Lobster night, seafood stock, and homemade Gumbo…a pescetarian post

Ah, already a week has past since my last post. Time flies when you’re moving to New York in 10 days. (Yikes). So last weekend, a lobster pot from Maine was delivered to the house and we had a feast in honor of my Dad’s birthday. It was all yummy but I had seriously mixed feelings about it all. You know you need to be a vegetarian when you start to tear up while looking at the live lobsters that will soon be your dinner. It’s like Paul McCartney said, “If slaughter houses had glass walls, everyone would be a vegetarian.” Something I started thinking to myself, as I cut back on my meat intake was, “how much meat would I eat if I had to kill it and clean it myself?” I approve and appreciate those people who do hunt and clean and eat their own meat; I understand the need to keep certain animal populations down, etc. My problems start to come in with factory farming and this large scale, supply and demand, literal massive meat market and everything that goes along with it. Anyhow, I still eat a little bit of meat/seafood. I’d say less than 6oz per week. I call myself a 90% vegetarian but I’d like to be more like a 99%er. It’s all a journey. Everyone’s is different. I encourage you to do some research, educate yourself, and start your journey.

So Lobster Night…Shain did the deed like a proper chef and cooked the lobsters in their pot with a bag of old bay spices and a can of beer. A bag of mussels went into another pot seasoned with white wine and shallots.

Kahlil Gibran said,

“When you kill a beast, say to him in your heart: By the same power that slays you, I too am slain, and I too shall be consumed. For the law that delivers you into my hand shall deliver me into a mightier hand. Your blood and my blood is naught but the sap that feeds the tree of heaven.”

So I thanked them for sacrificing their lives so that mine may go on. And then we made a tray of roasted squash, zucchini, carrots and onions and melted butter and lemon juice dipping sauce. (We managed to make the meal carb free, at least.)

It was all delicious and after we finished, we finally remembered to make seafood stock with the leftovers! This makes me feel great because nothing goes to waste. You can make your own stock, too–after cooking a whole chicken, or ham, or having a seafood feast, just boil all the leftovers and voila’–homemade stock that can be used to make soups and gumbos, or just to be used for delicious flavoring! You can also go meat free and make vegetable stock by boiling onions, carrots, celery and garlic…yum.  Because of the huge lobster pot, we ended up with 10 quart jars of stock so we had plenty to share with friends.

Which leads me to Gumbo

Tonight I finally got around to making some gumbo goodness. Here’s how: (BTW This is easily made vegan.)

Put 2 quarts seafood stock in a large pot and add a gumbo mix. (I had one my mom just brought back from New Orleans last week) If you don’t have this, make it yourself by adding:

1 Tablespoon of butter (smart balance or nature’s balance)

1/4 C flour

1 tsp sugar

parsley, thyme, 2 bay leaves, cayenne and black pepper and sea salt

Stir it all together and bring to a boil.

While waiting, rinse, chop, and saute’ okra, an onion, a couple of bell pepper and a few celery stalks. (My mother informed me that the holy trinity of vegetables in Louisiana cooking are onions, peppers and celery. Thanks mom.) And prepare your meat or meat substitutes. I chopped one block of extra firm tofu, some vegan chorizo, a can of pinto beans and 1lb of raw shrimp. You could easily omit the seafood or try adding some other sausage substitute like GimmieLean (brown in skillet first). There is also room for a second can of beans as well. This is a huge pot!

In another, smaller pot, I made 1 cup of a 4 rice blend.

So once you’re boiling, add everything else in and bring to a second boil. Let it cook another 3-4 minutes then remove it from the heat and let it stand about 15-30min. Then you can serve over your rice or mix the rice in. It should be rich and thick and delicious and just a tad spicy.

So there you have it! Go and try it yourself now. This is the perfect meal as it is starting to get chilly outside. Get excited about my next post…I may have just made a how to video on making homemade yogurt.


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