I heard a song the other day called, Loser's Gumbo. A twisted little tune about cock fighting, and how the loser always goes into the gumbo at the establishment in the song. Yeah, kind of icky. But it gave me the name for my own version of the terrific veggie gumbo I had at Disneyland after finishing my first half marathon last month. I felt like a winner for sure, and this was the perfect celebration meal.
I've emailed the nice folks at Disney to see if I could get the official recipe for their gumbo, and sure enough, they've promised to send it to me. I'll share it when I get it, but for now, here's what I came up with last week, when Rick requested gumbo for his birthday celebration. I made a huge pot full, and we had a bunch of friends over. Usually our friends are sort of suspicious of my food, and I suspect some of them eat dinner before coming to our house for dinner. But the gumbo was a different deal. They came back for seconds and thirds, and there was barely enough left for Rick to have for lunch the next day. So I made more. And now you can make it too.
This makes enough for about 12 people. It's best cooked over a couple of hours at least, but you can rush it if you're short on time.
1/4 cup olive oil (optional)
1 stick (1/4 cup) Earth Balance "butter" (optional)
1 onion, chopped
5 stalks celery, chopped
4-6 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 cup brown rice flour (or any other flour)
2 - 32 ounce cartons vegetable broth
2 - 14.5 ounce cans diced tomatoes
1/4 tsp pepper
1 tsp powdered thyme
1 tsp paprika
4 tsp cajun seasoning
4 tsp Old Bay seasoning
1 tsp red pepper flakes
3 T tamari
3 carrots, chopped
1 green bell pepper
1 - 12 ounce bag frozen okra (or fresh), sliced
2 - 15 ounce cans kidney beans
5-6 cups cooked brown rice
Cook your rice first, even the day before if you want to. I like organic brown basmati rice, and cook 2 cups dry for this recipe.
Saute the onion, celery, and garlic in the olive oil and "butter" for an extra special party dish, or steam-fry by covering the bottom of the pot with water, bringing it to a boil, and then adding the vegetables. Cook until the onions and celery start to soften.
Add the flour and stir in well, cooking and stirring for about 5 minutes if using the oil and butter, or a little less if using water.
Gradually add the vegetable broth, stirring or whisking as you go to smooth out any flour lumps. Add the canned tomatoes and all the spices. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for about 30 minutes if you have time.
Add the carrots, bell pepper, and okra, and cook until the carrots are tender-crunchy.
Add the kidney beans and cooked rice. When everything is hot, adjust the seasonings and serve with salad and Millet Cornbread, or a good sourdough.