Sunday, February 23, 2014

Vegan Gumbo!

This was the second year I entered the Tennessee Equality Project Gumbo Contest, which went down at Bridges on Sunday afternoon. TEP is the statewide lobbying group that fights for pro-LGBT equality legislation and against anti-gay bills (and trust me, we have to fight off a lot of anti-gay bills here in Tennessee). This annual Mardi Gras party and gumbo contest is a fund-raiser for TEP. Teams pay to enter, and attendees pay to sample and vote for their favorite gumbos in the People's Choice Awards.

All of the gumbo teams except mine served meat gumbo, but I put my vegan gumbo up against theirs. I didn't win, but I did get lots of compliments from meat eaters. It's not about winning for me. It's about spreading the news that vegan food is delicious.

My team is "Who Dat Crunk Vegan?" And this year, it was made up of my friends Greg (on the left) and Andy. They didn't help cook, but they were handy for running errands. I totally forgot to bring a ladle, but they ran home and got me one just in time to serve the judges.

 Here are my friends! Greg, Diane, Andy, and Jabonn.

This year, I made Bryant Terry's Gumbo Z from Vegan Soul Kitchen. But I added my Creole Steamed Seitan Sausages from Cookin' Crunk. Here's a sample sized bowl, like the ones we gave out to the judges and attendees.

Gumbo Z is Bryant's take on gumbo z'herbes, a traditional vegetarian gumbo that was served to Catholics who couldn't eat meat during Lent. It has kale, collards, mustard greens, and spinach. Plus, there's celery, onion, and bell pepper. It's so good! I made Bryant's recipe once a couple years ago and loved it, so I knew this would be the type of gumbo I'd make this time around. Last year, I made my own recipe for Tempeh Gumbo from Cookin' Crunk, but I like to mix things up every year.

Overall, we had a great time. My entire weekend was consumed by gumbo though. Shopping on Friday, six hours of prep and cooking on Saturday (I had to make two gallons for the contest!!), and the competition today. Kinda glad it's over, and I'm even more glad that I saved myself a bowl at home to eat for lunch tomorrow since I didn't get to eat any gumbo at the contest today.


Dana Vickerson said...

we have an annual cornbread contest in Little Rock that I always want to enter, then the thought of making 200 servings of cornbread freaks me out. Maybe this year I will make it with some kick ass pumpkin and beer chili and blow them all away!

foodfeud said...

Oh yeah, I've always wanted to try Bryant Terry's Gumbo Z! (I want to make a lot of his stuff) Looks delicious.

Ali - YumVeggieBurger said...

YUM that looks so good! I love gumbo, but I've never made it with so many greens like that!

Cadry said...

Oh, my gosh! That gumbo from Bryant Terry sounds so good! I thought that gumbo had to have okra in it, which has always turned me off of making it. (I've tried okra several times in different variations, but it's just not my favorite.) However, I could totally get behind this one! I'm glad you were there representing, and that's a great cause!