This meal was delicious! It consisted of vegetarian sloppy joes, using beans and veggies instead of meat with a homemade sauce, homemade corn bread, and cooked greens (leftover from a takeout barbecue meal).
Southern Vegetarian Meal
The recipe for the sloppy joe beans was modified from a Rachael Ray recipe for “Sloppy Veg-Head Joes.” I added different veggies, like carrots and celery, a can of red kidney beans, and a couple tablespoons of natural ketchup (no high-fructose corn syrup!) instead of the brown sugar. It came out very tasty and went great with the cornbread.
The cornbread was a modified version of Mark Bittman’s recipe for cornbread. I used plain lowfat yogurt instead of buttermilk, and instead of sugar, I used three tablespoons of maple syrup to make maple cornbread. I use variations of Bittman’s cornbread all the time. It’s easy, relatively healthy, and most importantly, it’s delicious. You can find Mark Bittman’s recipe for good old fashioned cornbread here, on his website.
I’ve been experimenting with this cornbread recipe ever since I made it the first time. Vegetable additions like sliced green onions, fresh cooked corn kernels, or shredded zucchini all work well.
Dinner tonight was chicken and sausage gumbo with brown rice. This version has a ton of vegetables, including onions, celery, bell peppers, tomatoes, okra, and green onions and uses smoked turkey sausage and shredded rotisserie chicken. It is spicy, smoky, and extremely satisfying.
Chicken and Sausage Gumbo, Simmering Away (click for larger image)
Boyfriend helped by picking the store-bought rotisserie chicken off the bone and shredding it and by making me a delicious gin and tonic.
We ate the gumbo with a big scoop of hot, cooked brown rice added right on top. The savory, spicy tomato broth soaked into the chewy brown rice and made the dish absolutely delicious. I loved all the different textures and tried to get a little bit of each ingredient in every spoonful. Aaron’s favorite part was (as always) the smoked sausage.
Chicken and Sausage Gumbo with Brown Rice (click to enlarge)
Chicken and Sausage Gumbo Recipe (Serves 4):
What you need:
- 3 Tbsp. olive oil
- 3 Tbsp. flour
- 1 large onion, diced
- 2 green or red bell peppers, diced
- 2 stalks celery, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, finely diced
- 3-4 green onions, diced
- 1 package smoked turkey sausage, sliced
- 1 (15 oz) can diced tomatoes
- 4 cups (more or less) water
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tsp. dried oregano
- 1 tsp. creole seasoning (such as Tony’s), or to taste
- Hot sauce (I recommend Tobasco’s chipotle pepper sauce), to taste (optional)
- 1 package (12 oz.) frozen okra
- 1 rotisserie chicken, picked and shredded
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 2 cups cooked brown rice
How to do it:
- Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the flour and cook, stirring frequently, until the mixture turns light brown. (Cooking fat and flour together in equal amounts results in a roux, which thickens the gumbo. You could make a darker roux if you have time and if you prefer, but a quick light brown roux worked for me just fine.)
- Add the onions, bell peppers, and celery to the pot and stir until the vegetables are beginning to soften. Add the sliced sausage and garlic and cook until fragrant.
- Add the canned tomatoes, water, bay leaves, oregano, creole seasoning, hot sauce (if using), salt, and pepper. Be careful not to add too much salt, as creole seasoning often contains salt. Stir and bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat to low, simmer for about 10 minutes, allowing the tomatoes and vegetables to break down and the flavors to marry. Add the okra and continue to simmer until the okra is cooked through, about another 10 minutes. If the gumbo seems too thick, you can add more water.
- Add the shredded chicken and green onions. Stir to combine. Cook for another 1-2 minutes, until the chicken is heated through. Taste and adjust seasoning.
- Serve the gumbo hot in bowls with scoops of brown rice and enjoy!
Posted in Food at Home
Tagged brown rice, chicken, chicken and sausage gumbo, creole, food pictures, gumbo, gumbo recipe, gumbo with rice, healthy chicken and sausage gumbo, healthy gumbo, hot sauce, main dish, okra, recipe, rotisserie chicken, roux, spicy, turkey sausage