Thursday, June 11, 2009

Healthy recipe

Vegetable Gumbo
Submitted By: Kierstin Buchner

Recipe Category/s: Family, Vegan

Preparation Time: 10 Minutes
Cooking Time: 35 Minutes
Serving Size: 4-6 Servings

Full of flavorful peppers, spices, fiber-rich okra, and hearty kale, this healthy comfort food will keep you satisfied on a rainy day, but is also elegant enough for a good ol’ southern dinner party.

Many southern dishes begin with the “trinity” – onions, peppers and garlic. Not only are they a delicious foundation on which to build a dish, but they are also full of nutrients, protect from illness, and act as an antiseptic for a wide range of infections. Peppers are an excellent source of vitamins C, A and K, a good source of vitamin B6, and are low in calories. Scientific evidence emphasizes the benefits of a regular intake of garlic, onions and peppers, because these pungent natural foods contain chemicals that can protect the body from so many illnesses, including cardiovascular disease, infections, diabetes, respiratory problems and cancers. Garlic has been shown to lower total cholesterol (but raise the good-type of HDL cholesterol), lower blood pressure, and destroy infection causing viruses and bacteria.

1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup flour
1 onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 green pepper, seeded and chopped
1 red pepper, seeded and chopped
1 yellow or orange pepper, seeded and chopped
2 tablespoons minced garlic
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
2 tablespoons tomato paste
4 cups low sodium vegetable stock or broth
2 cups okra, stems removed and thickly sliced
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped
4 cups kale, mustard greens, Swiss chard, or other hearty greens, chopped
1 teaspoon file powder (optional)
1/4 cup green onions chopped, green parts only
Steamed rice, for serving

Heat a Dutch oven or large pot over medium heat. Add the vegetable oil and flour and cook, stirring constantly, until the roux mixture is dark brown, about 10 minutes. Add the onion, celery, peppers, garlic, salt, black pepper, Old Bay, and cayenne. Cook the vegetables until tender, stirring often, about 10 minutes.

Stir in the tomato paste and cook for 1 more minute. Add the vegetable stock, okra, bay leaves and thyme. Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes. Stir in the kale and file, and simmer for another 5minutes. Stir in the green onions and serve immediately in shallow bowls over steamed rice.