With tomorrow being Fat Tuesday, the calendar is telling me that it's Mardi Gras! I cannot believe that we are already approaching Lent. Where has the year gone? I have been to New Orleans a couple times - one while in high school and then again this past December for a pharmacy conference. It's quite the city, and for me at least, I think visiting during Mardi Gras is definitely on my Bucket List.
My trouble with much of the Cajun food is that I don't do seafood. It is just not my cup of tea. I can do spice, so I've always thought it was unfortunate that they couldn't just leave the shrimp, catfish, etc. out! Several weeks ago, one of my co-resdients ran across this recipe from the Food Network and brought it in for me. As a vegetarian gumbo mixed with greens and black-eyed peas, it certainly fits the bill of being seafood-free.
After reading the reviews, I subbed a can of black-eyed peas for the frozen peas as many indicated that it took too long for the frozen peas to cook through. I also added a bit of a Cajun seasoning mix to kick up the spice factor. Our verdict - my husband beat me out in taking the leftovers for lunch. Guess it was a hit?!? Enjoy and Happy Mardi Gras!
Adapted from The Food Network Magazine
3 Tbsp. canola oil
3 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
1 small onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp. smoked paprika (preferably hot)
Cajun seasoning, to taste
2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
1 lb. kale (or Swiss chard), stemmed and chopped
1 (14oz) can black-eyed peas
prepared brown rice for serving
Prepare rice according to package directions. Set aside.
Heat the oil in a large skillet or stockpot over medium-high heat. Add the flour and cook, stirring until golden, about 3 minutes. Add the onion, bell pepper, celery, garlic, 3 tablespoons water, and 1/4 teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Reduce the heat to medium, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables soften, about 8 minutes.
Add the Worcestershire sauce and paprika and cook, stirring, 30 seconds. Stir in the vegetable broth, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pot, then cover and bring to a boil. Add the greens and black-eyed peas to the pot. Add Cajun seasoning to taste. Reduce heat, cover and simmer, stirring occasionally until tender, about 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Serve with the rice.