping the bottom of the skillet with a wood spatula until the flour is a light to medium brown (about 15 minutes). Set aside on a plate to cool.

In a medium soup pot heat oil on medium high and brown the mushrooms. Once the mushrooms are browned and carmelized, toss in the celery and onion (adding more oil if needed). Saute until the vegetables are browned and then add the dry seasonings. Continue to saute for 5 minutes and then add 2 cloves of minced garlic and lightly mix in. You do not want the garlic to brown. Add a little more oil if the mixture is dry and then stir in the roux.

Slowly wisk in some of the greens cooking water to the roux mixture. Continue to add and stir until well mixed and toss in the remainder of the greens and the remaining garlic clove. Turn down and simmer for 10-20 minutes.

Stir in the liquid smoke and then transfer about 1/3 to 1/2 of the greens and liquid to a blender and blend until slightly smooth and return to the soup pot.

Adjust seasoning and add salt and pepper to taste. Keep on low heat and let rest for 10 minutes.

Serve with rice and add file powder to individual bowls.

I hope you enjoy this as much as I did! Suffice it to say, this vegan gumbo tastes better with age and was awesome the next day.

We may not be chefs but our food is from our hearts --→ ♥
Becoming a healthy vegan was is still a challenge.
We hope the vegan recipes and info here helps you along your way.
Looking for more? Go to the Spring Vegan Recipes Section.

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