In case you’ve been living under a rock, or are totally uninterested in celebrity news, Jay Z and Beyoncé have been vegan for nearly 2 weeks! Why? I wish I could say it’s because they care deeply amount the plight of animals raised for food, and that they want to do it to set a healthy example (which they might). Actually Jay Z’s trainer and owner of 22 Days Nutrition, Marco Borges, is a vegan, and he inspired the Carter’s to give the “diet” a try for 22 days. I think it’s fabulous! Thanks to them, more people know what veganism is, and are hopefully giving it a try for themselves. It also gives me an opportunity to have fun, and make recipes and videos inspired by the couple, which is what I’ve done!
Enter Big Pimpin’ Brownies and Bootylicious Gumbo!
These vegan brownies are boozed up with Hennessy (a favorite liquor in the rap world). The gumbo, inspired by Yoncé’s southern roots, is definitely bootylicious!
NOTE: This gumbo and brownies are best enjoyed while listening/watching Beyoncé’s fabulous new self-titled visual album. Especially “Grown Woman”!!!
Check out the videos below, and the recipes further down!
Big Pimpin’ Brownies
Recipe is adapted from the Minimalist Baker’s simple vegan brownies. Makes about 8 servings.
2 tbsp ground chia or flax seed + 4 tbsp water
½ cup vegan butter (Earth Balance)
1 cup sugar
3 tbsp Hennessy cognac
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp sea salt
1 tsp instant espresso
½ cup dutch-process cocoa powder
½ cup flour
½ cup chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350° and oil a 8×8 baking pan.
First start by preparing your vegan “egg”: In a small bowl combine ground chia/flax seeds with water and stir well. Set it aside to thicken as you work on other components.
Melt butter in a glass or metal bowl fitted over a pot of boiling water. Once melted, remove from heat and add the sugar, Hennessy, vanilla, baking powder, sea salt, espresso, and cocoa powder, and chia/flax egg. Stir well before slowly stirring in the flour and chocolate chips.
Pour the batter into the oiled baking pan, and bake for 40 minutes. Remove from oven and test doneness by sticking a toothpick into the center of the brownies. If it comes out clean, they’re done. If not, bake for another 10 minutes.
Allow the brownies to cool for at least 10 minutes before devouring pimp-style.
Makes 4 servings
¼ cup olive oil
¼ cup flour
1 large yellow onion, diced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
2 cups celery, chopped
1 large green pepper, chopped
1 can diced tomatoes
3 Field Roast Apple Sage Sausages
½ a vegetable bouillon cube + 3 cups of water OR 3 cups of vegetable broth
1 bay leaf
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp fresh black pepper
1 tsp dried thyme
1 ½ cups brown rice
Preheat a large dutch oven, or heavy bottom pot, over medium heat. Add the olive oil, then sprinkle in the flour when the oil is hot. Toast the flour in the oil, unstirred, for a few minutes until it turns golden brown. That’s your roux!
Add the onions to the roux, followed by a sprinkle of sea salt, and stir. Cook until they begin to soften, about 2 minutes, then add the garlic, celery and green pepper.
While the veggies are cooking, take a couple of minutes to chop the sausages in ½ inch rounds. Add these to the pot along with the diced tomatoes and stir well.
Add the bouillon and water (or vegetable broth) as well as the bay leaf.
Bring the gumbo to a simmer, and allow to cook uncovered for about 30-45 minutes (depending on how thick you want it).
While the gumbo is cooking, take this time to make your brown rice. Add 1 ½ cups of rice (I prefer medium-grain brown rice) to 3 cups of boiling water. Add a dash of salt, reduce heat to a low simmer, and cook with the lid ajar for about 30 minutes.
Once the gumbo has thickened up, remove it from the heat and add the final spices. Add smoked paprika, black pepper and dried thyme. Stir well, season to taste, and serve over brown rice.