We love spicy over here, and usually add at least a slight kick of heat to any recipe we can. So ok, my little brother and his girlfriend had just got back from New Orleans where they spent a few days helping build houses with Habitat for Humanity. In the evenings off they took time to try some local eats. They hit Cafe Du Monde for chicory coffee and beignets. And on another occasion...Gator! Walt loved the gator Po-Boy he had so much that he had gator 2 more times over the weekend. I do not think I'd be able to do it...I feel like it would be equal to eating a dinosaur. But...just hearing about all of the other non-dinosaur spicy food gave us a craving for one of our favorite recipes.
Aaron named this recipe Jiffy Jambalaya, because of it's resemblance to Jiffy Pop. And you really can make them in a Jiffy! Most store bought Jambalaya mixes, are just loaded with insane amounts of sodium and fillers...and really, why bother? This take on the classic is full of flavor, and has great texture. You're using fresh veggies...nothing dehydrated or whatever. And because you're using Instant Brown Rice these pockets cook up real quick! Seriously takes no time to whip them up. Everything gets stirred together in one big bowl...that simple. And you could even do them on the grill this summer! Oh, and you can totally substitute your proteins. We used shrimp and some chicken sausage. But you could even go vegetarian, with some tempeh or tofu.
Here is what you will need:
1/2 lb raw shrimp deveined/tail on
2 all natural chicken or turkey sausage ( we used Applegate Organic Andouille Sausage)
1/2 medium white onion diced
1 green bell pepper diced
1 rib of celery diced
1 1/2 medium vine ripened tomatoes diced
2-3 teaspoons minced garlic
1 1/2 tablespoons salt free Cajun seasoning
1 cup instant brown rice
1/2 cup low sodium chicken broth
Sea salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste
Olive oil cooking spray
First thing, preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
Chop your tomatoes, celery, green pepper, and onion...put to the side.
Measure out your spices, salt and pepper, garlic and brown rice.
Prepare your sausage and shrimp.
Now in a large bowl combine all ingredients! Your veggies, rice, garlic, salt & pepper, spices, shrimp, sausage, and broth.
Mix well! Try to coat everything. You want the rice to be well blended throughout and moistened by the broth.
Now cut 4 rectangular pieces of tin foil, fairly large so that you've got enough slack to fold up into nice pockets. Spray the surface of the foil with your cooking spray, then measure out a 1/4 of the mixture for each. Place the mix in the center of your foil.
Making foil packets is super easy, and it's a great way to make all sorts of fab meals! Especially this summer on the grill! Just bring the long ends to center to meet each other and fold down about 3 times depending on the length. It'll be like a long tent.
And then fold the sides in a few times till you meet your filling.
Place your packets on a cookie sheet and pop in the oven for about 25 mins. At the 25 minute mark you may want to open just one of the packets to check on your rice. Taste a few grains to see if its tender. If not, fold it back up and pop them back in for another 5 mins.
As far as serving, you can open all 4 packets and pour them into a large bowl, or you can do what we do and place your packets directly on plates and eat 'em like that. Again, this adds to the Jiffy Pop allure, and makes them sorta summery and festive.
We hope that you Jambalaya lovers who are looking for a healthier and easier version will give this a try! If you do we'd love to hear about it!
Thanks so much for popping in!
Happy Cooking and Eating!
xo Jenny & Aaron
*adapted from Clean Eating Magazine