We had a serious crop of okra this year, then had a serious bumper crop as well. My husband requested I come up with a recipe for vegetarian gumbo. Here it is.
2 stalks celery1 cup yellow or white onion4 garlic cloves2 cans petite diced tomatoes½ cup diced green bell pepper2 cups fresh green beans2 cups purple hull, black-eyed or cream peas2 cups fresh okra1 8-oz package seitan¼ cup unbleached white flour¼ cup vegetable, canola or peanut oil1 Tbsp creole seasoning1 to 3 cups water
To Make It:
Prepare ingredients and set aside:• Wash and slice celery into thin sections.• Coarsely chop the onion.• Mince the garlic.• Wash and dice the bell pepper.• Wash and cut the green beans into 1-inch to 1-½-inch sections.• Wash the peas (if fresh) or measure out if frozen.• Wash and cut the okra into ½-inch to ¾-inch sections.• Rinse seitan and cut it into small pieces.
Put a heavy Dutch Oven or Chef’s pan on the stove over medium-high heat. Add the oil to the pan and heat for about a minute. Add the flour and cook, stirring constantly, until the oil/flour mixture is light brown. Add the onion and celery to the pan and cook 4 minutes. Add the garlic and creole seasoning and cook one minute more. Add the tomatoes, bell pepper, green beans, peas, and 1 cup water. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Meanwhile, mist a separate skillet with oil and put it on the stove over medium heat. Add the seitan and cook about 5 minutes until lightly browned, stirring frequently.
Add the seitan and okra to the Dutch Oven. Add more water, if desired, until the gumbo is the thickness you like. Cook for 20 minutes.
Serve over warm rice.
My mother made seriously good chicken and doughy, stick-to-your-ribs dumplings. Once I discovered seitan, I came up with my own vegan recipe for this comfort food. I hope you like it.
1 Tbsp extra light olive oil or canola oil2 8-oz packages seitan1 medium yellow or white onion
6 cups water1 vegan vegetable or mock chicken (e.g. Not-Chick’n) bouillon cube
2 cups unbleached white all-purpose flour1 tsp baking powder¼ tsp ground thyme¼ cup ice water
Cut the seitan into bite-size pieces if necessary. Dice the onion. Set aside.
Put a Dutch Oven on the stove top over medium heat. Mist with extra light olive oil or canola oil. Add the seitan. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes until lightly browned in spots. Remove from the pan. Add about 1 Tbsp oil to the pan. Add the onion and sauté for about 5 minutes until slightly translucent. Add 6 cups water and the bouillon cube.
Meanwhile, to make the dumplings, put the flour, baking powder and thyme into a medium mixing bowl. Stir to mix. Add ¼ cup ice water. Stir to mix thoroughly. The dough should be easy to work with—not sticky and not too dry. Add either a little water or a little flour if necessary.
Roll out the dough until it is about 1/8 inch thick. Cut it into long strips, then cut each strip into 4” sections. Drop strips into the broth. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer for about 20 minutes. Put the seitan back in the pan, cover and simmer for 10 to 20 more minutes, until heated through.
I wanted to come up with an eggless quiche and decided on broccoli and cauliflower since there are a lot of eggless spinach quiche recipes out there. This is what I came up with.
This stir fry uses many of the things we have in our garden—kale, potatoes, onion and tomatoes—in a quick, tasty way. Note that this cooks just long enough to bring out the robust flavor of the kale. Substitute spinach for a milder flavor.
I love Mexican (really Tex Mex) food, but when I went vegetarian I thought I was going to have to give it up, as much of it is made with lard. Not to be deterred, I made up my own recipes. Here is my version of Tex Mex Spinach Enchiladas. This makes 8 enchiladas, but the recipe is very easy to double for a larger group. Or just make an extra pan. They freeze and reheat very well.
“Ragout” refers to a main dish stew. For this recipe, use at least three different types of mushrooms if your store has them available. If not, then any type will do the trick. I listed the ones here that my store had available on the day I made this.
The only food I have missed since going vegetarian is deviled eggs. I discovered that what I really miss is the yellow yolk mixture the eggs are stuffed with. I developed this recipe for Eggless Egg Salad that I think comes very close to the real thing. I hope you will like it.
This is one of my favorite dishes. Traditional Spanakopita uses feta cheese. Unfortunately, rennetless feta is very hard to find where I live. I use a mixture of Alouette crumbled goat cheese and ricotta here. I also use flour to thicken the filling since I don’t use eggs. I hope you like it.
Sausage Cheese Biscuits are easy to make—they essentially have sausage, cheese, biscuit mix and either water or milk. The version below is what works for me using vegetarian “sausage.” They are great for breakfast. They also make super finger food to serve at parties.
Baked potatoes can be as simple or complicated as you like. This baking technique is one I learned from a server in a restaurant many years ago. Now it is all over the internet. It makes wonderful baked potatoes, with a crispy skin and tender flesh. WARNING! You need to serve these immediately! If they get cool, then the skin gets rubbery.
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Each month we will bring you breakfast, dinner and special occasion menus starring the foods you are already cooking, and featuring tantalizing new vegetarian dishes to appeal to everyone.