Can I just say how flippin’ excited I was for the release of Mama Pea’s highly anticipated cookbook??!
Because I was! I really, really, really was!
I’ve been cooking Mama Pea’s recipes forever and was lucky enough to meet her last year at the Foodbuzz Conference. On top of being a total genius in the kitchen, Sarah is a strong woman of faith and has been a good friend of mine for quite some time now. So when I emailed her frantically a few months ago saying HELP ME MAKE MY BARBECUE-LOVING-TEXAN BOYFRIEND LOVE HEALTHY FOOD, she didn’t waste any time responding.
All of the meals I’ve made from her blog have been instant winners in this house (she got Adam to like tempeh…who woulda thought?) so I couldn’t wait to get my grubby little hands on her actual cookbook. Lucky me, she sent me an advance copy to drool over! The photos are gorgeous, the recipes are mouth-watering, but what I really can never get enough of is Sarah’s hysterical writing style. And this book is filled with it.
So anyway, the first recipe I made with my brand spankin’ new cookbook was jambalaya—Adam’s favorite!
Let me start by saying I was a LITTLE hesitant because Adam grew up eating Cajun food and, thus, is a pretty harsh critic. Plus, I really liked my jambalaya recipe that I made last summer! I mean, why mess with perfection? And then when I started cooking, I realized I didn’t really have all the ingredients but was still dressed in a bathrobe and slippers.
Don’t you hate it when that happens?
So…I winged it and ended up adapting Sarah’s recipe a little. Thirty minutes later though, I ended up with a steaming pan full of hot, spicy jambalaya. It was only 9am but I couldn’t wait to dig in.
That’s what happens when you cook for a living, folks. All the morning dinners, the onion breath, the tomato stains on my slippers….I do it all for you.
The verdict? Amazing. Truly one of the best jambalayas I’ve had and that’s sayin’ something right there. I couldn’t believe this was vegan and the only thing I had to prove it was a empty soy sausage wrapper buried deep in the depths of my trash can.
It was perfectly spicy and the flavor was spot on. This is definitely my new go-to recipe! Adam loved it too, in case you’re at the edge of your seat wondering. I had to remind him it was vegan after the poor guy kept commenting on how delicious the “andouille sausage” was.
Peas and Thank You Jambalaya
adapted from Peas and Thank You
4 meatless sausages, sliced (I used Trader Joe’s meatless andouille sausage)
1 large red pepper, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 can fire roasted diced tomatoes
1/2 cup water or vegetable broth
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup brown rice
1 1/2 cups water
Bring the rice and water to a boil on the stove. Once boiling, cover and reduce heat to low. Cook for 30 minutes or until rice is tender. Fluff with a fork and set aside.
Spray a large pan with cooking spray. Heat pan over medium/high heat and then add sliced (or crumbled!) meatless sausages. Cook for five minutes, stirring with spatula. Then, add chopped onion, celery and bell pepper. Cook for 6-8 minutes until onion is translucent and soft. Add garlic and saute 30 more seconds.
Pour in diced tomatoes and water (or broth if using). Add salt and oregano. Bring to a simmer and let cook for 5 minutes or so until most of the water evaporates. Add rice and stir well to combine.
Serve with hot sauce!
1 hour (includes time to cook rice)