Jazz Fest Inspired Recipe Series: { Healthy Cajun Jambalaya }

crawfish & crunches healthy jambalaya

Jazz Fest Inspired Recipe Series: { Healthy Cajun Jambalaya }

When the brand and app Girls Guide to New Orleans asked me to blog for them about New Orleans Jazz Fest inspired recipes to cook at home, my mind was flooded with healthier takes on the giant food list from the festival.  Jazz Fest to me is grabbing a bowl of jambalaya in a little styrofoam cup and strolling by all the stages. Of course, all the rice can leave a girl feeling a little bogged down after jamming in the heat all day.  I up the protein a little bit and use slow-burning carbs. Here is my healthier take on a southern staple that you can make in your kitchen.

Serves 6. Feel free to cut recipe in half, but you can eat it all weekend and it freezes well.

Ingredients:

1 pound chicken breasts, diced
2 tablespoon Cajun seasoning – low sodium if preferred
1/4 cup olive oil or coconut oil
1/2 cup chopped onions
1/2 cup chopped green bell peppers
1/2 cup chopped celery
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup chopped tomatoes
2 T Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons hot sauce + more to taste
1 1/2 cups dry brown rice
3 1/2 cups chicken broth
1/2 pound chicken sausage, sliced, I like Manda’s with green onion
Chopped green onion for garnish
1 T salt, 1 T pepper + more to taste

1) In a large pot of boiling chicken broth, cook your rice according to package.

2) While that is going, in a large heavy pot over medium-high heat, brown your chicken sausage in batches. Set aside.

3) Season your chicken with Cajun seasoning. Lightly cook chicken in the same pan, in 2 T oil. Do not over cook. Set aside.

4) Chop all of your veggies. Pulsing in a food processor is highly recommended. Add your remaining oil to the pan. Add your onion, bell pepper, celery to pan. Cook until translucent, soft, about 10 minutes. Cover to speed up cooking time. Season with salt and pepper. Add garlic and tomatoes, Worcestershire, hot sauce. Allow to simmer on low about 10 minutes longer.

5) Remove pan from heat, stir back in your chicken and sausage. In a very, very large bowl, once your rice is cooked, stir your meat and veggie mixture in with your rice.

6) Serve with chopped green onion over top. Serve with additional hot sauce, Cajun seasoning, salt and pepper for those who might like it. If you are feeling the jambalaya is too dry, or gets drier the second day, just add a little chicken broth.

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