Monday, May 17, 2010

Vegan Gumbo

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Made a big ol' pot of Vegan Gumbo for the Alive Expo this past weekend. Folks seemed to enjoy it, even though (or maybe because) we didn't use any okra! I still started with a quick roux and finished with file, so the heart of the gumbo was still beating even without it's namesake ingredient. The word gumbo is derived from an African term for okra. I certainly had a good time and I hope y'all did too!
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If you whip up a batch, let me know how it turns out!

Vegan Gumbo

1 large yellow onion, diced
2 carrots, diced
2 stalks of celery, leaves removed, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 bay leaves
2 Tbs flour
2 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
1 can of diced tomatoes
1 32-oz box of Pacific Natural Foods Organic French Onion Soup
1 Tbs cayenne pepper (or to taste)
1 pkg of chorizo or spicy style meatless sausages, cut into pieces
1 pkg of chicken or stir fry style seitan, broken into bite sized pieces
1 Tbs file (to taste)

In a large soup pot heat the olive oil and saute onion, carrots, celery and garlic until the onions are translucent. Add the flour and stir continuously until the flour has taken on a toasty aroma. Stir in the diced tomatoes and French Onion Soup scraping up the brown bits from the bottom of the pot to enhance the soup’s flavor. Add bay leaves, cayenne pepper, soy sausage and seitan. Simmer at least 20-30 minutes to allow flavors to meld. Just before serving, stir in a bit of file which will thicken the gumbo and add authentic flavor. Serve with rice.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Egg White Spinach Artichoke Mini Frittatas

image: Randy Mayor; Lydia DeGaris-Pursell from

Want to cut cholesterol? Need a quick "heat 'em and eat 'em" breakfast? Looking to "sneak" more dark leafy greens and vegetables into breakfast? Have I found a yummy solution for you... Using a large muffin pan you can whip up a batch of these, some for now some for later, and breakfast is "ret to go" as they say way out in the boondocks. You can even go McMuffin style by making a breakfast sandwich using a multigrain English muffin, low fat mozzerella cheese slice, and a slice lean turkey breast.

Egg White Mini Frittatas – makes 12

1 32 oz carton of egg whites
2 small jars of marinated artichoke hearts, drained and roughly chopped
1 10 oz bag of spinach
½ small onion, diced
Pinch freshly grated nutmeg
1 tsp Djon mustard
Pinch cayenne pepper
Salt (optional)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray a 12 cup muffin pan with baking spray and set aside.

Heat a skillet over medium high heat. Spray with baking spray or add 1 Tbsp of oil. Sautee the onion until tender, add the spinach and stir until wilted, about 5 minutes total. Remove from heat and set aside to cool slightly.

Combine all of the other ingredients in a large bowl and stir to combine. Stir in the slightly cooled spinach mixture. Using a ladle, fill each of the cups on the muffin pan.

Transfer pan to the oven and bake approximately 10 minutes or until the centers are set. Flip mini-frittatas out onto a rack to cool. Store in an air tight container and refrigerate up to 3-5 days. To eat, either reheat briefly or eat at room temperature.