July 16, 2010

Stephanie's Cooking with History

Stephanie playin' in the kitchen with Aunt Debbie

Remember my niece Stephanie?   She got a job with the colonial museums in Huntsville, Alabama since my visit in April.  She recently demonstrated how to make vegetable gumbo in an open kettle at a civil war reenactment. She sent me some pictures and the recipe.  She, like her aunt, made her own changes and used vegetables out of her garden. I was so excited about her adventures, I wanted to share them and the recipe with you.  She used zucchini from her garden instead of okra for the gumbo.  I wonder how that went over in the South. When I was in Alabama I noticed that okra and dandelion greens were as plentiful in the produce store as lettuce and apples are in Washington.

Hearty Vegetable Gumbo
Cook time 25 min. yields 4 servings
•    1/2 cup chopped onion 
•    1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper 
•    1/4 cup chopped celery 
•    2 cloves garlic, minced 
•    2 cans (14 1/2 oz each) stewed tomatoes (you can use no-salt-added stewed tomatoes) 
•    2 cups tomato juice (you can use no-salt-added juice) 
•    1 can (15 oz) red beans, rinsed and drained 
•    1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley 
•    1/4 teaspoon dried oregano leaves 
•    1/4 teaspoon hot pepper sauce or more if you like it spicier 
•    2 bay leaves 
•    1 1/2 cups uncooked quick-cooking brown rice 
•    1 package (10oz) frozen chopped okra, thawed 
How to make it
•    Spray a 4-quart Dutch oven with cooking spray; heat over medium heat until hot.
•    Add onion, bell pepper, celery and garlic. Cook and stir 3 minutes or until crisp-tender.
•    Add stewed tomatoes, tomato juice, beans, parsley, oregano, pepper sauce and bay leaves.
•    Bring to a boil over high heat. Add rice. Cover; reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer 15 minutes or until    rice is tender.
•    Add okra; cook, covered, 5 minutes more or until okra is tender.
•    Remove and discard bay leaves.

Stephanie's Revisions

•    I added zucchini instead of okra. Carrots and some corn.
•    I also popped some grape tomatoes in the oven and added it to the mix.
•    For the stewed tomatoes, I added one can regular and one can Italian stewed tomatoes for extra flavor.
•    I also put in mixed bell peppers, not just green.


  1. HA HA!! Thanks Aunt Debs, I'm Famous!!!LOVE YA!

  2. I love you too! Keep being you. :-)