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Papa Jay's Voodoo Veggie Jambalaya

What you need: 

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

What you do: 

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

Preparation Time: 
1 - 2 hours
Cooking Time: 
Servings: 
14
Recipe Category: 

SO HOW'D IT GO?

Yum Yum! I used Seitan and Tofurkey italian sausages cut into medallions. Added some fresh okra from our farm share, and half a can of chipotles to kick up the spice. Turned out amazing! Needed to cook a little longer for the rice to be done, but yum! l'll definitely make this again!

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Pretty good. :)

I made quiet a few substitutions and omissions in mine (faux "shrimp" from VegeCyber instead of "chicken" strips - it was supposed to  be in addition to, but I found out at the last minute that we didn't have any in the freezer, Mrs. Dash spicy seasoning instead of Creole seasoning, precooked Chinese white rice instead of brown rice, no zucchini, squash or eggplant and no thyme, bay leaves, ketchup or sugarbecause I like my jambalaya spicy), and it turned out pretty good.  The spice level was good and it turned out with the right consistency in about 30 minutes, but the parts touching the bottom of the pan burned (I may have had the heat up too high on it).

When I make it again, I think I'll use less "shrimp" (they're good, but a bit much when you put an entire package in since they're huge) and add in some "chicken" strips like the recipe calls for (probably half and half) and turn the heat down a little.

A bit too complicated for me to fix on a regular basis (I prefer quicker, easier recipes without a lot of steps), but still a nice change of pace and a good dinner.  My omni husband ate it and liked it, but wasn't crazy about the texture of the "shrimp" I used (too solid).

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