A Meaty Treat: Sausage Jambalaya

16 Sep
Warm yumminess on a plate! Sausage Jambalaya. © Jess Bruce 2015

Warm yumminess on a plate! Sausage Jambalaya. © Jess Bruce 2015

Boy are you guys in for a treat. I have such a treat of a recipe to share with you all today. What kind of a treat? A meaty treat.

Yes I said meaty. Regular readers may remember that for the last year or more I have been eschewing animal products and turning instead to sea food and more plant based protein sources. I will save a ‘should I / shouldn’t I’ discussion on whether to eat meat or not for another day.

Today all I will say is that I have been eating more meat. I try not to go overboard on it as I genuinely think my body behaves more nicely without it. But what can I say, I like the taste and flavour of meat dishes and in small amounts it doesn’t seem to be too detrimental to my digestion or ME/CFS symptoms. So for now I am trying to shut out all the ‘meat is harmful for your health and the environment’ voices and give my body what it craves a couple of times a week.

Sausage, rice, tomatoes and vegetables, yum © Jess Bruce 2015

Sausage, rice, tomatoes and vegetables, yum © Jess Bruce 2015

Out of all the meats, the one I am the biggest sucker for is pork. Yes I know not the best meat for me what with it being the most dense and difficult to digest. Great. And to add insult to injury I love fatty pork belly , sausages, hams, bacon and salamis more than anything. Again, yes I know, really not good for me. Highly processed, full of saturated fat etc etc.

Moderation and balance is key. The watchwords of good health. I do not eat pork (or any meat for that matter) 3 times a day, 7 days a week (as much as I would like to at times….bacon sarnie for breakie, salami filled deli salad for lunch and the delightful sausage jambalaya recipe that I’m about to share, for dinner anyone?)

Meat is a treat. Something I enjoy once or twice a week, preferably not more, though it depends on whether the angel or the devil wins out when I’m meal planning.

So today’s recipe is a treat in my eyes. And a yummy one at that.

Sausage Jambalaya.

A classic Cajun dish, jambalaya recipes are a dime a dozen. A Google search for the words ‘sausage jambalaya’ gives  478,000 results. Arguably the world doesn’t need another one!

© Jess Bruce 2015

© Jess Bruce 2015

So why should you make my jambalaya recipe, I hear you ask?

My answer:

  1. It is a legendary recipe in my family. A true family staple. Tried, tested and trusted. We have been making this for at least 12 years.
  2. Mr B loves it. He has fond memories of it. On his first ever visit to see me at my parents house during our Easter break from University in our first year, we had this meal for dinner on his first night. He would add here that he had to cook his own dinner that night since I was cooking, and then as now, he is always my sous-chef if home whilst I’m cooking.
  3. Since we lived in Halls and ate in our College refectory (‘Buttery’ to us Cambridge-ites) during our first year at University, I guess, in light of #2, that would make this the first meal I ever made my husband to be. Ahhhh. A recipe of love.
  4. Love mush aside, the reason you should make this jambalaya is because of its ingredients: wholegrain low GI  basmati brown rice, inflammation fighting turmeric and nutrient dense fresh veggies.
  5. And then of course there’s the sausages, the stars of the show. Delicious herby pork sausages paired with spicy paprika spiked chorizo. What more could you want. The perfect balance of good for you and delicious treatyness (treat-i-ness – a new word).
  6. It’s quick and easy.
  7. It’s delicious.
  8. Perhaps not an entirely authentic jambalaya recipe, it is however a great twist on a classic.
  9. Did I mention it has two kinds of sausages in it?

