Make it a Meatless Monday Mardi Gras Celebration with Green Gumbo - vegetarian recipes

Make it a Meatless Monday Mardi Gras Celebration with Green Gumbo

March 4 2019 Meatless Monday 

Make it a Meatless Monday Mardi Gras Celebration with Green Gumbo
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Every year, people around the world celebrate Mardi Gras and Carnival, a festival of parades, music and eating decadent foods leading up to Lent. Millions of people observe Lent by fasting or foregoing treats and meats for 40 days. Fun fact, the term carnival is from carnelevare, or to remove meat. So thats what were doing, removing the meat, but keeping the delicious flavor of the popular Mardi Gras dish gumbo. This Creole stew from Southern Louisiana usually features strong-flavored stock, meat, or shellfish, but, with a few simple swaps, it’s a perfect vegetarian dish. Green Gumbo is a popular plant-based version that includes a variety of greens and herbs that give it an amazing color and rich flavors. Richard McCarthy, Member of the Executive Committee for Slow Food International and a Meatless Monday ambassador , shares his green gumbo recipe and great tips for making this plant-based dish taste authentic. Richards essentials for cooking green gumbo: Cook with what you have. Use collard greens, kale, mustard greens, turnip greens, spinach, and herbs like parsley, dill, etc. Green gumbo appears throughout the Lenten culinary calendar as meatless and on Holy Thursday in famous restaurants (like Dooky Chase) with meat stock. Begin by making a roux. Heat the pan with vegetable or olive oil, add flour, and mix with a wooden spoon until dark brown. The color of the gumbo will be determined by how dark you make the roux. The roux gives butter beans and lima beans a great base of flavor. Or, consider any medley of vegetables. Add Shiitake Bacon to get the traditional umami flavor. Umami is the savory flavor that many eaters say is missing in vegetarian recipes. One way to add umami to green gumbo is to make shiitake bacon, which provides the missing depth of flavor. Dont forget the rice. Rice is a traditional accompaniment to gumbo. While a saucepan is perfectly good for preparing rice, rice cookers are also an easy way to prepare perfect rice every time. Any grain or variety of rice can work, but long-grain rice is best since it provides the gumbo with more surface areas to cover with flavor.  McCarthy recommends a simplified version of the recipe crafted by Richard Stewart, the former chef of Gumbo Shop. Green Gumbo Serves 4 Ingredients: Gumbo: 1/­­4 cup of vegetable or olive oil 1/­­4 cup of flour 1 large onion, minced 4 stalks of celery, minced 1 bell pepper, minced 2 bunches of available greens (collard, mustard, kale, turnip, and/­­or spinach), chopped 1/­­4 cup of chopped parsley 2-4 cups of water (or enough to make a soup) 2 bay leaves Salt and pepper, to taste Cayenne pepper or hot sauce, to taste 1 cup of dried field peas (or Sea Island red peas, on the Slow Food Ark of Taste ) Vegetable stock, to taste (optional) Mushroom Bacon: 1 dozen fresh shiitake or button mushrooms 1 TBS of liquid smoke, smoked salt and/­­or smoked paprika 1/­­4 cup of vegetable or olive oil 1 TBS of salt or soy sauce (to taste) Rice: 1 cup of long-grained rice 2 cups of water Preparation: Field peas: Rinse, then boil field peas in salt water until soft. Drain peas of excess water and either store or immerse immediately into the gumbo. This step can be done in advance in order to cut down on preparation time on the day of serving. You can even prepare and freeze the peas days before, drop them into the hot soupy pot mid-way through the process. Make the gumbo: Heat a soup pot at a medium setting and make a roux (the soup base). Roux: add oil to the pot, once sizzling, add flour and mix with a wooden spoon. When the flour starts to smell delicious, it will then begin to turn a brownish color. Stir fairly vigorously to avoid burning. Once its a dark brown (5-10 minutes), add minced onions, celery and bell pepper. Stir the ingredients well to blend the flavors. Add salt, pepper, and more oil and/­­or water (or wine) to deglaze the pan. The roux will become bubbly and smell almost sweet. At this point, start adding water and turn down the heat a little. Add bay leaves, other seasonings, and the chopped greens and herbs. They will soon turn from bright green to dark green. Add field peas and any additional vegetables, like chopped carrots or turnips, whatever you have in the kitchen. Let simmer for at least 60 minutes. Once the gumbo is hot, tasty and ingredients cooked down into dark greens, and soft field peas, it is ready to serve. Tasting it at the end is important: Is it salty or spicy enough? If not, add more cayenne or hot sauce, black pepper, salt, etc. Mushroom bacon: Slice fresh mushrooms vertically in thirds, depending upon the size of the mushrooms. (Button mushrooms are fine and usually easily available, feel free to select shiitake or other exceptionally tasty varieties.) In a mixing bowl, add 1/­­4 cup of oil, 1 TBS of liquid smoke, salt or soy sauce. Mix the ingredients, and then add the fresh mushrooms and mix until they are coated. Spread sliced mushrooms across a baking sheet and bake for 20-30 minutes at 375 degrees F. Check after 15 minutes and turn over ones that are browned and crisp. Once crispy, turn off the oven and let cool slowly in oven. Rice: If you have a rice cooker, prepare as usual. If not, wash 1 cup of rice under running cold water to remove any excess dust, etc. Boil in 2 cups of water until soft (usually 25-30 min). Final Preparations: Place 1/­­4 cup of rice in the middle of a shallow soup bowl. Pour gumbo around the rice, making sure that there are equal amounts of greens and liquid. Take the dried, crispy mushroom bacon from the cooled oven and add a handful on top of the rice, and serve. Invite your friends and family to celebrate a plant-based Mardi Gras with this Green Gumbo recipe. If youre looking for other meatless recipe inspiration throughout the Lenten season, check out our recipe gallery . Happy Mardi Gras! Meatless Monday is a global movement, followed by millions, with a simple message: one day a week, cut out meat for personal health and the health of the planet. To find out more, follow us on Facebook , Twitter , Pinterest , or Instagram ! The post Make it a Meatless Monday Mardi Gras Celebration with Green Gumbo appeared first on Meatless Monday.

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