Accidentally Vegan Gumbo Yaya


Okay. So a couple things first. One is that I am not a vegetarian or a vegan but eat as many if not more meatless meals as I do meals which contain meat.

Another is this. Right now out there in cyberspace there is more than one person with fingers poised at their keyboards and veins pulsing in their foreheads about to tell me that this is not gumbo because it does not contain meat, or seafood, or (fill in the blank).

My answer is twofold. Firstly, yes it is. And secondly, if you don't agree with this simply keep scrolling.

Lastly, this is super delicious, somewhat easy to prepare, and healthy. The rich and distinct flavors come from a dark brown Cajun roux. the spices, and of course all the other ingredient simmered in it. To me this is just as hearty and satisfying as a gumbo with meat. Try this, you'll be glad you did. Now if you'll excuse me I believe I'll go have a third bowl of the good stuff. Mhm, you heard me. 

 Accidentally Vegan Gumbo Yaya

Makes about 8 cups

6 tablespoons peanut oil, divided
1 (14 oz) package extra firm tofu, diced
½ pound vegetarian sausage, sliced
1 small onion, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
1 medium carrot, diced
1 small zucchini, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup fresh or frozen okra, sliced
2 tablespoons Cajun seasoning
4 cups vegetable broth
1 (14 oz) can diced tomatoes
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ cup Cajun roux
Steamed rice

Heat 4 tablespoons of the oil in a large cast iron or non-stick skillet then add the diced tofu and brown it on all sides. Remove the tofu, set aside, then add the sausage and brown that, then remove it and set aside.

In a heavy bottomed pot large enough to hold the recipe, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil over medium -high heat then add the onion, celery, bell pepper, carrot, and zucchini. Cook the vegetables for about 5 minutes while stirring until they are translucent but not browned. Add the garlic and okra and cook another few minutes.

Stir in the Cajun seasoning and cook for a couple minutes while stirring, then add the broth, diced tomatoes, and kosher salt. Bring to a simmer and stir in the Cajun roux using a wire whisk, ensuring there are no lumps.

Bring to a boil, then lower to a simmer. Cook the gumbo for 30 minutes or longer, stirring occasionally. Serve with steamed rice.

Cajun Seasoning

Makes about 1 cup

4 tablespoons smoked paprika
2 tablespoons granulated garlic
2 tablespoons granulated onion
2 tablespoons ground oregano
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon ground black pepper
2 teaspoons ground cayenne pepper

Mix the spices together and store in a dry airtight container.

Cajun Roux

Makes about 1 cup

(Be very careful when preparing this as it becomes very hot)

½ cup peanut oil
¾ cup all purpose flour

Heat the oil in a cast iron pan or skillet. Add the oil. Lower the heat to medium and stir constantly until dark brown. (Before and after pictures below)