As with everything in life, you get what you pay for. Buy the best quality sausages that you can afford. This is never more important than when eating a processed food product. I’m a bit of a control freak when it comes to what I eat (with good reason, read about my migraine theory here) and if I could, I’d make everything from scratch. But sausage making is a little beyond my energy levels at present (and probably skill level too to be fair). So I buy the best quality gluten and dairy free sausages  I can afford and find, from a local butcher where I know that they are 100% pork and herbs/spices without any added fillers. Always ask questions and/or read labels, you’d be surprised by how few ‘normal’ sausages are allergen friendly – it’s just pork right? Wrong)

So with the sausage lecture over, I will add one more point. If you don’t eat pork, you could try this dish with chicken, white fish and/or prawns, you could marinade your protein in some chilli, garlic, smoked paprika and fresh parsley to replicate the flavours of my original recipe. I should add a #10 above, this dish is massively versatile, switch the protein and/or vegetables and amount of spice to suit your own taste.  10 whole reasons why you should make this tonight! What more could you want?!

Here’s the recipe:

Sausage Jambalaya

  • Servings: 4
  • Time: 15 mins prep + 30 mins cooking time
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Gluten, dairy, egg, nut and soya free

Ingredients

  • 4 pork & herb good quality sausages (I used Lincolnshire sausages, honouring my roots, which are flavoured with sage)
  • 4 good quality cooking chorizo sausages
  • 1 cup of basmati brown rice
  • 1 + 3/4 cups of vegetable stock
  • 1 onion
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tsp chilli powder (adjust for own spice tolerance!)
  • 2 tsp ground turmeric
  • 6 spring onions
  • 1 courgette
  • 1 red pepper
  • 8 chestnut mushrooms
  • 1 x 400g can of chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 tbsp fresh curly leaf parsley
  • rapeseed oil
  • spray oil

Steps

  1. Preheat oven to 210ºC (190ºC fan oven)
  2. Lightly grease a baking dish with spray oil and arrange sausages into dish. Stab each sausage a couple of times with a sharp knife. Bake in the preheated oven for 25 minutes, turning a couple of times, until golden brown.
  3. Rinse your rice and add to a small saucepan with the stock. Cover, bring to the boil and then reduce the heat to a low simmer. Cook for 20 minutes, or until the liquid is just about gone and the rice is fluffy. Once done, turn off the heat, leave the lid on the pan so the last drops of stock steam dry.
  4. Meanwhile, prepare your vegetables: dice the onion and peal and crush the garlic; chop the spring onions into small chunks; cut the courgette into half moon slices and the red pepper into small pieces; slice the mushrooms and finally chop the parsley.
  5. Heat a splash of rapeseed oil in a large pan; add the onion, garlic, chilli powder and turmeric. Sauté until the onions are softened. Then add the red pepper and spring onions, cook for a few minutes, stirring regularly and then add the courgette. When the vegetables are nearly done, add the mushrooms and cook for a couple of minutes.
  6. Add the chopped tomatoes, season, stir well and then place the lid on the pan and allow to bubble away on a low simmer for 5 – 10 minutes until all the vegetables are cooked. Turn the heat right down and then add the tomato purée and parsley and stir well.
  7. When the sausages are done, remove them from the oven and slice into bite size pieces. Add them, along with the rice, to the tomato vegetable sauce and stir well to evenly distribute the sausages and coat the rice in the sauce.
  8. Serve in bowls with a sprinkling of more fresh parsley and a dollop of dairy free coconut yoghurt if you desire.

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7 Responses to “A Meaty Treat: Sausage Jambalaya”

  1. thehomeschoolingdoctor September 19, 2015 at 3:41 am #

    Looks amazing! Thanks for sharing! Pork is one of my favorites, and I feel good when I eat it. So since chicken makes me feel bad and pork doesn’t, I decided to listen to my body. My druthers would be to feel good as a lacto-ovarian vegetarian. 🙂 But we don’t always get choices in some things, do we?– Terri

  2. Sophie33 September 21, 2015 at 6:16 am #

    MMMMMM! I don’t eat meat often but I prefer pork too but that is organic pork! 🙂
    I love this lovely appetizing dish a lot & that is why I will make this tonight! x

  3. amii hallgarth September 21, 2015 at 9:56 am #

    mmmm this sounds great thanks! x

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