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Vegan Food, Family & Travel

Artichoke & Red Bean Étouffée


*Spoiler Alert: If you haven’t been watching True Blood all these years you probably don’t want to click on the links below… they also include curse words and weird sex stuff which might be the two least shocking things that have happened on True Blood over the years. We DO recommend you click on the links to the lemonade and hushpuppies – which will take you to those recipes which are lovely and delicious. If you have been watching True Blood- I recommend you check out io9’s write up of the finale. SERIOUSLY SO FUNNY. You might even want to go back and read some of the past write ups as well. I highly recommend reading the ones for the Billith season

Le Sigh. So Sunday night we said good bye to True Blood or “True Dumb” as we’ve come to call it around our home.

I admit it was time. This show that had held such promise – Great characters. Great location. Great premise. Vampires AND werewolves… got lost in the supernatural weeds and became focused on a love story that was all talk, weird sex and grand gestures and very little of the stuff that really makes love great… laughter and the comfortable warm glow that comes with real companionship mixed with chemistry. Nope… just lots of fairy strip clubs and suitors vying for the favor of our Miss. Stackhouse. Yet Dan and I loyally watched every summer for 7 YEARS!

Dan says we watched because we’re completionists. There might be something to that. I won’t argue I don’t get a thrill from seeing thing through to the end… even Vampire TV shows. But I think there is something more here.

I know I saw it through to the end because I actually was sincerely curious – cared if you want to use the term – what happened to Pam and Eric. Mostly Pam – she was the best. They were bad-ass characters that had the best lines and were everything I wanted two vampires stuck in the muck that became Bon Temps to be. I ‘m almost a little sad to see them go. I mean Jessica and Hoyt were cute and all but they weren’t worth suffering through Bill’s multiple personalities every Sunday night. Sorry Hoyt.

Hoyt giggles are cute though.

So in honor of the most excellent Pam and Eric… and I guess Hoyt Giggles…. we made a little Louisiana Creole feast to say farewell.

Étouffée is not the most famous dish to come out of the Bayou but it’s super easy and just as tasty as any old gumbo or jambalaya. It’s a stew usually made with crawfish or shrimp and lighter (blond) roux. That means the roux is only cooked for about 20 minutes. We served ours with brown rice,  replaced those cute crawfish with artichoke hearts and then added sea kelp and red beans to add flavor and protein. Our recipe turned out a little thicker and tomatoe-y than some of the étouffées you may have seen in restaurants but I think the spirit is still there and when we paired it with homemade lemonade and some hush puppies… well it made for a pretty nice spread to stuff your faces with while you watched our vampire soap opera tradition meet the true death….


Artichoke & Red Bean Étouffée

1/3 cup Olive Oil
1/2 cup Whole Wheat Flour
1 Large Red Onion, diced
3 cloves Garlic, minced
1 cup White Wine
1 28oz can Fire-Roasted Tomatoes
1 Green Bell Pepper, chopped
4 stalks Celery, chopped
1/4 cup Fresh Parsley, chopped
2 Tablespoons Raw Pumpkin Seeds
1 14oz can Artichoke Hearts, drained
1 14oz can Red Beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 teaspoon Celery Seed
1 teaspoon Thyme
1 teaspoon Cumin
1 teaspoon Sea Kelp Granules
1 Tablespoon Tony Chachere’s Creole Seasoning
2 Tablespoons Bragg’s Liquid Amino Acids or Soy Sauce
Dash of Liquid Smoke
Sea Salt and Crushed Black Peppercorns to taste
1 1/2 cups Brown Rice, cooked
2-3 Green Onions, diced


Make your brown rice.

Heat your oil in your favorite cast iron skillet or dutch oven over a medium heat. Once your skillet is warm, whisk in your flour. Continually whisk your mixture for 15-20 minutes or until your flour is lightly “toasted.”

Then using a large spoon, mix in your onion, garlic and white wine. Continue to cook while stirring your mixture. Once your onions are tender, add the remaining ingredients except salt and pepper while continually stirring.

Reduce your heat to simmer and let cook for about 25-30 minutes. Be sure to stir your stew occasionally so that it cooks evenly and nothing sticks to the bottom of your skillet. Give your s tew a taste test and add any needed salt and pepper.

Serve hot with a scoop of rice on top and a sprinkle of green onions… and maybe some vampires – just for old times’ sake.

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