Cajun cuisine: Vegan Jambalaya

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From An Opera Singer in the Kitchen

I usually never celebrate Mardi Gras but I was inspired to make something cajun. Actually, I had not made anything cajun since moving from Texas. I usually was invited to a friend’s house or sometimes even received some nice leftovers from another fellow cajun friend.

I owe my inspiration to one of my good friends, Brandon I met Brandon in church in a singles group and he would have parties and I would come over and he would teach me how to make a roux for gumbo and even taught me how to make jambalaya. He keeps a notebook with all his recipes and even recipes he won’t share! I tried to make him share his secret recipe for Shrimp Etoufee, but he would not budge.

He also introduced me to Tony Chachere’s seasonings and told me that these seasonings were essential for cajun cooking. I remember giving him a hard time because surely one did not require JUST one container to make a meal. Boy, was I wrong. I have been using Tony’s for several years now and sometimes have to force myself to put it aside so that I experiment with other seasonings.

Everytime I used Tony’s seasonings Ryan would ask “WHAT did you use for this meal? The seasoning is delicious!” I would continue to say, “Tony’s.”

When we moved from Texas to Michigan, our friends, the Priddys, packed us a goodie box of food essentials. This box contained 4 to 5 Tony’s seasonings that I had never even used along with gumbo file’, red beans and rice and many other goodies. I decided that it was time to make something cajun with both my friend’s inspirations.

I looked up several resources to see what a standard Jambalaya contained and then I converted the recipe to make it vegan-friendly. Instead of using chicken, sausage or any other meat, I used 2 Match sausage links leftover from my recent purchase. It is a vegan substitute for sausage that is sage flavored. I also added red beans which made this meal complete.

I started by cooking whole grain rice to make a healthier dish.

From An Opera Singer in the Kitchen

Since the rice was going to take 45 minutes to cook, I chopped all my vegetables and prepared a delicious salad.

From An Opera Singer in the Kitchen

Once the rice was cooked, I started frying the vegetables in olive oil and then added the sausage. I cooked that for several minutes and then added Tony’s Instant Roux along with some Creole Seasoning. The beans and tomatoes then went in along with the rice. Everything cooked for 10 to 15 minutes.

From An Opera Singer in the Kitchen

What I like about the whole process is that it felt so quick and easy, with great flavor to follow! I thank all my Cajun friends for such great inspirations on this year’s Mardi Gras.

Vegan Jambalaya

serves 4

2 cups whole grain rice
3 1/2 cups water
1 tsp salt
2 carrots, diced
1 celery stalk, diced
1 onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 Match sausage links,sliced (1/2 inch thick)
1-14.5 oz can petite diced tomatoes
1-15oz can kidney beans
2 Tbsp tomato paste
3 tsp Tony Chachere’s Instant Roux
2 tsp Tony Chachere’s Creole Seasoning
1 tsp black pepper
1/2 vegan Bouillon cube
3/4 cup water
1/2 cup green onions, chopped
1/3 cup parsley, chopped

Place 2 cups of rice, 3 1/2 cups water and salt in a medium pot and cook until water boils. Turn heat down to low and cook for 45 minutes.

Meanwhile, chop carrots, celery, onions and garlic.

In a wok or large pot, heat 2 Tbsp olive oil and fry vegetables. Add instant roux, creole seasoning, pepper, tomato paste, water, and bouillon cube and simmer until sauce thickens.

Add sausage and cooked for 5 minutes and then add beans and petite diced tomatoes and cook for another 5 to 7 minutes.

Add 3 cups of cooked rice to mixture and cook for 10 to 15 minutes until sauce has distributed through rice.

Turn heat off and add green onions and parsley before serving.

This dish is not spicy at all, but full of flavor. Feel free to substitute with real sausage and cooked chicken.

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  • Cindy

    Thanks for including our products in your recipe! We are touched to see how our customers use our seasonings!

  • Lele

    Um, YAY! I am meatless for Lent and cannot wait to make this!

  • Anna

    I almost made Jambalaya yesterday, but I had a crazy day, loved the idea of meatless. Looks great.

  • Homesick Cajun

    I absolutly cannot cook without Tony’s! When I moved to NC my family would send me care packages of Tony’s every few months. Imagine my surprise when our local Wal Mart began selling it! Lol…

    My husband is totally addicted to it now!

  • Nicole

    I would love to make this meal – it looks so enticing!

  • Cocina Savant

    love the vegan jambalya! the colors are beautiful and with the seasoning it sounds great!

  • Tanya

    I suppose I really should make this, since I live in New Orleans, LOL! It looks great….will try :)BUT…I’ll have to make it extra spicy, because that’s how my husband likes it!!

  • stapriddy

    I even put Tony’s on my eggs, fried or scrambled. Yum! Glad you are enjoying the care package.

  • Brandon B

    Wow . . . I agree, in great Cajun Tradition it looks as good as it tastes — very colorful!

    And, definitely Props on the creativity — though I’m still iffy on the no meat thing, hehe.

    Try this one out sometime — I’ve been using the “Sodium Free” Tony’s (white container) for a while now! It’s really good but took some practice because it takes a lot more to get it spicy, and it makes you sneeze every time I sprinkle it, hehe. But, I mix it with Morton’s Lite Salt for a healthier dish — considering that I consume so much of it :-)

    Thanks so much for bringing back some really good memories as I was reading!