Cookbook Reviews

peas and thank you jambalaya

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.

Heh heh heh

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!Β  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

serves 2-4

Print this recipe!


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)



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  • Molly @ RDexposed
    July 26, 2011 at 4:43 am

    Ok, I’m sold. I need to buy the book…today! πŸ™‚

    I love her writing style, too. If a book can make you laugh aloud, it’s good!

  • Julie H. of Spinach and Sprinkles
    July 26, 2011 at 4:44 am

    I’m betting my husband would love this too!….Thank you for all you do; the morning dinners, onion breath, and stuff on your slippers! πŸ˜‰ We appreciate it!

  • Brittany @ Itty Bits of Balance
    July 26, 2011 at 4:46 am

    Can’t wait to get my hands on this cookbook! Let alone on some Jambalaya πŸ˜‰

  • Maria @ Asphalt Tales
    July 26, 2011 at 4:48 am

    Beautiful and tasty looking dish. I have never read MamaPea but I am going to have to now, and definitely check out her cookbook.

  • Lauren @ What Lauren Likes
    July 26, 2011 at 4:54 am

    I need this book! it has been taking over blog land haha πŸ™‚ great recipe too! I love jambalaya!

  • Baking N Books
    July 26, 2011 at 4:58 am

    Do you eat breakfast before you start cooking?

    Looks good! I don’t know about soy though – I’d rather eat lean chicken πŸ˜‰

  • Heather (Heather's Dish)
    July 26, 2011 at 5:01 am

    mmmm i heart jambalaya! this sounds so amazing and i am truly excited about my copy coming today!

  • Cait
    July 26, 2011 at 5:02 am

    looks fabulous girl πŸ˜‰ yum!!!! xo

  • Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat
    July 26, 2011 at 5:02 am

    Ooh I want this book now that I’ve seen your review and Kath’s! Great photos, Jenna – they are all beautiful! I agree, Mama Pea is quite a genius. πŸ™‚

  • Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga
    July 26, 2011 at 5:04 am

    I love that Adam went from BBQ lovin’ Texas style eating to Vegan jambalaya lover. That’s awesome.

    “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”–
    That says it all!

    I can’t wait to get my hands on Sarah’s books. After reading so many reviews in the past 24 hrs and giveaways, it makes me want it even more!

  • Lisa @ Sunny Seed Stories
    July 26, 2011 at 5:07 am

    Hahaha isn’t it fun to have staunch meat eaters eat non-meat and like it and then tell them what they just ate and watch the looks on their faces?

  • Gina @ running to the kitchen
    July 26, 2011 at 5:14 am

    As all mama pea’s recipes, thus looks amazing! I made her tamale pie with renown and it has never tasted so good, my husband had no idea it was even tempeh.

  • maria @ Chasing the Now
    July 26, 2011 at 5:16 am

    I am picking this book up VERY soon!

  • Erika @ The Teenage Taste
    July 26, 2011 at 5:29 am

    Yeah, I think you have done a good job convincing me. I NEED to buy the Peas & Thank You book ASAP! πŸ˜€

  • amy walters, aDESIGNdock
    July 26, 2011 at 5:33 am

    This looks super yummy!

  • kaila @ healthyhelper
    July 26, 2011 at 5:50 am

    I was all ready excited to get my own copy of the book…..but this just made me 100 times more excited!!!! Can’t wait !

  • Jemma @ Celery and Cupcakes
    July 26, 2011 at 6:00 am

    This looks amazing!!!

  • Cait's Plate
    July 26, 2011 at 6:01 am

    I’m so glad this book comes out today. I can’t WAIT to read it. This dish looks especially awesome (though I’m sure I’ll think that about all of them when I sit down and start flipping through the pages!)

  • Hilliary@HappilyEverHealthy
    July 26, 2011 at 6:02 am

    This looks fabulous! I do not like meat sausage so using a meatless sausage is a great option! My meat loving boyfriend may even like this!

