Meatless Monday Recipe: Okra Gumbo with Chickpeas & Kidney Beans

Posted on March 3, 2014 by rebeccascritchfield

Another happy Meatless Monday! It’s also National Nutrition Month! The theme this year is “Enjoy the Taste of Eating Right.” I love that because I’m all about food tasting delicious – and being good for you! All month long you will see me posting about different produce, sharing some nutrition facts, usage tips, and yummy recipes. Can you aim for “half plate produce” in your meals?

This week’s Meatless Monday recipe will certainly help you get there.

In celebration of Mardi Gras tomorrow, I wanted to share one of my favorite vegan friendly gumbo recipes: Okra Gumbo with Chickpeas and Kidney Beans. This thick and tangy gumbo is made with a toasty roux, fresh tomatoes, plenty of onion and garlic, fresh thyme, and of course, okra. What I love most is that it only requires one big pot and 25-minutes of active cooking time, leaving me with minimal cleanup and more time to spend with my family out of this kitchen, a perfect weeknight meal! I serve my gumbo over brown basmati rice or quinoa (and perhaps a sliced vegan sausage if I’m feeling adventurous).

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Okra Gumbo with Chickpeas & Kidney Beans
Recipe From:
Makes 6 Servings


  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 medium sized onion, diced large
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 heaping cup sweet red peppers, diced large (or one red bell pepper)
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes (or chopped tomatoes)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Fresh black pepper
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 8 springs fresh thyme (plus extra for garnish)
  • 2 1/2 to 3 cups vegetable broth at room temperature
  • 2 cups okra (about 10 oz) sliced 1/4 inch thick or so
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked kidney beans (a 15 oz can, rinsed and drained)
  • 1 1/2 cup cooked garbanzo beans (a 15 oz can, rinsed and drained)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice


  • Preheat a large, heavy bottom pot over medium-low heat. The wider the pot the better, so that you have lots of surface area to make your roux. Add the oil and sprinkle in the flour. Use a wooden spatula to toss the flour in the oil, and stir pretty consistently for 3 to 4 minutes, until the flour is clumpy and toasty.
  • Add the onion and salt, and toss to coat the onions completely in the flour mixture. As the onions release moisture, they will coat more and more. Cook this way for 5 minutes, stirring often. Add garlic and stir for 30 seconds or so.
  • Add the peppers and tomatoes and cook down for about 10 more minutes. If using cherry tomatoes, place a cover on the pot to get them to cook faster and release moisture. As the tomatoes break down, the mixture should become thick and pasty.
  • Season with fresh black pepper, add bay leaves, smoked paprika and thyme and mix well.
  • Stream in the 2 1/2 cups vegetable broth, stirring constantly to prevent clumping. Add the okra and beans, then turn the heat up and cover to bring to a boil. Stir occasionally.
  • Once boiling, reduce the heat to a simmer and let cook uncovered for 30 to 45 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the stew is nicely thickened and the okra is tender. If it’s too thick, thin with up to 1/2 cup vegetable broth. If it’s not as thick as you like, just cook it a bit longer.
  • Add the lemon juice, and adjust salt and pepper to your liking. Let it sit for 10 minutes. Remove bay leaves and thyme stems (if you can see them) then serve in a big, wide bowl, topped with a scoop of rice and garnished with fresh thyme.

Nutritional Information per serving:

Calories: 242 calories
Fat: 8.7 g
Saturated Fat: 1.2 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Sodium: 532 mg
Carbohydrate: 34.3 g
Fiber:  8.5 g
Sugar: 7.6 g
Protein: 9.1 g
Calcium: 84.2 mg

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