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Hi there!

I’m Adi - an accidental yogi, trail runner, and lover of words. And I LOVE to make delicious messes in my kitchen. Thanks for stopping by!

vegan gumbo + a childhood nickname revealed

vegan gumbo + a childhood nickname revealed

I have this uncle who is known for three things: giving people funny nicknames (I still look up on the rare occasion I hear the word “Smurf”), peanut butter fudge, and gumbo. I spent a lot of my teenage years enjoying all of these things, although my favorite - despite the fact that I picked out the meat - was the gumbo. The man has Cajun-French roots that he has refined for decades, and he knows what the hell he’s doing in a kitchen. Seriously.

I bet I haven’t had gumbo in two decades - certainly since I learned what being a vegetarian (turned vegan) actually meant - and honestly, I’d forgotten about it until a few weeks ago, when I was anticipating a trip to Texas to see family. As one does when she hasn’t been “home” in a number of years, I began to dig through my dusty childhood memories of a time when things were simpler - we got as dirty as possible running around outside until we were too hungry to stand it anymore, so we’d eat something quickly, rinse, and repeat. The best days were gumbo days, and I don’t think anyone would’ve disagreed. So, I suppose it’s youthful nostalgia and a reunion two decades in the making that has led me to revisit gumbo. This time, however, I won’t be required to pick around the meat. I’ve still not outgrown my predilection for running through the woods, getting as dirty as possible, though.

Of course, this is a vegan version of the cajun classic, so I used Miyokos Butter for the roux. That said, you could just as easily use refined coconut oil or vegetable oil. I’ve tried it both with unbleached white flour and a gluten-free flour blend with great results. I haven’t tried whole wheat flour, though, so please chime in if you have. Also, rather than using faux sausage, I opted for dark red kidney beans to add some substances, but if you’re feeling sassy, I think that Tofurkey makes a pretty decent vegan andouille sausage. Or, if you’re feeling super sassy, you might try making your own. I didn’t have creole seasoning on hand, so I used this version from Emerile, which was great because there was plenty leftover to make more yummy vegan gumbo! This is another one of those recipes that looks intimidating, but a lot of it is just spices. The roux does require maintenance, but it comes together in a few minutes, and everything beyond that is pretty forgiving. In any case, if you try it, we’d love to hear your experiences. And if you have a favorite family member food memory, share that, too!

simple vegan gumbo
serves 6-8

1/4 cup vegan butter (or sub refined coconut oil or vegetable oil)
1/4 cup flour (unbleached white flour or gluten-free flour blend)
1 medium sweet yellow onion, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
2 bay leaves
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 Tbs dried thyme
1 1/2 Tbs creole seasoning (I used Emerile’s recipe - see below)
2 cups sliced okra, frozen or fresh
6 oz cremini mushrooms, sliced
1 1/2 Tbs vegan worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp liquid smoke
1 28 oz can fire roasted diced tomatoes, undrained
1 1/2 cups cooked or 1 can dark red kidney beans, drained
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp fresh black pepper

for serving
cooked white or brown rice
sliced green onion
tobasco

Emerile’s Creole Seasoning
2 1/2 Tbs paprika
2 Tbs sea salt
2 Tbs garlic powder
1 Tbs black pepper
1 Tbs onion powder
1 Tbs cayenne pepper
1 Tbs dried oregano
1 Tbs dried thyme


1) Heat a large dutch oven or soup pot over medium heat. Add the vegan butter. Once it’s melted, sprinkle the flour over the melted butter and whisk continually until the roux reaches a color that is slightly darker than peanut butter (between 8 and 15 minutes). It’s important to stir constantly to keep it from burning, or you’ll have to start over.

vegan gumbo roux raw

the roux

in its raw moments

vegan roux cooked

the roux

cooked & lookin’ all peanutbuttery

2) Add the onions, celery, garlic, and bay leaves, and sauté for 3 to 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Stir in the red and green bell peppers, and sauté another 2 to 3 minutes.
3) Add in the crushed red pepper, smoked paprika, thyme, and creole seasoning, and cook one more minute.
4) Stir in the okra and mushrooms, and sauté another 3 to 4 minutes, or until the mushrooms begin to soften.
5) Add the vegan worcestershire sauce, liquid smoke, diced tomatoes, and kidney beans. Reduce heat to low and simmer gently for 30 minutes. If the gumbo begins to thicken too much, add vegetable broth in 1/4 cup increments until it’s the consistency you prefer.
6) Add the sea salt and black pepper, taste, and adjust for seasoning. Enjoy!

vegan gumbo

vegan gumbo

the best way to refuel after spending a day in the woods getting dirty


simple vegan gumbo
serves 6-8

1/4 cup vegan butter (or sub refined coconut oil or vegetable oil)
1/4 cup flour (unbleached white flour or gluten-free flour blend)
1 medium sweet yellow onion, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
2 bay leaves
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 Tbs dried thyme
1 1/2 Tbs creole seasoning (I used Emerile’s recipe - see below)
2 cups sliced okra, frozen or fresh
6 oz cremini mushrooms, sliced
1 1/2 Tbs vegan worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp liquid smoke
1 28 oz can fire roasted diced tomatoes, undrained
1 1/2 cups cooked or 1 can dark red kidney beans, drained
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp fresh black pepper

for serving

cooked white or brown rice
sliced green onion
tobasco

Emerile’s Creole Seasoning
2 1/2 Tbs paprika
2 Tbs sea salt
2 Tbs garlic powder
1 Tbs black pepper
1 Tbs onion powder
1 Tbs cayenne pepper
1 Tbs dried oregano
1 Tbs dried thyme


1) Heat a large dutch oven or soup pot over medium heat. Add the vegan butter. Once it’s melted, sprinkle the flour over the melted butter and whisk continually until the roux reaches a color that is slightly darker than peanut butter (between 8 and 15 minutes). It’s important to stir constantly to keep it from burning, or you’ll have to start over.
2) Add the onions, celery, garlic, and bay leaves, and sauté for 3 to 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Stir in the red and green bell peppers, and sauté another 2 to 3 minutes.
3) Add in the crushed red pepper, smoked paprika, thyme, and creole seasoning, and cook one more minute.
4) Stir in the okra and mushrooms, and sauté another 3 to 4 minutes, or until the mushrooms begin to soften.
5) Add the vegan worcestershire sauce, liquid smoke, diced tomatoes, and kidney beans. Reduce heat to low and simmer gently for 30 minutes. If the gumbo begins to thicken too much, add vegetable broth in 1/4 cup increments until it’s the consistency you prefer.
6) Add the sea salt and black pepper, taste, and adjust for seasoning. Enjoy!


vegan sesame soba noodle bowl

vegan sesame soba noodle bowl