Summer Squash Étouffée. The first step in classic Cajun/Creole dishes is to make a roux, a combination of butter and flour, continually stirred until browned. It’s my personal preference to avoid processed vegan options like vegan butter and therefore I opt to use arrowroot powder instead of the vegan butter/flour roux. Arrowroot acts much like corn starch, but is a gluten free option. Make a slurry by mixing the arrowroot with a cool liquid then add in at the end to slightly thicken the sauce.
The first step in this recipe is the saute celery, onion and bell pepper, the holy trinity of Cajun/Creole dishes, until softened. Next you add the minced garlic, sliced hearts of palm, summer squash cut into thin quartered slices, fire roasted crushed tomatoes and a hearty vegetable stock. The flavor of the dish comes from cajun seasoning (recipe option here), bay leaf, thyme, vegan Worcestershire and dulse. Dulse, a marine coast sea vegetable, is my secret weapon for bringing the classic seafood flavor to vegan dishes. I like to pair my étouffée with quinoa but you can definitely serve with rice (white or brown) like a traditional étouffée. Top with green onion for a classic Cajun/Creole comfort food made vegan.
*Note: you can make this oil-free by sauteing with a few tablespoons of vegetable stock instead of coconut oil.
- 1 tsp Coconut oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 bell pepper, chopped
- ½ cup celery, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup summer squash (2 squash), halved or quartered and thinly sliced
- 1 can hearts of palm, drained and thinly sliced
- 1 can fire roasted tomatoes
- 1 Tbsp cajun/creole seasoning (Tony Chachere's)
- 2 Tbsp dulse flakes (or more depending on preference)
- 1 bay leaf
- ½ tsp thyme
- ½ cup vegetable stock
- 2 Tbsp arrowroot powder for thickening
- 2 green onions, thinly sliced (optional)
- Heat oil in large nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Add chopped onion, bell pepper and celery. Saute until celery is done, about 5 minutes.
- Add garlic and summer squash and saute for another 3-4 minutes.
- Add tomatoes, spices and dulse flakes with stock. Simmer for about 5 minutes.
- Reduce heat. Make a slurry by combining arrowroot powder with a 2 tablespoons of water in a small bowl. Add slurry to pan and let simmer for another 5 minutes or until sauce is thickened.
- Serve with brown rice or quinoa and top with fresh green onion.