Vegetarian Jambalaya

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Vegetarian Jambalayasource: Weekend!

Even though I’m a veg­et­ar­ian, I grew up  in Mary­land, and I’ve never stopped yearn­ing for south­ern food.  Until late­ly,  I’ve been out of luck. Home style south­ern cook­ing just hasn’t been a pop­ular top­ic among veg­et­ar­ian cook­book wri­ters.

Fortunately, things have begun to change.

With the publication of  the Vegan Soul Kit­chen, Cookin’ South­ern Veg­et­ar­ian Style, and Great Amer­ican Veg­et­ar­ian, veg­et­ar­ians can now en­joy their south­ern roots with­out eati­ng meat.

Great Amer­ican Veg­et­ar­ian, by Nava Atlas, is the source for my fav­or­ite Veg­et­ar­ian Jam­bal­aya rec­ipe.  This rec­ipe is full of del­ic­ious creole flav­or, with­out inc­luding a speck of animal prod­ucts. Plus, it heal­thy!

Vegetarian Jambalaya by Nava Atlas

Ingredients

3 cups water

1 1/4 cups raw brown rice

2 tablespoons canola oil, divided

8 links soy “sausage”

1 large onion, chopped

3 to 4 cloves garlic, minced

4 celery stalks, diced

1 medium green or red bell pepper, diced

1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes

1 teaspoon each: paprika, dried oregano, dried basil

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

cayenne pepper to taste

salt to taste

Directions

Bring the water to a simmer in a saucepan.  Stir in the rice; cover and cook at a gentle, steady simmer, covered, until the water is absorbed, about 35 minutes.

Heat just enough of the oil to lightly coat the bottom of  large, nonstick skillet. When hot, arrange the “sausage” links in the skillet and cook over medium-high heat, gently turning them until  all sides are golden brown. Remove from the heat and set aside until needed.

Heat the remaining oil in the same skillet.  Add the onion and saute over medium heat until translucent. Add the garlic, celery and bell pepper, and continue to saute until all the vegetables are lightly browned.

Add the remaining ingredients except the salt. Bring to a simmer, then cover and simmer gently for 15 to 20 minutes.

Cut the “sausage” links into 1/2-inch-thick pieces. Add to the skillet and simmer briefly,  just until they are heated through.

Combine the skillet mixture with the hot cooked rice in a large serving bowl and toss together thoroughly. Season to taste with salt (and a bit more cayenne if you’d like) and serve at once.

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