Smoked tempeh holds its own in this rich, spicy New Orleans favourite, and nicely complements the milder red beans. Browned flour takes the place of the usual dark roux, lowering the fat content of the dish with little loss of flavour.

1/2 cup (125 mL) unbleached all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp (30 mL) dark sesame oil, divided
8 oz (230 g) fresh or frozen baby okra, ends trimmed and chopped into 1/2 in (1.25 cm) thick rounds
2 Tbsp (30 mL) extra-virgin olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 large garlic cloves, minced
2 stalks celery, sliced
1 large bell pepper (any colour), seeded and chopped
10 green onions, chopped
4 cups (1 L) cold low-sodium vegan “chicken-style” broth (see recipe here)
14 oz (420 mL) can low-sodium diced tomatoes and juice
8 oz (230 g) smoked tempeh, cut into 1/2 in (1.25 cm) cubes
2 cups (500 mL) cooked small red beans or kidney beans, or 1 - 19 oz (540 mL) can, drained and rinsed
1 large bay leaf
1 tsp (5 mL) dried thyme
1 tsp (5 mL) liquid smoke
1/4 tsp (1 mL) cayenne pepper
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

To make browned flour, heat dry cast iron skillet over medium heat. Add flour and stir constantly until it is as dark as coffee, being careful not to burn it. Don’t leave it alone for a minute! Take it off the heat as soon as it is the right colour and set aside.

Heat 1 Tbsp (15 ml) sesame oil in large heavy pot over medium heat and sauté okra for about 5 minutes. Remove okra and set aside.

In same pot add remaining sesame oil and olive oil in large heavy pot. Add onion, garlic, celery, bell pepper, and green onions. Sauté until onion softens. Stir in browned flour, then broth, tomatoes, okra, tempeh, red beans, bay leaf, thyme, liquid smoke, and cayenne pepper. Bring to a boil, then lower heat, cover, and simmer for 1 hour.

Taste gumbo for salt, and add pepper liberally. Spoon gumbo over rice, if desired.

Serves 8.

Each serving contains: 260 calories; 14 g protein; 11 g total fat (2 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 27 g carbohydrates; 8.5 g fibre; 135 mg sodium


Did you know?

Okra is a vegetable commonly used in southern US and Creole cooking and in African, Middle Eastern, Greek, Turkish, Indian, Caribbean, and South American cuisines. Okra, like eggplant, oatmeal, barley, and psyllium, contains viscous fibre, which traps dietary cholesterol and fat in the digestive tract and speeds their removal from the body.

source: "Tempeh for Dinner", alive #358, August 2012

About the Author

Bryanna Clark Grogan is the author of World Vegan Feast (Vegan Heritage Press, 2011) and eight more vegan cookbooks. veganfeastkitchen.blogspot.com