Okra, Zucchini and Chickpea Vegan Gumbo

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I had to eventually post some cajun-inspired recipes, so this vegan gumbo is the first. For the better part of my childhood, I actually lived in Louisiana and I ate a LOT of cajun food. Since going vegan I've avoided most dishes that are analogues of seafood based dishes because I didn't want to be disappointed.

Vegan food is delicious, but I was scared. I'll admit it! But it's been a bit over a year since I've been a vegan and I was craving gumbo something terrible. Thus this delicious vegan gumbo was born.

I'll be honest though, I'm not a huge fan of chickpeas.

I know. Gasp. I'm definitely in the minority. Don't get me wrong, chickpeas can do amazing things in veggie burgers and curries, and they are a nutritional POWERHOUSE full of protein and fiber. I just have other beans I like better.

If you similarly prefer other beans, you could throw which ever you like (or whichever you have in the pantry) and it will turn out just as good, I promise!

It also packs in bunches of other awesome veggies. Including Zucchini, Bell Pepper, and Okra just to name the major ones. Yay for plants! Though this is the mix of veggies I use, you could totally vary it up. What you can't change (if you wanted to stay kind of authentic, but anarchy is cool too) is the onion, celery, and bell pepper.

This is the holy trinity of cajun cooking.

And I would know. I took one New Orleans cooking class once in 2011, so I'm basically an expert. All jokes aside this recipe is super duper good. It's also pretty easy to make!

Let's break it down:

All you gotta do is sautéed the chopped veggies.

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Brown the flour.

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Mix the veggies and the flour with some spices.

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Throw in some veggie broth and some more veggies (woo exciting!!)...

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Simmer for 20 minutes and then BAM super delicious healthy comforting lunch and/or dinner which happens to pair well with my zucchini basil cornbread. Yes yes zucchini everywhere.

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Okra, Zucchini & Chickpea Vegan Gumbo

Prep time: 20 minutes     Cook time: 20 minutes     Total time: 40 minutes | Yield: 4 servings

Instructions

  1. Add celery, onion, bell pepper, and garlic to a medium-large skillet and water saute (or veggie broth) until onion is translucent, about 10 minutes. 
  2. Meanwhile, add flour into a stock pot and heat over medium-high heat. Stir constantly until flour is lightly browned. Do not leave unattended! the flour will burn quickly if not stirred consistently. 
  3. When flour is browned, add sautéed veggies, cayenne pepper, salt, and 1/4 cup veggie broth and stir until all combined. 
  4. Add remaining veggie broth in 1/2 cup increments to avoid lumps. Once all veggie broth is incorporated, add zucchini, okra, and chickpeas. 
  5. Bring mixture to a slow boil and simmer for 20 minutes.
  6. Garnish with gumbo file & green onion if desired. Serve with rice and enjoy! 

Ingredients 

  • 1/4 cup white whole wheat flour (or use GF flour if desired)
  • 3/4 cup thinly sliced celery (about 3 stalks)
  • 3/4 cup chopped yellow onion (about 1/2 of a medium onion)
  • 3/4 cup green bell pepper (about 1 small pepper)
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 cups low sodium veggie broth
  • 1 large Zucchini Squash, Cubed
  • 1 (14.5 oz) can chickpeas (drained, rinsed, and skins removed (optional))
  • 1 cup sliced okra (I used frozen, fresh should work too)
  • 1-2 tsp gumbo file (optional)
  • green onion (optional garnish)
  • cooked brown rice (serving suggestion)

Notes