Tuesday, November 26 Bean and Bean Gumbo (Moosewood Lowfat Favorites) and Herbed Biscuits (Vegan Brunch) Rating: 4.25

So my mother’s Dr. Seuss garden (the plants are all of a ridiculous size and she gardens organically) produced copious amounts of okra this summer, despite the best efforts of the doe who stripped most of the plants of their leaves early in the season. My parents live in the country and one of my favorite things about visiting them is watching the deer emerge from the woods and nibble their way around the yard.  Mom & dad are not as enamored with them as I am, since said deer tend to wipe out their crops – although they have a complex system of bird netting, thin wire fences and a variety of other defenses around the veggie beds. Besides, if it’s not the deer, it’s the rabbits or the groundhogs so it’s sort of a losing battle. Good thing my mom is such a badass as a gardener. Anyway, I was sent home with a boatload of frozen okra when I visited for Thanksgiving, so the only logical choice was gumbo. It’s been quite a while since I’ve made gumbo and it took some hunting to even figure out which cookbook it was in. I was relieved when I finally found it in the Moosewood book. I like this recipe for the very Southern black-eyed peas that are in it, as well as the healthy dose of veggies. It actually also uses white beans (hence the bean and bean name), which I really love for the smoothness they add. There’s a fair amount of chopping involved with the gumbo, but that’s true of pretty much any veggie soup recipe. I could’ve added a bit more salt, but otherwise, we thought the gumbo was pretty darn good. I decided that since we were having gumbo, we needed to have a proper Southern bread to dip in it. We’d pretty much finished off the corn muffins left from Thanksgiving, so I went with biscuits. I really like the recipe in Vegan Diner, but I poked around in Vegan Brunch for a minute and found the Herbed Wheat Biscuits recipe. Oh holy yum. I have no idea what the frak kept me from making these before now. (yes I said frak – we watch a lot of sci-fi) They are amazeballs. I actually used all-purpose flour since I was really low on whole-wheat pastry flour and I also wanted fluffier rather than crumblier biscuits. I also had to cheat a little since I technically didn’t have any shortening on hand. I used Earth Balance (I know, the palm oil) buttery sticks in place of the shortening and some of the homemade butter I had on hand for the margarine. (See? No palm oil in the homemade stuff.) I also used garlic salt in place of the plain salt. And I may have used heaping measures of the herbs. I got 16 biscuits instead of 12, so that’s a bonus. One can never have too many biscuits. A warm, comfy Southern dinner on a cloudy, chilly day in Georgia…


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