Friday, August 13, 2010

Gumbo with Wild Rice, Baked BBQ Black Eyed Peas and Jalapeño Onion Cornbread

I've been craving soul food lately and there's really only one place that I know of that serves vegan soul food called Stuff I Eat. The only problem is their food runs at about $18 a person. It comes with a little more than I made but still, I am not about to drop that much on food when I can just make it myself. I chose Gumbo because I have never ate it before and was curious about how it tasted. I know there's no seafood, so it probably doesn't taste exactly like the traditional version but in my opinion, the vegan version I made was just as good. I love soups where I can add many different types of greens (especially cabbage mmm).

The baked beans were also really good, with a hint of spiciness, thanks to the cayenne. Molasses can be substituted for the agave nectar and would add a little more flavor. The cornbread was exactly what I made two days ago but this time I took the advice of what most of you said and added jalapeños. It does give it a little extra something...making it look so much nicer and adding another flavor than just corn. Thank everyone for the suggestion! : ]

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Gumbo With Wild Rice
Serves 6 to 8

* 3 Tb olive oil or vegetable oil
* 3 Tb flour
* 1 small onion, chopped
* 3 Tb chopped green onions
* 1/2 Tb chopped garlic
* 2 to 3 small bay leaves
* 3 quarts vegetable stock
* 1 cup wild rice
* Salt
* Cayenne, to taste
* Pinch ground thyme
* 2 pounds mixed greens (1/2 pound each spinach, collard greens, turnip
greens and cabbage leaves), tough stems removed and coarsely chopped
* Up to 2 Tb all-purpose flour, as a thickening agent, optional

1. Heat oil in a large soup pot. Add the flour, stirring until toasted and peanut butter colored, about 3 to 5 minutes.

2. Add the onion, green onion, and garlic, cooking until tender, about 3 minutes. Add the bay leaves, stock, wild rice, 1 teaspoon salt, cayenne to taste, and thyme.

3. Bring to a boil, add greens, a handful at a time, stirring until wilted before adding next bunch. Reduce the heat and simmer for 1 hour. Taste and adjust seasoning—greens should be tender and slightly spicy; add enough salt to enhance flavors. Wild rice should be tender and puffed.

4. To thicken, have gumbo bubbling gently and stir in 1 tablespoon flour, that is mixed a little with cold water. Add more flour if a thicker consistency is desired.

Baked BBQ Black Eyed Peas
Serves 4 to 6

* 1 1/2 cups dried black-eyed peas, soaked overnight
* 1 3-inch piece kombu (dried kelp)
* 3 Tb plus 2 teaspoons olive oil
* 1/2 cup diced onions
* 1 cup diced red or green bell pepper
* 2 cloves garlic
* 2 Tb red wine vinegar
* 2 Tb lime juice
* 1/4 cup tamari
* 1 cup canned tomato sauce
* 1 chipotle in adobo sauce
* 1/2 cup agave nectar
* 1 Tb ground cumin
* 1 tsp dried thyme
* 1/8 tsp cayenne

1. Drain the black-eyed peas. Combine beans with kombu and fresh water to cover in a
medium pot. Bring to a boil over medium heat, skimming off any foam. Reduce heat to
maintain a simmer, and cook until tender, about 50 minutes to 1 hour. Drain, reserving cooking water. Discard kombu. Or if you're short on time, a 15 ounce can of black eyed peas, drained and rinsed will work too. Instead of using the cooking water, plain water can be used.

2. Heat two tsp olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add onions and bell pepper. Sauté for 5 to 7 minutes. Add garlic and cook 2 more minutes, until fragrant. Set aside. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a blender, combine the vinegar, lime juice, tamari, tomato sauce, chipotle, agave nectar, spices, 1 cup of the reserved bean cooking water and the remaining olive oil. Puree until smooth.

3. In a 2-quart baking dish, combine the black-eyed peas, sautéed vegetables, and sauce. Stir well. Bake uncovered for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, stirring occasionally. Serve at room temperature.

Jalapeño Onion Corn Bread
Makes 8 Big Slices

* 2 cups plain soy milk
* 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
* 2 cups cornmeal
* 1 cup corn flour, or masa harina, or all-purpose flour (I've notice that corn flour or masa harina gives the corn bread a stronger corn taste than just adding plain flour)
* 1/4 cup sugar
* 2 tsp baking powder
* 1/2 tsp salt
* 1/3 cup oil

For the Topping
* 1 Tb canola oil
* 1 medium size yellow onion, sliced into 1 x 1/2 inch slices
* 3 jalapenos
* 1/4 tsp salt

1. Preheat the oven to 350 F.

2. Preheat a cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Saute the onion and jalapeno in oil for about 5 minutes, until the onions are softened. Add the salt and mix well. Transfer to a bowl. Don't wash the pan; you'll pour the batter right into it in a bit.

3. Combine the soy milk and vinegar in a measuring cup and set aside to curdle as you prepare everything else.

4. In a large mixing bowl, sift together the cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Create a well in the center and add the soy milk mixture and oil. Use a wooden spoon to mix together until just combined; some lumps are okay.

5. Pour the batter into prepared cast-iron skillet. Scatter the topping over the batter in the pan. Bake for 30 to 32 minutes, until a toothpick or butter knife inserted through the middle comes out clean. Remove from the oven and let cool just a bit before serving.


  1. Yummy, Jacklyn! I would rather sit down and have you feed me any day to going out-I'm at the point where I just don't feel it's prudent (unhealthy food/high price=stay at home;). Ooh, and I really want some of that wild rice gumbo...

  2. Wow...I love that the cornbread has huge chunks of onion on top. The black eyed peas sound delicious too. You need to slow down with your amazing looking meals, I can't keep up.

  3. I can't wait to make those BBQ beans. In Quebec, to my knowledge there are not too many soul food joints so I need to make this!

  4. What a great/awesome/make-me-hungry meal! I love the BBQ beans!

  5. Jacklyn and Stella I haven't gone to a restaurant and enjoyed the food in forever, because of the diet it's usually a baked potato and something they call a salad… I don't make salads like that.

    I make stuff at home too.

    Jacklyn, I wish I had checked your blog BEFORE I went for groceries: those beans look great. I did make your chili last night though, YUM.

  6. Stella - hehe thank you! I wish we could have a little vegan potluck party but we're too far apart : [

    Tender Brason - Thank you for such a nice compliment : ]

    Jessica - Do you live in Quebec? Yeah I wouldn't think there would be many since its more an American Southern food.

    Kelly - Me too! I never cooked black eyed peas before but now they are my fav!

    Frosty Duncan - Aww you made the chili? I am glad you liked it. Yes, try the bbq beans..really easy to make too. All of the time is mostly it just baking in the oven.

    But yeah, I don't eat out much either. I see it as a luxury and I try to save it for special occasions only. Anyways, home cooked meals are much healthier and tastier in my opinion. So I really don't feel like I am missing out on much.

  7. That Jalapeño Onion Corn Bread looks soo good!