Mind Diet Recipe: Gumbo Z’Herbes

This week is Brain Awareness Week, and we wanted to share one of Victoria ER’s favorite Mind Diet recipes to celebrate. The Mind Diet is a series of guidelines for your family’s diet that promote brain health and help to prevent conditions like Alzheimer’s later in life. Incorporating some of these techniques into your meal prep can do wonders to improve your brain’s health.

This recipe comes just in time for the spring crawfish season. Following in the footsteps of famous Cajun chefs like Susan Spicer, Emeril Lagasse, and Leah Chase, Gumbo Z’herbes is a great way to celebrate this Gulf Coast tradition, with significantly less sodium and fat than other kinds of gumbos. By using vegetable stock and turnips, you can get the same hearty taste, but with all the vitamins your brain could ask for! You can even add in some sautéed mushrooms if you feel adventurous.

Bring this great twist on a creole classic to your next crawfish boil to help promote brain health with all your family and friends.


Serves: 6-8


  • ½ cup olive oil
  • ½ cup Einkorn or whole wheat flour
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 2 green bell peppers, chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, finely chopped
  • 2 medium turnips, peeled and chopped
  • 1 cup chopped scallions
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped garlic
  • 2 cups coarsely chopped turnip greens (or collard greens)
  • 2 cups spinach
  • 2 quarts vegetable stock
  • 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 batch of seasoning mix

Seasoning mix:

  • 1 Tablespoon sweet paprika
  • 1 Tablespoon dried mustard
  • 1 Tablespoon dried sweet basil
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ – ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper

Heat oil in a large, heavy pot over medium heat until almost smoking. Carefully whisk in the flour to make your roux and continue stirring until the roux has a caramel color.

Add the onions, bell peppers, celery, turnips and garlic. Stir to coat vegetables with the roux, about 5 minutes. Stir in ½ of the seasoning mix and add the stock. Stir in the Worcestershire sauce, bring to a boil then reduce the heat to low and let it simmer. Cover and cook for about one hour, or longer if you want the flavors to have more time to come together.

Add the turnip greens, spinach, and scallions and cook for about 10 – 15 minutes until wilted. Add more of the seasoning mix to suit your taste and preferred spice level.

Serve over brown rice, with a few splashes of hot sauce, if you want an extra kick.

This blog post was written by Maggie Berardo, Content Writer at Nutex Health. Maggie has a passion for food writing and is excited to share some of her recipes with our facility.

Nutex Health, Inc. supports you and your family’s health. Come visit Victoria Emergency Room or any one of our concierge-level freestanding facilities for the emergency care you deserve, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.