NEW ORLEANS SEAFOOD ‘N GRITS
(THE VEGAN AND GLUTEN-FREE VERSION!)
Myra from Bitchin’ Bohemian Blends
Simple. Versatile. Flavortude.
Hi! Ever eaten shrimp and grits? As a chef, one of the things I’ve always been known for is Cajun cuisine, and my signature dish was a New Orleans-style Shrimp and Grits.
I’ve done my best to replicate that delectable flavor profile into a more healthy and sustainable dish that would excite the palates of both vegans and individuals that have to be wary of gluten (as I do).
I chose to share this recipe because mushrooms are: 1) a sustainable food, 2) full of health benefits that we are only beginning to comprehend, and 3) low in calories and can aid in weight loss if desired.
I am a believer in utilizing mushrooms as often as possible in your meals because not only are they fabulously tasty, but also the health benefits are extensive. In fact, I’m now teaching a class every other week at Rockledge Gardens called Mushroom Mania!, where I take various mushrooms and show how to create amazing dishes. Those interested can sign up to attend on the Rockledge Gardens website. (Postponed due to Coronavirus, but follow them on social media for future dates).
4 oz oyster mushrooms (gray, yellow, or pink)
4 oz king oyster (king trumpet) mushrooms
4 oz lion’s mane mushrooms
2 cups fresh spinach
1/3 cup red bell pepper (or orange or yellow or a combination), chopped
1/3 cup onion, sliced
¼ cup celery, thinly sliced
1 ½ cup vegetable stock, divided (1 ¼ cup & ¼ cup)
3 T vegan butter or olive oil, or a combo of both, divided (2T & 1T)
2 tsp cornstarch
¾ tsp Fishalicious Seafood Seasoning
1 tsp Bayou Voodoo Cajun Seasoning, or more to taste
Heavy splash white wine
Splash red wine
Chopped scallion, for garnish
2-3 cooked servings of your favorite grits, seasoned with salt and vegan butter
- Pull apart the oyster mushrooms into individual pieces. If you’d like, cut these into the stems and tops. (The stems should remind you of shrimp and the tops, oysters. See picture.) Slice the king oysters into rounds, like scallops. (Use the top as if it is another scallop or save it for another dish.) Don’t make these “scallops” too thick – only about ¼ inch thick. Pull the lion’s manes apart into small pieces – think pieces of blue crab as you do this.
- Heat a sauté pan to medium-high heat, put in 2 T of the butter/oil, then add the mushrooms. Add the Fishalicious and mix well. Sauté until done (approx. 7-10 mins), then remove from the pan and set aside.
- Using the same pan, heat to medium, add the remaining 1 T butter/oil, and put in the peppers. Sauté for one minute and add the onions. Sauté for one more minute before adding the celery and the Bayou Voodoo. Sauté these ingredients until the onions are at the stage right before they brown, then put in a heavy splash of white wine. Pan should sizzle.
- Add 1 ¼ cup of the vegetable stock, stir well, then add the cooked mushrooms. Increase the heat to medium-high and let this mixture reduce by ¼.
- Add the splash of red wine. Taste for seasoning. Add more Bayou Voodoo if needed. Stir, then immediately add the spinach.
- Mix the cornstarch with the remaining ¼ cup stock and add to the simmering veggies and liquid. Mixture should thicken within a couple of minutes, and the spinach will be wilted. (For added creaminess, add an extra T of vegan butter after removing from the heat and mix in.)
- Ladle over your favorite grits. Garnish with chopped scallions.