Yes, I know, this gumbo is inauthentic. There’s no seafood, there’s no sausage, and there’s not even any chicken. But that’s the point of these Make It Meatless posts! How do you take something made with meat and make it vegetarian? Well, here’s one lesson I’ve learned over the years: Don’t be afraid to be a little inauthentic. I mean, it’s just food. If your vegetarian gumbo tastes good, does it really have to be a perfect replication of the original? No! And when you get too tied up in trying to duplicate the flavors of the original recipe, I think it makes you enjoy cooking and eating a lot less. Enjoy your food for what it is!
Traditionally, gumbo is made with one of three ingredients: filé powder, okra, or roux. Since filé powder isn’t something most people keep on hand, I decided to go with a roux, but I also added okra too because both were used in the recipe I adapted this from. However! I have tested this recipe without okra too, and it still works so if you’re not big on okra, feel free to leave it out. Rather than sausage and chicken or faux sausage and chicken, I added kidney beans, zucchini, and mushrooms, so this stew is packed with veggie goodness.
A lot of the heat in gumbo comes from the andouille sausage; I used Cajun seasoning instead, which you can find at most grocery stores, and then we added hot sauce to each of our individual servings to our own liking. Cackalacky hot sauce, to be exact, which is a hot sauce from North Carolina made with sweet potatoes. You know, just to make things even more inauthentic. If you’re not opposed to meatless sausage, Field Roast’s Mexican Chipotle Sausage would be a great way to add some heat too—I’d slice it up and add it when the gumbo has finished cooking.Print
A veggie-packed meatless gumbo recipe, adapted from Williams-Sonoma’s Chicken and Sausage Gumbo.
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