A few weeks ago while at the IWFM, I was excited to be positioned across from a cooking demonstration led by Ronak Shah and one of his “Cooking Club” students. While I did not know in the beginning what dish they were preparing, I DID know that it smelled great! Once they gave the signal that it was ready, I quickly left my table and headed over for a sample of vegetable jambalaya. It had been a long time since I last ate this hearty dish (probably 20 years!), but upon enjoying their sample, I knew I would have to make it again soon. The recipe they shared came from Leanne Brown’s Good and Cheap: Eat Well on $4/Day book. My adaptations are indicated below.
Ingredients2 TBSP oil (canola/olive)
1 medium onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped (I used red as that is what I had on hand)
3 stalks celery, chopped
3 cloves minced garlic
2 large tomatoes, chopped (I used a 28-oz can)
2 bay leaves
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp Worcestershire or soy sauce (I left this out)
3/4 c long grain rice
3 c vegetable stock (I used half vegetable and half chicken stock)
I also added: 1 can red beans and 1 lb cubed & cooked chicken breast
- Heat oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion, pepper, and celery and cook for ~5 minutes, until translucent but not brown. Add the rest of the ingredients, except for the rice and broth. Cook for ~1-2 minutes to allow the tomato juice to release (if using fresh tomatoes).
- Add the rice and broth; reduce heat to medium and let the dish cook until the rice absorbs the liquid (~20-30 minutes). If using, add the beans and cooked chicken to the dish when it has ~15 minutes to go.