Today I decided to cook Jambalaya after reading about a Quinoa Jambalaya recipe on icooktheblogs.com. What a creative and healthy idea to use quinoa instead of white rice! The recipe actually originated on another blog, but after reading it I decided why not stick with my regular Jambalaya recipe and just sub out the rice with quinoa. I usually put shrimp and chicken sausage in my Jambalaya, but my husband always complains that the shrimp is slimy and too fishy from my regular market and I didn’t have time to go to a special fish market, so I used a small boneless skinless chicken breast and three chicken sausages. I used mild organic spinach and chicken sausage by Aidells, mainly because I had it in my freezer. If I were to make this again I would have gone to the fish market and added the shrimp, but it was still quite good! I will list the recipe with the shrimp even though I didn’t use any today.
Jambalaya with Quinoa
Traditional Jambalaya recipe with a very untraditional substitution of quinoa in the place of the white rice (and optional substitution of baby bok choy instead of celery).
- Olive oil
- 1 small sweet onion, diced
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 small skinless boneless chicken breast, cut into bite-sized pieces
- 3 chicken sausages – spicy is best if you like spicy food, otherwise mild works
- 2 stalks of celery, diced
- (NOTE: ok, I am not sure anyone will take this seriously, but I actually used one piece of baby bok choy chopped instead of the celery because I really don’t care to buy a whole package of celery and only use two stalks and throw the rest away. Then I panicked that it would look weird so I added a handful of chopped celery from the WFM salad bar…but traditionally I have used celery. The bok choy was actually good in it!).
- 2 bell peppers (I used one orange and one red), chopped
- 1 jalapeño, de-seeded and chopped.
- NOTE: in the future if my son is not going to eat this I will add two jalapeños and not de-seed them so it is spicier. If you like food mild, 1 jalapeño de-seeded is going to be perfect. I like it hot!
- 1 – 28 ounce can of diced tomatoes, with the juice
- 2 tablespoons of tomato paste
- salt and pepper to taste (approximately 1 teaspoon salt and 2 teaspoons of freshly ground black pepper).
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 2 cups of low-sodium chicken broth
- 1 cup of quinoa
- 1/2 pound of de-veined and shelled shrimp
- 1 tablespoon of fresh basil, sliced
- In a large dutch oven or stockpot heat the olive oil on medium high heat. Add the sausage and chicken and cook until the sausage is lightly browned and the chicken is cooked through. Remove the meat from the pot.
- Add a little more olive oil and add the onion and garlic and cook for 5 minutes. Add the celery(or bok choy), bell peppers and jalapeño and cook until the vegetables are soft, about 10 minutes.
- Add the cooked chicken and sausage back to the pot. Add the tomatoes and their juice, tomato paste, salt and pepper, bay leaves, oregano, chicken broth and quinoa to the pot. Bring to a boil and then turn down to simmer for 30 minutes with the lid on. Check on it occasionally to make sure is has not become too dry and to stir it.
- Add shrimp and basil, turn heat up to medium and cook with the lid off for 5 minutes or until the shrimp is fully cooked. Remove the bay leaves and serve in bowls. Enjoy!
December 2, 2016