Jambalayas always intimidate me a little, because I don’t like seafood and because I don’t like spicy foods. But of course, if I make my own jambalaya, I can avoid those two problems! I had two recipes I wanted to try, and I made the vegetarian one first. It’s originally a vegan recipe I found on The Kind Life, but I used some vegetarian bacon and vegetarian chick’n that aren’t vegan. I also changed the spices a bit to make sure it was mild, though I served it with sriracha sauce on the side for the Engineer, who preferred his that way. The dish wasn’t hard to prepare, and we had a lot of leftovers (which I think would freeze well).
2 or 3 cloves of garlic
1 red chili pepper (optional, I didn’t use it)
1 tsp chili flakes (I used Korean pepper, which is much milder)
4 slices vegan or vegetarian bacon or vegan chorizo
1 Tbsp smoked paprika (I used half that amount)
1 red bell pepper
1 cup short grain brown rice
1 tsp tomato/vegetable purée
1 ½ cups chopped tomatoes (fresh or canned)
salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 tsp blackstrap molasses
1 cup vegan or vegetarian chicken-style pieces
1 cup frozen peas
1 cup sweet corn (canned, fresh or frozen)
tabasco or sriracha sauce (as much or as little as you like)
large handful of freshly chopped flat leaf parsley
Heat a little vegetable oil in a pan. Finely dice the onion and add to the pan along with some seasoning. Allow to soften for a few minutes. Mince the garlic and finely chop the chili (if using) and add to pan along with the chili flakes.
Cut the “bacon” into chunks and add to pan along with the paprika and cook until it starts to color.
Cut the pepper into large pieces, add to pan, season and allow to soften with the other ingredients.
Pour in the brown rice, give it a stir and then add the tomato purée and chopped tomatoes. Season, add the molasses and one cup of water. Shake in a good amount of tabasco sauce (I didn’t use it here). Fill the cup with water and set aside – you will use this water throughout.
Allow to gently simmer for 30 min before adding the frozen chicken-style pieces – if using refrigerated pieces instead of frozen, they will take less time to cook. If it becomes too dry, add more water, like you would do for a risotto. Cook for a further 15 minutes or until the rice is fully cooked.
A few minutes before serving, add the peas and sweet corn and allow them to gently cook before sprinkling in the parsley ensuring to reserve some for when you plate up. Season and/or add more tabasco if necessary.
Serve in bowls and sprinkle with parsley.