Quick Fix: Save time but keep the flavor with this veggie gumbo recipe

Here’s a short-cut version of a Southern favorite: Gumbo Soup. It’s comfort food that can take hours to make. This gumbo captures the flavor without the hours. It’s a one-pot vegetarian meal.

The key to good gumbo is cooking the oil and flour together to form a rich, light brown roux. This gives the gumbo its distinctive flavor. Okra gives gumbo its texture. When cooked, okra gives off a thick liquid that acts as a thickener for soups and sauces.

Helpful Hints:

— You can use frozen sliced okra instead of fresh okra.

— You can use 4 crushed garlic cloves instead of minced garlic.


— Prepare ingredients.

— Make Gumbo.

— While Gumbo simmers, microwave rice.

Shopping List:

To buy: 1/4 pound fresh okra, 1 green bell pepper, 1 bunch celery, 1 bottle minded garlic, 1 bottle dried thyme, 2 14-ounce cans low-sodium diced tomatoes, 1 bag frozen corn kernels, 1 bag frozen lima beans, 1 can pinto beans, 1 small bottle hot pepper sauce, 1 package microwaveable brown rice, 1 can vegetable oil spray.

Staples: canola oil, flour, onion, salt and black peppercorns.


Recipe by Linda Gassenheimer

Vegetable oil spray

1/4 pound okra, thinly sliced (about 1 1/2 cups)

1 cup diced onion

1 cup diced green bell pepper

1 cup sliced celery

2 teaspoons minced garlic

2 tablespoons canola oil

2 tablespoons flour

1 1/2 cups water

2 teaspoons dried thyme

2 cans low-sodium diced tomatoes with the juice (14-ounce cans, about 3 cups)

1/4 cup frozen corn kernels

1/4 cup frozen lima beans, thawed

1 cup canned pinto beans, rinsed and drained

1 1/2-cups Microwave brown rice

Several drops hot pepper sauce

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Heat a large nonstick saucepan over medium-high heat and spray with vegetable oil spray. Add okra, onion, bell pepper, celery and garlic. Saute 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove vegetables to a bowl and set aside. Add oil, then flour to the skillet. Blend well and cook slowly until flour is a rich brown color. Add water, little by little, stirring to remove any lumps. Bring to a simmer. Add thyme and canned tomatoes and return vegetables to the pan with the corn, lima beans and pinto beans. Simmer 5 minutes. While gumbo simmers, make the rice in the microwave. Measure 1 1/2 cups and save any remaining rice for another meal. Add the rice to two large soup bowls. Add several drops of hot sauce to the gumbo soup and salt and pepper to taste. Divide the gumbo between the two soup bowls.

Yield 2 servings.

Per serving: 635 calories (28% from fat), 19.5 g fat (2 g saturated, 10.8 g monounsaturated), no cholesterol, 18.9 g protein, 104 g carbohydrates, 22.6 g fiber, 219 mg sodium.

Linda Gassenheimer is the author of over 30 cookbooks, including her newest, “The 12-Week Diabetes Cookbook.” Listen to Linda on www.WDNA.org and all major podcast sites. Email her at [email protected].