Smokin’ Veggie Jambalaya

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We just spent a week down South. Which makes me think of all those wonderful (and not-usually-good-for-you or vegan) southern foods. I’m no culinary historian, but I think it’s safe to say Jambalaya has some heritage from the New Orleans area. It’s traditionally made with lots of meat and seafood. But not in our kitchen.

As the weather gets cooler, try this filling and spicy dish, inspired by the Creole classic.

Smokin’ Veggie Jambalya

1 Tbl. olive oil

2 white onions, minced (about 2 cups)

2 red onion, minced (about 2 cups)

6 or 7 cloves of garlic, minced

1 cup celery, chopped

4 veggie sausages (we like Field Roast Smoked Apple-Sage),  sliced into rounds

2 green or red peppers, chopped

4 carrots, chopped

2 cups long grain brown rice

4 cups veggie stock (one box)

3-4 tsp. Cajun spice blend

2 14-oz. cans of diced tomatoes (we like the basil-oregano kind)

2 cups mushrooms, chopped

1/2 tsp. dried thyme

2 bay leaves

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. black pepper

1 or 2 tsp. cayenne pepper (to taste)

1 cup fresh parsley, roughly chopped

1/2 cup fresh basil, roughly choppped

Tabasco or your fave hot sauce

Saute onions, garlic, celery and veggie sausage together in olive oil until onions are soft.

Add peppers, carrots, rice, stock, Cajun spice, tomatoes, mushrooms, thyme, bay leaves, salt, pepper and cayenne. Stirring frequently, boil mixture. After the pot boils, allow to simmer, covered, for 30 minutes or until rice has cooked thru and all veggies are soft. Stir a few times, but allow jambalaya to cook on its own. (This isn’t high maintenance like a risotto.)

To serve, sprinkle with generous amount of fresh parsley and basil, and splash on some hot sauce.

Cook’s Notes: Don’t like veggie sausage? No prob, just omit it from the recipe and add in a few more mushrooms. Try this recipe with fresh summer squash, zucchini or okra as well.

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