Saturday, February 19, 2011

Living Food Gumbo

Aaaaand, here it is!! Putting together the beautiful beautifying gumbo!!! I took all the items from yesterday, mixed it with the remaining ingredients, and stirred. So colorful and vibrant!!

So colorful!
If I had been preparing a big batch of this to share, I probably would have taken the time to hand chop all the veggies. It would have added a good variety of shapes and textures. But with all Dave and I wanted to do today, it was easier for me to just toss big chunks in the food processor, and process it. It made the texture more homogenized, but it still tasted wonderful!! Dave was even sampling right out of the bowl while I tried to mix it!

Look at that "meat"! Looks just like ground beef :)
Only nuts and spices here, my friends!

We got to enjoy it mixed up right from the bowl, but then I wanted to play around with it more. So, we tried it in wraps!
Just take a big collard green leaf, slice it down the center, and you have two long leafy wraps! Spread the gumbo on, and roll it up! Gumbo To Go!

The next day, we wanted to enjoy some leftovers. So, we sliced up some avocado and spread it on the carrot crackers. What a treat! Creamy, healthy avocado, and a fun crispy cracker crunch!

Many thanks to my friend for sharing her gumbo recipe with me!
I hope you all get to experiment with recipes and play with your food! Have a great night :)

Jacqueline has been kind enough to share her recipe here!!  Don't let it intimidate you - there are a lot of ingredients, but it really wasn't too hard!  And it was TOTALLY WORTH the extra time to make it!  (And, when push comes to shove, you CAN buy pre-made Cajun seasonings and tomato sauce.  Or just whip these up with extra, and save it for other recipes!)

She's in process of updating her own website, but you can keep tabs on it at She says "Soul food should be food that nourishes the body and brings joy to the soul," so she has been working to transform traditional food recipes into healthier forms, using an abudnace of raw fruits, veggies, nuts, and seeds!  Amazing :)

RAW GUMBO and Rice (recipe below)

1 medium onion, chopped fine
1 medium green bell pepper, chopped fine
1 cup thinly sliced celery (include the leaves)
2 teaspoons crushed fresh garlic
4 ounces smoked sausage (see recipe below), crumbled (about 7/8 cup)
1 cup unsalted tomato sauce (recipe below)
1/2 cup miso broth or 1/4 cup miso mixed in 1/4 cup coconut water
2 teaspoons ground paprika
1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning (recipe below)
3/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1 cup corn cut from the cob
1 cup cut okra
2 cups of chopped mushrooms – this is your choice – oyster mushrooms have a seafood taste and may accommodate
6 ounces favorite sea vegetable for “shrimp” flavor (crush up and then soak in kelp water)

Place the onion, green pepper, celery, garlic, sausage, tomato sauce, broth, paprika, Cajun seasoning, thyme, vegetables and sea vegetables in dish. Mix until the flavors are well blended. Dehydrate for about 1 hour.

Tomato Sauce
1 1/2 Soaked sun dried tomatoes
1 diced tomato
¼ olive oil
Blend until smooth

Cajun Seasoning Mix
4 tbs salt
1 1/2 –2 tbs cayenne pepper
2 tbs dried garlic
2 tbs ground black pepper (if you can try to grind)
2 tbs white pepper (optional if you do not have)
2tbs onion powder
2 tbs garlic powder
Blend and store, use what is needed in any recipe

Smoked sausageHalf cup of cashews soaked
Half cup of walnuts soaked
Some salt
1 clove garlic
a little fresh sage
Tablespoon of fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon of liquid smoke (if you are not a purist)
Just drain the nuts and puree everything together, adding as little or as much (I use 1 clove) of garlic and salt as you like. You may have to add a touch of water or more to get it going. Drain it through cheesecloth; otherwise it'll take forever in the dehydrator. Smooth it on a teflex sheet and dehydrate it until solid and dry, but still a little moist, and somewhat breakable. Break it up into little bits, and add it to gumbo.

2 parsnips
1tsp lemon juice
1 tbs olive oil or unflitered sesame oil (this provides a smoky flavor)
1 1/2 tsp canjun seasoning
chopped tomaot
a pinch of celtic salt
Place the parsnip in the food processor and chop till rice like, then add lemon juice, olive oil or unfiltered sesame oil, and a little salt, let marinate for a few hours - taste it to ensure that it has the flavor you desire and it is soft enough.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Kitchen Fun and Crackers

Good afternoon lovely friends! I have been blessed with a relaxing 4 day weekend, because a workshop I was planning to go to was rescheduled. Okay, so in a way, that's not a blessing because I was really excited to go!! ...But on the plus side, that meant I got to stay home, relax, and have fun playing in the kitchen.

An online friend of mine posted a recipe for a healthy remake of a Southern Gumbo recipe, so I was all excited to try making that! So, before I did that, I wanted to prep a few things ahead of time, since there are soaking and dehydration times involved.

I mixed her Cajun seasoning:

I prepped the "rice" so it could marinate:
Processed Parsnips make for a good rice substitute!
I prepped tomato sauce:

And I prepped dehydrated "sausage" from nuts and sage base:
I just made flat "sausage" this time.
Next time, I think I'll actually roll it into balls first!

And I wanted to make some carrot-based crackers to go with it, so that required juicing carrots so I could work with the pulp:

Mmmm, nothing like sweet fresh carrot juice!!
Some extra to take to Dave!
So that's what I spent some time doing today!

The crackers were quite easy once I had pulp. And I had fun purchasing little food-grade stencils so I could decorate things like crackers and more!

Traditional gumbo normally has shrimp, but my friend's recipe instead called for sea vegetables. But I omitted the sea vegetables (I am working on sea foods... I still have an aversion to all things sea flavored) and so instead I used the raw kelp flakes to decorate some of the crackers, while adding a hint of sea salt flavor, and used paprika as a beautiful burnt red color for others!

Those will dehydrate over night, and tomorrow Dave and I can enjoy some gumbo!

This is a half batch.
A full batch would probably fill one full Dehydrator tray.

Carrot Sesame Crackers:
1 cup carrot pulp
1 cup hemp seeds
1/2 cup sesame seeds, rinsed
2/3 cup golden flax seeds, soaked 1 hour to make thickened liquid
1/4 cup onion, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbs honey (or to taste)
1 Tbs cashew butter (as needed, to help all mix)
Optional: can add sea salt, but since I was decorating with salty flavored kelp, I skipped the salt

Mix all by hand, or process in food processor. Spread on Teflex sheet or parchment paper. Score into desired sizes, decorate if desired, and dehydrate at 105-110 until crispy.