Creole inspired Vegetarian Stew

You gotta try this flavorful vegetarian, gluten free stew that is loaded with crispy crunchy veggies and has protein too! Recipe for the Creole seasoning mix included!

Creole Inspired Vegetarian Stew- loaded with crispy crunchy veggies and gluten free!
Creole Inspired Vegetarian Stew- loaded with crispy crunchy veggies and gluten free!

Our recent visit to New Orleans, is even more special now when we think of last week’s winter storm. It was a wind storm that knocked off power, phone and internet services to our home for 3 days. Aaargh….enough said 😦

So, once we were back home, I wanted to make the warm and comforting Creole Vegetarian Stew that we enjoyed at a restaurant in the French quarter of NOLA….of course it is my version of the stew 🙂

In New Orleans, we took in the sights, sounds and food that it is famous for.  As we began planning our trip, I vividly remembered blog posts that I had enjoyed about NOLA, written by my friend Loretta on her blog, Safari of the Mind. Do check out her awesome posts!

The guided foot tours of the Garden District were very educational as we learned so much about the history and architecture of the area. Here are a few photos from the tour.

Col.Short's Villa
Col.Short’s Villa
fence detail of Col. Short's Villa
Fence detail of Col. Short’s Villa
Gorgeous homes in the Garden district
Gorgeous homes in the Garden district
French Lattice work on homes was a way of displaying wealth
French Lattice work on homes was a way of displaying wealth in those days.

We also did a similar tour of the French Quarter. I was enthralled by the combination of French and Spanish styles of architecture and our tour guide gave us a good glimpse of what life was back then.

Jackson Square, New Orleans
Jackson Square, New Orleans
French Quarter, New Orleans
French Quarter, New Orleans

Visiting Laura Plantation moved me. Our guide was good in bringing alive the history as we saw the homes of the plantation owners and their slaves. It was an emotional experience, to say the least.

Laura Plantation, LA
Laura Plantation, LA
Slave quarters, Laura Plantation
Slave quarters, Laura Plantation

Back in New Orleans, we had booked a food tour that took us all across the French Quarter. The food tour started at the French Market where various shops sell Cajun and Creole food.

French Market, NOLA
French Market, NOLA

I am always fascinated by the history of various foods, are you? It tells us how and why recipes developed a certain way and why they are named so. An example is sandwiches called Po Boys. We saw Central Grocery, where the Muffuletta sandwiches are said to have originated. MuffulettaWe got a glimpse thru a back window to see the beignets being rolled and fried at Café Du Mont, tasted the famous Jambalaya and pralines. The tour ended with a visit to Antoine’s, the oldest restaurant in the French quarter that is still operated today by the 5th generation. Their wine cellar is 165 feet long X 7 feet wide. I love to see beautiful table settings and was happy to see multiple rooms being set beautifully for Valentine’s day and their showcases of fine china that has been used for over 175 years! We bloggers instantly think what gorgeous props they would make, don’t we?fullsizeoutput_1437

We could not just walk away after seeing those beignets through the back window, right? So we went back and had these yummy beignets at Cafe DuMont

Beignets at Cafe Du Mont
Beignets at Cafe Du Mont

One evening we were stuffed from eating all day long but still wanted to try one of the recommended restaurants in the French Quarter. So, we ordered the New Orleans style crab cakes topped with crawfish etoufee, the Vegetarian Creole Stew and the bread pudding with bourbon sauce.

The Vegetarian Creole Stew really stood out for us- it was light and flavorful and what made it remarkable for me was the crunchy vegetables. They were not mushy. So, I wanted to make that stew when I got home. Needless to say, my version is even lighter and healthier. And I added lotus root just for the extra crunch and taste. There is no roux, is gluten free and has added protein and turmeric!

Here is how easy it is-

Making the Creole Seasoning Mix-

My homemade Creole Seasoning Mix recipe below!
My homemade Creole Seasoning Mix- recipe below
Homemade Creole Seasoning Mixed
Homemade Creole Seasoning mixed. I then store it in an airtight container.
All the veggies prepped!
All the veggies prepped!
Veggies stir fried wit Creole Seasoning
Veggies stir fried wit Creole Seasoning- can you smell the fabulous homemade Creole seasoning?Step 4 of the recipe.
Step 5 - tomato paste and the creole seasoning cooked to give the stew its deep color and flavor!
Step 5 – tomato paste and the creole seasoning cooked to give the stew its deep color and flavor!

So are you ready to cook now?

Creole Inspired Vegetable Stew

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients-

Creole Seasoning Mix-

  • 2 ½ tablespoons Spanish paprika
  • 1 ½ tablespoons red dry chili powder (or to taste)
  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • ¾ tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano (I used the mild Mexican oregano)
  • ½ tablespoon dried thyme

Mix all together and store in an airtight container.