  • Priyanka
    July 26, 2011 at 6:07 am

    Congrats on ur cookbook……
    Have heard abt Jambalaya but didn’t try it yet…..thanks for the recipe now i can have it πŸ™‚

  • Dianna @ The Kitchen prep
    July 26, 2011 at 6:10 am

    Looks fantastic. But what really caught my attention was that can of Cafe du Monde coffee in the background of your picture. Bought some on sale at Whole Foods a while back and life has never been the same. Chicory = crack, but Me = too cheap to spend $8/can. {Although I discovered they sell if for way less online.} I could always take a brief trip to New Orleans to stock up… hmm… πŸ™‚

  • Holly @ The Runny Egg
    July 26, 2011 at 6:13 am

    I too love Mama Pea’s writing! She is hysterical.

    I definitely want to try this dish!

  • jenna
    July 26, 2011 at 6:18 am

    i’m so excited to look at her new book! it looks wonderful.

    I love that you cook in a bath robe and slippers! lol

  • Liz @ IHeartVegetables
    July 26, 2011 at 6:32 am

    I made Mama Pea’s chickpea tacos for my man friend last night (who is TOTALLY opposed to anything vegetarian) and he ate them, and I think he even liked them πŸ˜‰

  • Mary (What's Cookin' with Mary)
    July 26, 2011 at 6:35 am

    That recipe looks just PEAchy πŸ˜‰ Can’t wait to get my copy!

  • katie @KatieDid
    July 26, 2011 at 6:41 am

    Haha jambalaya at 9am… the things food bloggers will do! I bet the flavors marinating all day only made it that much more delicious come dinner time. Glad he approved, not an easy task with men who like their meat!

  • lindsay
    July 26, 2011 at 6:53 am

    Ooooh is TJ’s andouille sausage seitan or soy?! My bf is allergic to soy πŸ™

    • lindsay
      July 26, 2011 at 6:54 am

      Oh, nevermind – I am terrible at reading comprehension. I guess I’ll use Field Roast instead.

  • Paige
    July 26, 2011 at 6:56 am

    I love just about every recipe of Sarah’s that I try. I can’t wait to buy her cookbook, too! πŸ™‚

  • Ally @ A Girl in her Kitchen
    July 26, 2011 at 7:03 am

    I love her blog too (and her Yum sauce!). Must grab a copy of this book.

  • Jen
    July 26, 2011 at 7:04 am

    I need to buy this book, pronto. Mama Pea’s recipes are spectacular. She’s such a good role model for someone looking forward to raising happy and healthy kids (and a satiated hubby) in the future…also known as ME. I love her! I should go onto Amazon right now. I’ve been meaning to anyway, because I’ve decided that I just can’t live my life any longer without a Kindle. You understand that. πŸ˜‰

  • Casey @ Pocket Full of Sunshine
    July 26, 2011 at 7:23 am

    Sounds fantastic! Love Mama Pea. πŸ™‚ Can’t wait to get the book. My boyfriend doesn’t even know what vegan means, haha, but he knows he’s suspicious of it. I bet he would love this though!

  • Maria
    July 26, 2011 at 7:27 am

    I can’t wait to check out her book!

  • jenna k
    July 26, 2011 at 7:35 am

    i’m not really into the idea of soy sausage… at all. but your jambalaya is one of my favorite dishes i’ve ever made, so i guess i’ll trust you on this πŸ˜‰ may have to sub in some other meat/non-meat source, but i definitely trust your taste-buds!

  • Nicole
    July 26, 2011 at 7:38 am

    I’m so jealous you have the book!!! Gah! I just checked the “track package” on mine and it won’t be here until Friday πŸ™ And that jambalaya looks amazing!

  • Brittany (A Healthy Slice of Life)
    July 26, 2011 at 7:39 am

    This sounds delicious! Do you think it would freeze well?

