Monday, December 21, 2009

Home cookin' doesn't need to mean meat- Vegan Jambalaya

 Here is an article that was written about me in my local newspaper.  I have included a recipe for Vegan Jambalaya. Enjoy!

Home cookin' doesn't need to mean meat
Advocate - Baton Rouge, La.
Date: Aug 31, 2006
Start Page: 1
Section: F

Germaine Sibley Gordon is a dancer with a master's degree in creative arts psychotherapy from Columbia College in Chicago. She's also a vegan who eats no animal products. Her diet includes mainly vegetables, fruits, soy products and nuts.

"I'm a dancer, so I started by cutting out beef and pork to help with the weight aspect of it," Gordon said.

"I moved to Chicago, and in my last year of graduate school, I became really ill from the stress of everything and not eating well."

Then she met her future husband, Daniel Gordon.

"He was a vegan," she said. "I told him how I had gotten sick, and he told me I needed to change my diet. He got me into more holistic health and into changing my diet."

Although she felt much better, Germaine Sibley Gordon missed the traditional Creole cuisine on which she had grown up. That's when she began experimenting.

"When I moved back home and had my own kitchen, I had a lot of time to think of ways to do my jambalaya or my greens," she said. "I had the time to create."

Gordon attributes her skill in cooking to her parents.

Her mother, Connie Sibley, is from Port Allen. "She taught me the aspects of flavor that make a dish so south Louisiana," she said. "My dad, Fred Sibley, taught me the creativity of cooking."

By using certain soy products, like Tofurky sausage and Fakin' Bakin, a soy-based bacon substitute, Gordon has been able to create vegan dishes that are both tasty and satisfying.

Overcooking vegetables is a no-no. "My greens are steamed, not boiled or smothered down," s he said. "When you overcook your food, you don't get the nutrients."

Gordon seldom sautes ingredients, but if a recipe requires that ingredients be sauteed, she flavors the oil first and then quickly stirs the ingredients in the oil. "I won't keep them in the pot for very long," she said.

In addition, Gordon always tries to serve some raw vegetables with every meal. "I either have a salad or have my asparagus raw or my broccoli raw," she said. "Asparagus is very pungent, so when you do it raw, it flavors the things around it."

The Gordons are rearing their 3-year-old son, Ra Moshe Gordon, as a vegan, but finding a local school that will assist with his diet has been a problem. This summer, he attended camp at the Baton Rouge International School. "They have been very helpful," Germaine Gordon said.

Vegan Jambalaya

Serves about 6. Recipe is from Germaine Sibley Gordon.

2 large portobello mushrooms, gills and stems removed, chopped
Olive oil
3 links of your favorite vegan sausage substitute (seitan is also a great alternative)
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 medium bell pepper, finely chopped
3 green onions, chopped Salt, to taste
Unsalted Cajun or Creole seasoning, to taste
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 tbls. chopped parsley
2 cups uncooked white basmati rice, rinsed
4 cups vegetable broth or 4 cups water combined with 4 tbls. vegetable broth powder
Bay leaf, optional

1. Season mushrooms with about 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Stir- fry until slightly cooked. Remove mushrooms and add sausage. Cook until brown. 2. In a large pot, sweat (cook covered on low heat) onions, bell pepper and green onions with salt and Cajun or Creole seasoning for 5-7 minutes. Add garlic and continue cooking for about 1 minute more. Add mushrooms, sausage and parsley and stir for another minute. 3. Add uncooked rice with salt and Cajun or Creole seasoning. Stir until all ingredients are thoroughly mixed and rice begins to stick to pan. Add vegetable broth or water seasoned with vegetable broth powder and bay leaf, if desired. Stir. Re-season to taste. 4. Let mixture come to a boil. Then turn heat to low, cover and simmer for 20-25 minutes, making sure all of the water is gone. Once rice is cooked, stir together the ingredients in the pot and turn off the heat. Let the jambalaya sit and steam for another 5- 10 minutes

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