Green Gumbo: A Fresh Take on a Louisiana Classic

January 27, 2024
Green Gumbo
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These innovative green gumbos provide a lighter, healthier rendition packed with flavor. Let’s explore some easy recipes for green gumbos that offer a new twist on Creole comfort food!

Gumbo, the signature stew of Louisiana, typically relies on a dark brown roux base of oil and flour. But increasingly, cooks are putting a fresh spin on the iconic dish with vegetarian green varieties made from leafy greens, herbs, and vegetables. These innovative green gumbos provide a lighter, healthier rendition packed with flavor. Let’s explore some easy recipes for green gumbos that offer a new twist on Creole comfort food!

What is Green Gumbo?

Traditional gumbo starts with a browned roux of oil and flour slow-cooked to a dark caramel color. This provides rich depth but can also be heavy. Green gumbo skips the roux for a broth that maintains the classic seasonings of onions, bell peppers and celery but uses leafy greens as the base.

Some tasty green options include:

  • Spinach
  • Kale
  • Mustard greens
  • Collard greens
  • Turnip greens
  • Swiss chard

Herbs like parsley, basil, oregano and green onions also contribute color and freshness. The greens provide nutrition while keeping the gumbo broth light yet full of indigenous Louisiana flavor. Let’s look at some recipe ideas.

Easy Weeknight Green Gumbo

This simple starter green gumbo comes together quickly for a fast weeknight dinner.

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 3 celery stalks, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 6 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 lb frozen okra, thawed and sliced
  • 2 15-oz cans kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 5 cups chopped kale leaves or spinach
  • 2 tsp Cajun seasoning
  • Hot sauce, filé powder, rice for serving

Instructions:

  1. In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Cook the onion, bell pepper, celery and garlic for 5-7 minutes until softened.
  2. Add the vegetable broth, okra, kidney beans and Cajun seasoning. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes.
  3. Add the kale and cook 5 more minutes until leaves are wilted.
  4. Remove from heat and stir in hot sauce and filé powder to taste. Serve over rice. Enjoy this easy green gumbo in under an hour!

Spicy Vegan Green Gumbo

Pack thisplant-based green gumbo with maximum flavor.

Ingredients:

  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 2 jalapeño peppers, seeded and minced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 1 cup mushrooms, sliced
  • 1⁄4 cup olive oil
  • 6 cups vegetable broth
  • 15 oz can tomato sauce
  • 14 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 Tbsp Cajun seasoning
  • 1 lb fresh okra, sliced
  • 2 cups chopped collard greens
  • Hot sauce, filé powder, rice and garlic bread for serving

Instructions:

  1. In a large pot, sauté the onion, peppers, garlic, celery and mushrooms in olive oil 5-7 minutes.
  2. Add broth, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, Cajun seasoning and okra. Simmer 20 minutes.
  3. Stir in collards and cook until wilted, about 5 minutes.
  4. Remove from heat and add hot sauce and filé powder as desired. Serve over rice with garlic bread.

The mix of collards, okra, mushrooms, peppers and ample seasoning gives this vegan green gumbo a savory depth. Adjust spice to your liking with hot sauce and serve with rice for a hearty plant-based meal.

Chicken & Sausage Green Gumbo

For a heartier rendition, add chicken, sausage and shrimp to the vegetarian base.

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken thighs, diced
  • 8 oz andouille sausage, sliced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 2 Tbsp Cajun seasoning
  • 1⁄4 cup olive oil
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 14 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 12 oz frozen okra, thawed and sliced
  • 1 lb medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 4 cups chopped mustard greens or collards
  • Hot sauce, filé powder, rice and garlic bread for serving

Instructions:

  1. In a large pot, cook chicken thighs, sausage, onion, bell pepper, celery in olive oil until chicken is browned and vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes.
  2. Stir in Cajun seasoning, broth, tomatoes and okra. Simmer 20 minutes.
  3. Add shrimp and greens and cook 5 minutes more until shrimp is pink.
  4. Remove from heat, adjust seasoning with hot sauce and filé powder. Serve over rice with garlic bread.

The greens lighten up the classic chicken and sausage gumbo combo for a fresher, healthier version. Serve with hot sauce on the side to allow folks to customize the kick.

Tips for the Best Green Gumbo

  • Use at least 2-3 different greens for varied flavors. Collards, kale, spinach and mustard greens all work well.
  • Make it vegan with veggie broth, beans for protein, and herbs for depth.
  • Play with different herbs like oregano, basil, dill, and green onions.
  • For heartier versions, add chicken, sausage, or shrimp in the last 20 minutes of cooking.
  • Cook the greens just until wilted to retain texture and nutrition.
  • Adjust broth for thicker or thinner consistency.
  • Let flavors meld for 1-2 days in the fridge for best taste.

Take your gumbo from brown to green with these vibrant veggie-packed versions. Using fresh greens and herbs puts a healthy spin on a Creole classic while keeping all the comfort of the original. So grab some greens and get simmering for a bright new take on timeless Cajun flavor. Your taste buds will thank you!

You Can Also Read Here Classic Chopped Cheese Sandwich – How to Make the NYC Bodega Favorite

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