6 tablespoons olive oil (little under half a cup)
1 1/2 tablespoons minced garlic, 2 tablespoons of minced shallots
1 cup diced of each: red onions, bell peppers, celery, yellow squash, zucchini,
2 cups diced of each: white onions, eggplant
1 12oz package of veg sausage crumbles
1 8oz package of veg chicken strips (chopped into cubes)
4 cups of ripe tomatoes, chopped
2 teaspoons of Creole seasoning
salt and pepper to taste
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (substitute chili powder for less heat)
4 bay leaves
1/2 teaspoon of dried thyme
4 cups brown rice
1 cup of tomato paste
7 cups of vegetable stock
1 1/2 cup of ketchup (this is optional for people who like it sweet, like me)
1/2 cup of sugar (also optional for people who like sweet jambalaya)
1 cup of chopped green onions
You'll need a big soup pot to cook everything in and a big bowl to mix the vegetable stock / tomato paste mixture in as well.
Heat the olive oil in the large soup pot over medium heat. Add the minced garlic, shallots, red onions, bell peppers celery and white onions. Sauté them until they are tender, which takes me around 7 minutes. Add the yellow squash, zucchini and eggplant next. Sauté them until they are tender, around 5 minutes.
Next, add the veg sausage crumbles, the veg chicken strip cubes, the tomatoes, Creole seasoning, salt (if Creole seasoning doesn’t have salt in it), pepper, cayenne pepper, bay leaves, thyme and the brown rice. Stir it up nice and good, spending a few minutes getting everything combined.
Heat the tomato paste in a pan and stir it up while your heating it. You want to caramelize the tomato paste, not burn it. Don’t let it stick. Just heat it until it darkens a bit (on med heat, keep stirring). Once it’s caramelized (dark in color), add a little of the vegetable stock to the pan, to loosen the paste up a bit, stir it a few more times to combine it and then add the caramelized tomato paste to the rest of the 7 cups of vegetable stock in the big bowl. Using a whisk, mix the tomato paste / vegetable stock combination well. For a sweeter Jambalaya, add the optional ketchup and sugar and whisk the vegetable stock mixture thoroughly.
Add the vegetable stock mixture to the vegetables and rice in the big pan. Stir it all together well. Cover it up and cook it for around 30-40 minutes to give the rice time to suck up all the moisture. Don’t take the lid off or stir it or anything, just let it cook. Remove it from the heat. Let it sit for like 5 minutes. Add the green onions and mix, mix, mix! Once it’s all stirred up, serve it.
I like mine with vegan coleslaw and a sweet vegan corn bread. Last time I made it, I used this cornbread from this very website: http://vegweb.com/index.php?topic=5845.0