When I was 15, my family moved to Lafayette, Louisiana. We only spent one year there, which was pretty much the norm for us throughout my childhood, but Acadiana will always hold a special place in my heart and be my home away from home. People there have an amazing spirit and the the biggest hearts. They know how to have a good time regardless of their situation. The state motto translates to “let the good times roll.” And the good times are abundant down in Cajun Country. The music and food are rich and soulful, spicy, bright, rustic, and complex.
Admittedly, it was hard to imagine a life without oysters, boudin, and etouffee when I went vegan. I have now figured out some great substitutes for all of my favorites. All great Cajun dishes feature spices front and center. Tony Chachere’s is one of the best-known ones. Unfortunately, each serving dishes up 11% of your daily sodium allowance. Not exactly a healthy amount. I opt to make my own blend, then add salt as needed. It’s super easy to make and stores just fine in a small Mason jar. This is great on fries, grits, beans, pasta, greens, vegetables, anything really.
1/3 Cup Paprika
1/4 Cup Granulated Garlic
4 Tbsp Onion Powder
1/3 Cup Freshly Ground Black Pepper
1-2 Tbsp Cayenne Pepper (I use 1T because you can always add more to your dish if you prefer)
2 Tbsp Dried Thyme
2 Tbsp Dried Basil
1 Tbsp Dried Oregano
Just add everything to a jar, cover, and shake. BAM!