Meatless Monday Meal Idea: Mardi Gras Vegan Gumbo

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Mardi Gras “the feast before the fast” is tomorrow. Mardi Gras is a time of lavish eating before the 40 days of Lent. It has a variety of names, depending on where you live — Shrove Tuesday, Pancake Day, Fat Tuesday, or even the more extended Carnival; but in New Orleans, it’s Mardi Gras which is French for Fat Tuesday.

In preparation for Mardi Gras, here is a delicious vegan version of a traditional New Orleans favorite: Gumbo!

Crock-Pot Vegan Gumbo

For the morning ingredients:
2½ cups water
1 cup sliced okra (fresh or frozen)
¼ cup of dry dark red kidney beans
1 tablespoon sautéed minced onion
2 tablespoons celery, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 vegan cube bouillon
2 bay leaves
½ teaspoon dried oregano
¼ to ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper, to taste
2 whole allspice berries

For the evening ingredients:
1 cup diced tomatoes
⅛ cup quinoa (I prefer tricolor quinoa)
1 teaspoon dried oregano
¼ teaspoon chili powder
¼ teaspoon ground cumin
Salt and pepper

Directions
*This cooks in a small, 2 quart slow cooker. In the morning: Add all the morning ingredients and cook on low for 7 to 9 hours.

Thirty minutes before serving: Add all the evening ingredients except the salt and pepper. Mix well. Cook for 30 minutes on low.

Before serving, add salt and pepper. Taste and adjust any of the seasonings as needed.

Yield: about 5 cups
per serving (1 cup): 89.7 calories; 1.6 g total fat; 0 g saturated fat; 4.6 g protein; 15.5 g carbohydrate; 3.5 g dietary fiber; 0 mg cholesterol

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 7 to 9 hours
Soy-free, gluten free, oil free

This recipe was adapted from Key Ingredient. www.keyingredient.com

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