For the Stew-

  • ½ cup masoor dal (red lentils)
  • 2 cups water
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil (divided)
  • 2 teaspoons butter (divided)
  • ¾ cup finely diced onion
  • 1 big garlic clove, peeled and minced
  • ¾ cup lotus root, peeled and minced
  • ½ cup minced celery
  • ½ cup finely diced green pepper
  • ¾ cup finely diced carrots
  • 3 teaspoons Creole seasoning mix (divided). Recipe below
  • 2 ½ tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 ½ cups water, divided
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon lime juice

 

To make the Creole Inspired Vegetable Stew-

  1. Wash and drain the masoor dal or red lentils. Add the 2 cups of water, turmeric and salt and heat on high until the water comes to a boil. Stir, reduce heat, cover partially and let it cook for about 10 ~12 minutes or until cooked.
  2. Meanwhile, in another saucepan, heat 1 teaspoon each of the olive oil and butter over medium heat.
  3. Add the diced onion and stir for about 30 seconds. Add the minced garlic and stir for another 30 seconds or just until the raw smell of the onion and garlic is gone. Add the diced lotus root, celery, carrots and the green pepper and stir fry for a minute.
  4. Add 2 teaspoons of the Creole seasoning  mix and stir to coat the veggies for about 1 minute.Remove veggies from the saucepan and set aside.
  5. To the saucepan, add the remaining teaspoon of olive oil and butter and add the tomato paste. Slow roast the tomato paste on low for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the remaining teaspoon of the Creole seasoning mix and stir fry for another minute.
  1. Add ½ cup of the water, stir, cover the pan and let it cook for 5 to 7 minutes on low, stirring in between.
  2. While that is cooking, whisk the cooked dal until it is well blended and satiny smooth. You can do it with an immersion blender or a hand-held whisk, like I did.
  3. To the tomato paste mixture, add the Worcestershire sauce and the brown sugar. Stir, add the whisked dal and 1 cup of water. Let it simmer for 2 minutes or so.
  4. Add the sautéed veggies, stir, add the lime juice and check for salt and seasoning.
  5. Serve!

Notes:

  • If you like the stew a little thinner add another ½ cup of water.
  • The taste of this stew deepens as it sits. So it can be made ahead of time and reheated.

With the snow this weekend, it is a perfect time to make this stew! I hope you like it as much as we did!

Love,

Sandhya

21 thoughts on “Creole inspired Vegetarian Stew

Add yours

    1. Thanks Tamara. I am really happy with the recipe. I was glad to have some leftovers because the stew tasted even better the next day, with the veggies still crispy crunchy.
      It was our first trip to NOLA as well. I enjoyed the culture, architecture and food of LA.

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  1. What a fabulous post, Sandhya. You make me want to visit New Orleans right away. And the stew is sounds so hearty and delicious. I have all the ingredients at home so let me see how soon I can try this. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Aruna. It was our first time visiting New Orleans too. The culture, food and architecture is so different than our area.
      I got a huge compliment from my husband (surprise!) that my stew was even better than the famous restaurant one ! I had made a big batch and was happy to have leftovers. The stew tasted even better the next day and the veggies were still crispy crunchy.

      Like

    1. Thanks so much Cindy! I did get a compliment from my husband ( very rare occurrence 🙂 that my stew was even better than the famed restaurant one!

      Like

  2. What an interesting and enchanting read Sandhya. Your travel posts are always so charming and engaging. I loved your take on the Creole inspired stew, I just knew you’d incorporate it with some Indian spice. 🙂 Well done! The foodie tour must have been fabulous, it took me down memory lane, not just pertaining to Nawlins, but also living in the south for 8 years. Beautifully done, and thanks so much for the mention and link – my greatest joy is when others ask me about places I’ve visited before, I go off on a ramble 🙂 Wasn’t the Garden District such a beautiful area? We were to go to NO again for the jazz fest this year, but we have too much travel coming up in May, so we’re giving it a miss. Would love to see more posts like this from you as you definitely have a gift. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am so touched and encouraged by your sweet words, Loretta. I was thrilled when Sunil said he liked my stew even better than the famed restaurant version! He is my most honest critic so the compliment means even more…ha ha.
      The Garden district with the cemetery tour was indeed educational and fun. He included celebrity homes in the area too. I was happy to do the free tours by foot (gave our guide a shoutout on Insta) as we could pay the guides directly. I did take a lot of pics but was pressed for time so added just a few.Your pics are even better with the flowers and blooming in May! Spring has arrived there so we did see some stunning magnolias blooming.
      I was debating between the Foodie tour and the cooking school but the recipes being taught were recipes thoss that I already make.
      Jazz fest must be so much fun! I was very happy to get tips from you.
      My friend was sad she could not find any vegan places. We happened to go to Seed for our lunch a soon as we got there and the waitress wrote down a list of 5 fabulous vegan restaurants thinking we were vegan.
      I cannot wait to see pics from your trips in May!

      Like

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