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Faux Gumbo

Gumbo is said to have been around since the early 1800’s (Wikipedia: Gumbo) and at its origin was a combination from the French bouillabaisse (fish soup) with influences from the Spanish (holy trinity) as well as African slaves (okra).  In its widest interpretation gumbo is a stew-like  dish with a combination of meats, chicken, seafood, tomatoes, onion and bell peppers.  Personally I just like the word … Gumbo.  But then again it could just be a very confused childhood cellular memory of an old cartoon series. 😉

In any event, at my house, Faux Gumbo translates into a hearty meal that transforms a variety of leftovers into an epicurean potage. Served on top of rice or pasta, it is an excellent way to stretch your food dollar.

The goal here is to use what you have on hand along with some fresh foods that will kick up your creation to leftover havens unknown!  In my case, we had a few veggie sausages from Sunday breakfast, as well as some O’Brian potatoes from the same meal, a couple of veggie hot dogs from lunch, some left over roast from Sunday supper, plus 1 green pepper, 1 sweet onion, 3 carrots and a half a head of cabbage.

What?  No okra?  As I said, this is a FAUX GUMBO.  My deepest of apologies to the diehard New Orleans purist.

To assemble your dish, slice your vegetables and sauté over medium heat until tender.  Next add your meats and continue to warm through.

Instead of tomato, I happened to have a half cup of left over marina that I used for homemade spelt pizza the day before yesterday.  In addition, my garden has some fresh baby basil this week, and I couldn’t help but add a handful of herb to this dish right before serving.

Tonight we served our fresh stew atop a bowl of buttered bow-tie pasta.  It may not have been even a faint whisper of the classic Cajun creation, but it was certainly good eating and the best value for our food budget this week!

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