This aromatic gumbo uses the elements of the traditional Creole stew and is bursting with flavor. Full of greens, beans, and herbs, it’s the ultimate blue zones meal. Feel free to swap the greens and beans with whatever you have on hand: Spinach, kale, turnip greens, white beans, navy beans, and black-eyed peas all work well in this dish. Since many Adventists don’t eat very spicy foods – in line with traditional church teaching – this gumbo only has a mild kick. If you like yours with a little more spice, add more cayenne pepper or serve it with your favorite hot sauce.
1⁄3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1⁄3 cup all-purpose flour
1 1⁄2 large sweet onions (like Vidalia), chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
3 bay leaves
1⁄4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1⁄2 teaspoon dried thyme
2 stalks celery, diced
1 red bell pepper, cored and diced
4 cups vegetable stock
1⁄3 cup fresh or frozen corn kernels
1 1⁄2 cups cooked black-eyed peas (or one 15-ounce can, drained)
1 cup cooked brown rice
1 cup frozen cut okra
2 cups chopped spinach
1⁄4 cup chopped fresh parsley
Salt and pepper (optional)
Make your roux: In a large soup pot, heat olive oil over medium heat.
Add flour, whisking until smooth.
Cook for 3 to 4 minutes, stirring often, and then turn heat down to low and cook for another 3 to 4 minutes, until roux has become golden in color.
Add onion and turn heat up to medium-low for about 5 minutes.
Cook until onion is just soft.
Add garlic, bay leaves, cayenne pepper, thyme, celery, and red pepper.
Cover and cook for about 5 minutes over medium heat or until vegetables are tender.
Stir in vegetable stock, turn the heat up and bring to a boil.
Add corn, black-eyed peas, rice, and okra; lower heat to a simmer and cook for about 5 minutes.
Add spinach and parsley and continue to simmer for another 5 minutes.
Remove bay leaves and add salt and pepper to taste.
Serve over rice or with a side of cornbread.
The Blue Zones Kitchen fuses scientific reporting, National Geographic photography and 100 recipes that may help you live to 100. The Blue Zones’ food tradition is going the way of the dodo bird, thanks to the encroachment of the American Food Culture.Learn More