Friday, April 27, 2012

Fat Free Roux and Étoumbo Recipe

I was reading vegan food blogs, because that's what I do all the time. My favorite thing to read about is how much other people love food.

The Fat Free Vegan posted this post featuring a fat free roux.
A roux, traditionally, is a cooking base of flour and fat, normally butter. It's the base to most soups, cheese sauces, or gumbos.

I learned a lot about traditional roux from my all time favorite Food Network personality Alton Brown. This is the episode where he explains a lot about roux.

Now that you're caught up about roux and we're on the same page; imagine making it FAT FREE.
Keep Going...

I didn't believe it.
I decided to make it in order to prove it wouldn't work, of course secretly I hoped it would work because I love decreasing the amount of oil in my diet so I can increase delicious nuts and avocados.

What you do...
Put your 1/3 cup flour in a pot over medium-high heat stirring constantly. This is the same as a regular roux but without the fat. You stir for a long time, like 15 minutes. I got bored. I kept thinking... this isn't going to work.

 and then... 15 minutes later

BAM! the flour totally gets brown and toasty. It looks like a dry roux. You simply blend it with stock to get the final component. 

I made the same recipe as The Fat Free Vegan, just with some substitutions based on what I had in the house. I'm calling it a Étoumbo because it feels like a cross between an Étouffée and a Gumbo. When making vegan versions of traditional dishes it can be hard to create a name, it technically isn't either of those traditional meat based dishes. We can be flexible on names right? 


  • 1/3 cup unbleached white flour
  • 2 cups broth ( I used 2 bouillon cubes and water to make my own because I was out)
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 rib celery, finely chopped
  • a bunch of Red Chard, destemmed and cut in a chiffonade
  • a carton of mushrooms, stemmed and halved
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • dried thyme
  • paprika
  • just a little cayenne pepper (or a lot if you love it)
  • black pepper
  • white pepper
  • dried basil
  •  vegan sausage (such as Tofurky), sliced thickly
  • 4 green onions 
First, Make the roux. Toast the flour and blend with the stock. Set aside. 

Saute the onion and celery. I used a tiny tiny bit of oil here but you could use water if you want. 

Add the mushrooms and garlic and cook for a bit, cover for 3-5 minuted. I added my chard too early and it got too soft so don't add your chard yet :) You already stirred flour for 15 minutes, this isn't the time to get impatient. 

Add in the blended roux/stock mixture and other seasonings like soy sauce, thyme, cayenne, etc. 

Add the sliced sausage and the chard. Cover the pan and simmer for 15 minutes. 

Sprinkle the green onion on top at the end.

I love that bowl of delicious pretty goodness. The thyme, basil, cayenne combo was totally working for this dish. 

Can you see the thick sauce it has?? NO oil peoples, I am stoked. 

I stirred in rice after it was all said and done, but you can serve it over rice if you prefer. 

Happy Eating! 


  1. Fat-free, and low fat food at grocery stores with nutritional facts at

  2. this was a fun read and useful too! thank you!