Creole sauce, also known as “red sauce” or “red gravy,” has a tomato base, the Louisiana “holy trinity” (onion, celery, green bell pepper), and cayenne. While not all creole sauces are thickened with a roux, this one has a quinoa-flour and coconut oil roux. For a non-vegan version, ghee is a great choice of fat for making the roux.

When an ingredient is served with creole sauce, the dish itself is then called a creole — for instance, Catfish Creole or Shrimp Creole — and is traditionally served over rice, an extension of West African food traditions.

Vegan Creole is a simple, hearty, vegetable-based main dish or side, and is ideal for a holiday dinner or pot-luck that needs to satisfy the wide range of Bay Area eating styles. Vegan, gluten-free, leave off the quinoa, and it can definitely pass for a paleo side. Choose whatever vegetables are local and seasonal, and seek a variety of leafy, soft and crunchy for texture and nutrients.

“Creole” describes a sub-set of Louisiana soul food cuisine that arose from the blended traditions of Gulf Coast Native Americans, enslaved West Africans, and French, Spanish, Italian and Portuguese colonizers. In contrast to Cajun cuisines, “creole” dishes are more classically European. The flavors will blend and deepen as the creole ages, so it’s even better the 2nd or 3rd day. I like to serve Vegan Creole over quinoa, which soaks the sauce in nicely. For a casserole-style dish, mix the sauce and quinoa, place in baking dish and top with cheese or vegan cheese, then bake at 350 until the top is melty. It’s delicious the next day as a cold salad, stuffed into pita with leafy greens or piled onto crackers.

 

Vegan Creole with Quinoa

Serves 8

4 Tbsp. quinoa flour

5 Tbsp. coconut oil

1 large yellow onion, chopped

6 green onions, chopped

1 garlic clove, chopped

1 c celery, chopped

1⁄2 c bell pepper, chopped

8 oz. tomato sauce

8 oz. vegetable broth

1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce

cayenne to taste

2 c mixed chopped vegetables such as collard greens, cauliflower, summer squash, carrots

4 c cooked quinoa

chopped green onion for garnish

Heat oil in a preheated saucepan. Whisk in the flour and cook on medium until it reaches a rich, dark brown color, somewhere between a brown paper bag and dark chocolate.

Add onions, garlic, celery, bell pepper and allow to cook briefly, stirring constantly. Add tomato sauce, broth, Worcestershire sauce and cayenne. Season to taste. Simmer 30 minutes.

Bring to a boil and add crunchy and long-cooking leafy vegetables (such as cauliflower and collards) and cook 10 minutes. Add soft and short-cooking leafy vegetables (such as summer squash and chard), cook another 7-10 minutes, or until vegetables are to desired texture.

Adjust seasonings and serve over quinoa, or combine with quinoa to make a casserole variation. Garnish with chopped green onion.

 

Chef SusiQ encourages you to “Feed Your Highest Self,” with nutrient-dense, high- vibration meals from fresh, local ingredients prepared in your home. She offers in- home personal chef services for regular working folks, workshops, and community education programs to support wide access to whole food cooking strategies.

Just as food is an access to health in our personal lives, Susi believes that food, and the honoring of ancestral food traditions, is a pathway to healing broken cultural relationships. With a background in food justice and community gardening, Susi has a special interest in the story of food, from seed to table and through cultures and generations. She has a particular interest in the foodways of Southern Louisiana, where she was raised, and especially enjoys sharing nutrient-dense versions of her favorite Deep South comfort-food dishes.

You can find Chef SusiQ on the web at www.ChefSusiQ.com, and www.facebook.com/ChefSusiQ, Follow ChefSusiQ, #chefsusiq and #feedyourhighestself on Instagram for regular food porn postings.

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