Before we get to our regularly-scheduled programming, I have a few housekeeping — er, should I say site-keeping — notes to share. First of all, you may notice that Delectably Free has a new look. My previous header and design was created by my lovely and talented friend Aubrey, but I needed an update to go with some of my other site changes, and wanted to once and for all clarify that we are not entirely “sugar” free, but rather refined sugar-free, lest anyone get too confused. With that, we now have a new header reflecting that clarification. You might also notice the new photo on the sidebar, courtesy of my other lovely and talented friends at Riggs Photography, who took long-awaited photos for this site, which can also be found on my About Me page and in my Coaching Program pages. A few weeks ago, I also added Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram links to my sidebar, for those interested in following my happenings on any of those sites as well. Finally — and this one came with great trepidation — I added mobile compatibility so that my site is easier to navigate via phone. This was was with trepidation because the character and feel of this site is largely lost through the mobile setup, but I felt I had to do it to make everything easier and more seamless. Please, please, please let me know what you think! I am always open to suggestions for improvement.
Anyways, now back to the regularly-scheduled program: this vegan Jamabalaya,which is made with Beyond Meat Chicken strips. As I’ve said before, I normally do not love using processed vegan substitutions such as vegan cheese or meats in my cooking anymore. While I am totally not against these things and indulge in them on occasion, I’ve just found that I feel better and healthier when sticking to a more whole food, plant-based diet utilizing as minimally-processed ingredients as possible.
That said, when the New York Times devotes an entire article to the newest face in the vegan meat replacement world, Beyond Meat, and when that “face” happens to also be gluten-free and soy-free, I feel that at least some attention is due. I decided I had to devote at least one recipe on this site to what the Times referred to as “fake chicken worth eating”, so here it is.
In researching Jambalaya recipes, it quickly became apparent to me that there were many ways to go about this recipe. Like much regional cuisine, it seems that Jambalaya, which can be categorized as either “Cajun” or “Creole”, differs in taste and texture depending on which of the aforementioned categories it falls into. As I understand it, this Jambalaya is more of the Creole variety, as Cajun Jambalaya uses no tomatoes. As pictured, this version also appears more stew-like, which is how I like it. But the longer you cook it, the more it will turn into a thick and almost risotto-like rice dish, which is good, too. We ate this throughout the week and it reheated on the stovetop well.
I adapted this recipe from the Shrimp Jambalaya recipe in Gluten-Free, Sugar-Free Cooking, which is one of the first allergy-friendly cookbooks I ever owned, and one that still offers loads of ideas and inspiration. While not a vegan cookbook, there are several vegan options in there as well, and the author has since written two other cookbooks that are both vegan (also favorites). I played around with the spices and veggies in this dish, but otherwise kept the proportions almost the same. However, instead of shrimp (obviously), something better than chicken — Beyond Chicken — is added in at the end, making this a hearty,delicious one-pot meal.
Adapted from the Shrimp Jambalaya recipe in Gluten-free, Sugar-Free Cooking
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (or vegetable broth)
- 1 cup red onion, finely chopped (about 1 medium onion)
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped
- 1 green bell pepper, chopped
- 1 cup celery, chopped (about 3-4 long stalks)
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 14 oz. can fire roasted tomatoes with green chilis
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- 1 1/2 cups long grain brown rice
- 2 cups Beyond Meat grilled "chicken" strips, chopped
- salt to taste
- cayenne pepper to taste (I used 1/4 teaspoon)
- hot sauce to serve (optional)
- Saute the onion, pepper and celery in olive oil or vegetable broth in a Dutch oven or large pot, over medium heat, until soft, about 7-8 minutes. Add garlic and cook another 2 minutes.
- Add vegetable broth, rice, tomatoes with chilis, oregano, thyme and smoked paprika. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low. Cover and cook until rice is tender, about 40-45 minutes, stirring occasionally. Cook longer for a thicker jambalaya, if desired.
- Add Beyond Meat and heat through. Add salt and cayenne to taste. Serve immediately, with hot sauce if desired.
If you can't find fire roasted tomatoes with green chilis, use a regular can of fire roasted tomatoes and add a small can of green chilis (usually 4 oz.) separately.