What's on today's menu? I'm spicing it up with some vegan gumbo. By now, you know I love comfort food made from fresh produce and the healthiest ingredients. However, gumbo is a soup famous in the U.S. state of Louisiana and is the official state cuisine. My vegan gumbo consists of thick, strong-flavored broth and the Cajun/Creole "holy trinity" ― celery, bell peppers, and onions. But of course, I added many other veggies, including fresh okra, a gumbo staple, because it's vegan.
If, however, you can't find fresh okra, frozen okra works well. Or, skipping okra is another option.
Vegan gumbo, a comforting stew, rather than a soup, is centered around a roux. Although most roux is made with butter or oil, making an oil-free roux is easy.
Usually, roux, an equal combination of fat and flour, become a thickening agent in the gumbo, making the broth thick. Instead, the oil-free roux browns with the sautéed vegetables, requiring only the moisture from the vegetables as they cook.
As a result, the vegan gumbo thickens without needing to add any fat or oil.
What is the difference between vegan gumbo and jambalaya?
Even though I love my Vegan Jambalaya Recipe, jambalaya is primarily a rice dish. Both dishes boast multicultural Creole and Cajun roots, so they are similar all the way.
The main difference, however, is the role of the rice, which is integral to both. Gumbo is served with rice that is cooked separately, but rice goes directly into the jambalaya pot.
One of the nice things about gumbo is you can eat it with or without the rice. In fact, I sometimes enjoy gumbo without any rice and eat it like a soup from a bowl and skip the rice altogether.
What does gumbo taste like?
Vegan gumbo is rich and earthy and has a fairly spicy flavor, but not burn your mouth spicy. Compared to Thai or Indian food, it is mild in spice.
But remember, cajun seasoning can always be added to food, but it can't be removed once added, so add a small amount at a time based on the directions to get the flavor you want.
Since everyone's taste is different, seasoning can always be adjusted later for individual preference.
What ingredients are in vegan gumbo?
- Green Pepper
- Flour (gluten-free may be substituted)
- Dark Kidney Beans
- Diced Tomatoes
- Tomato Sauce
- Vegetable Broth
- Vegan Worcestershire Sauce
- Bay Leaf
- Cajun Seasoning (I like Slap Ya Mama Cajun Seasoning)
- Brown rice, or rice of choice (optional)
- Parsley garnish (optional)
Obviously, cauliflower is not a typical gumbo ingredient, but it's vegan gumbo, my "meat" substitute.
Because my family likes their gumbo on the spicy side, I use 1 Tablespoon cajun seasoning. Again, I suggest beginning with a teaspoon and slowly elevating the spicy to meet your spicy comfort level.
What is okra, and what does it taste like?
Okra has a sweet, grassy flavor that takes on more depth with longer cooking and a texture that can be crisp and juicy or dense and creamy.
Even though vegan gumbo contains a roux, okra helps thicken the sauce even more. To cut the okra, cut off both ends and then cut into slices.
Once cut, the okra releases a slimy fluid, which is normal. The sliminess, however, is what helps the sauce thicken even further.
- Calories: 33
- Carbs: 7 grams
- Protein: 2 grams
- Fat: 0 grams
- Fiber: 3 grams
- Magnesium: 14% of the Daily Value (DV)
- Folate: 15% of the DV
- Vitamin A: 14% of the DV
- Vitamin C: 26% of the DV
- Vitamin K: 26% of the DV
- Vitamin B6: 14% of the DV
Okra is an excellent source of vitamins C and K1. Vitamin C is a water-soluble nutrient that contributes to your overall immune function, while vitamin K1 is a fat-soluble vitamin that’s known for its role in blood clotting (2Trusted Source, 3Trusted Source).
How to make vegan gumbo
Another wonderful part of making vegan gumbo is it all happens in one pan, except for the rice, of course.
Generally, I make rice in my rice cooker on a Sunday, and we use it for a variety of recipes during the week. I'm all about food prep and making life easier.
So, the brown rice for this vegan gumbo recipe is no exception.
Begin sauteing the garlic, onions, and celery until the onions are translucent. Then, add one tablespoon of flour at a time, stirring into the sweating vegetables until the vegetables are coated with flour.
Next, add all the remaining ingredients, and bring the mixture to a boil. Then, turn down the heat to medium-low and allow to cook uncovered for 30 minutes.
When the vegan gumbo is cooking and thickening, make the brown rice if you haven't already.
To serve the gumbo, place rice serving on one side of the bowl and pour the gumbo on the other side. The gumbo sauce then seeps into the brown rice. As I said before, I love gumbo in a bowl, even without rice.
Great side dishes for Gumbo
And, don't forget the Vegan Oil-Free Cornbread; it goes perfectly with vegan gumbo. Or, choose these great side dishes instead.
- Vegan Potato Salad
- Corn on the cob
- Fresh salad
Add a little spice to your life with these yummy recipes.
- Vegan Jambalaya Recipe - Quick, Easy, and Spicy
- Thai Yellow Curry Recipe
- Spicy Coleslaw
- Massaman Curry
- Red Lentil Curry Wrap
- Vegan Tortilla Soup
- Red Coconut Curry Stir Fry
Hi! My name is Kathy, I am a retired high school English teacher & vegan enthusiast and blogger. My entire blog is fully plant-based vegan. I truly believe what we eat & how we live determines our health & the preservation of our planet! 🙂