Halloween is fast approaching and if you are a fan of this fun holiday, you’re in for a treat (not a trick). My friend Kathy has written a new cookbook full of fun, vegan Halloween food. Her blog Healthy Slow Cooking is full of healthy options and is my “go to” source for vegan recipes. Whether you follow a vegan diet or not, there is something that everyone can enjoy.
I wanted to share this recipe with you because jackfruit is probably a fairly unfamiliar ingredient to most people. I find it at my local Asian market. Sometimes they sell the whole fruit, but more often it’s cut into pieces.
I love Kathy’s unique spin on this classic recipe. If you are trying to eat less animal protein or you are curious about a vegan diet or you just want to try something new, I would wholeheartedly recommend this and any other recipe by Kathy.
For the main gumbo
- 4 cups water
- 4 cups sliced okra, fresh or frozen
- 3 cups diced tomatoes or 2, 14.5 ounce cans
- 1 cup minced bell pepper, any color
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 can, 20 ounce young green jackfruit in brine, rinsed with seeds removed *
- 2 large vegan sausages, Italian, Chik’n Apple, or Andouille, cut into quarters lengthwise and sliced
- 2 bouillon cubes, vegetable or vegan chicken flavor
- 2 tablespoons Cajun seasoning blend, see recipe at bottom
- 3 bay leaves
- 1 cup chopped spinach, kale or other mild green
- just enough water to puree, about 1/4 cup
- salt and pepper, to taste
- more Cajun seasoning blend, to taste – optional
- steamed rice, white, brown or forbidden
- hot sauce
Make Your Own Cajun Seasoning Blend
- If you’re looking for a salt-free version or just can’t find it in your area, this little recipe will keep you in spicy goodness for awhile. The best part is you can make it as spicy or mild as you like!
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- 2 teaspoon thyme
- 2 teaspoons oregano or marjoram
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 to 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon allspice
- 1/8 teaspoon cloves
- Combine all the ingredients well and store in a lidded container. You can also use a spice grinder to make it look more like store-bought.
- In the morning: Add all the main gumbo ingredients to your 4 quart slow cooker. Cook on low 7 to 9 hours.
- 15 minutes before serving: Add the greens to a blender with a little water and purée until smooth. Then add salt, pepper and more Cajun seasoning if needed.
- Remove bay leaves and serve gumbo topped with the green “swamp” purée and a scoop of rice.
- * shred the jackfruit with your hands – it will happen easily as you remove the large seeds.
This chunky stew is full of okra, tomatoes, vegan sausage and stringy jackfruit. One of my testers, Robin Fetter of The Real Vegan Housewife, says the soup had “an awesome foamy green effect on top” when she served it immediately, but that the green became less bright after twenty minutes. She highly recommends puréeing the greens into the soup.
Below is a link to the Kindle edition of Kathy’s book!