  • Ashley
    July 26, 2011 at 7:42 am

    I’ll be making this delicious-looking recipe for my boyfriend this weekend! I love TJ’s meatless andouille sausage! I also love jambalaya!

  • Rachel @ The Avid Appetite
    July 26, 2011 at 7:47 am

    Always love Mama Pea! She is fantastic. I can’t wait to get her book!

  • Kristen @ Popcorn on the Stove
    July 26, 2011 at 7:52 am

    That looks so yummy. Is it weird that it’s not even 11 and I’m ready for lunch/dinner?

  • Jennifer
    July 26, 2011 at 8:02 am

    I’m so impressed you got an advanced copy of her cookbook… that’s amazing! I need to get my fiance to enjoy more healthy foods and less processed junk, so I might just get this book too. If you guys want more tips on staying healthy please check out my blog

  • Brooke @ BittersweetBrooke
    July 26, 2011 at 8:16 am

    I’ve actually never had Jambalaya let alone vegan Jambalaya but this looks delicious. I love one pan/pot recipes, theres just something so comforting about a big bowl of something for dinner. But this all makes sense because mom’s really do know best!

  • Rebecca
    July 26, 2011 at 8:28 am

    My family is from Lousiana so Jambalaya has always been a staple. We even made a song to go with our Jambalaya making haha.

  • Amber K
    July 26, 2011 at 8:47 am

    I’m so excited for her book! I can’t wait to receive my copy πŸ™‚

  • Raya
    July 26, 2011 at 8:49 am

    I love Mama Pea and make her recipes allll the time!!! I’m SO excited for her book to arrive, I pre-ordered it weeks ago!

  • Carissa
    July 26, 2011 at 9:04 am

    I might have to try this for my hubby. He’s so supportive in trying new things and this might be a good one that I can make with just him in mind! Mama Pea really does have great ideas!!

  • Andrea @ The Skinny Chronicles
    July 26, 2011 at 9:04 am

    I love jambalaya. Will have to try if my kitchen is ever reconstructed such that it includes running water and actual appliances…And congrats on the new PBS blog. You look so fabulous in your photo over there. That blouse is such a perfect color for you!

  • Mama Pea
    July 26, 2011 at 9:47 am

    Thank you so much, Jenna. Now get yourself to Portland and bring Adam so we can cook our boys up a feast together! In our heels and ruffly aprons, of course. πŸ™‚

  • Sarah @ Sarah's Modern Bites
    July 26, 2011 at 9:49 am

    Ohhhh I cannot WAIT to get her book!!

    Your pictures are gorgeous by the way Jenna! The colors in that Jambalaya are just beautiful.

  • Joelle (On A Pink Typewriter)
    July 26, 2011 at 10:01 am

    Clearly I need this cookbook! This meal looks fantastic.. I’ve long been a fan of the Peas and Thank You blog (so hilar), and jambalaya is a win-win since I discovered it on a trip to New Orleans earlier this year.

  • Lea @ Healthy Coconut
    July 26, 2011 at 10:12 am

    Thanks for sharing this recipe. Now I can make something from Mama Pea’s book since my book is not arriving for a few more days.

  • Kristie
    July 26, 2011 at 10:23 am

    This makes me extra glad I pre-ordered the book – newly veg as of a week ago and I love jambalaya!

  • Kelsey
    July 26, 2011 at 10:37 am

    Yum! My husband and I may be moving to Mississippi next year and if the food’s like this, I can’t wait!

  • Em
    July 26, 2011 at 11:08 am

    Fun cookbook recommendation!

    Also, guess what? I tried out that great recipe you posted last week with gnocchi and goat cheese. Turned out great! I also added in a big handful of pea shoots. YUM! So good.

  • Michelle
    July 26, 2011 at 11:27 am

    Mama Pea definitely knows how to bring out the closet vegan in everyone. I love it!

  • Jackie @ That Deep Breath
    July 26, 2011 at 11:39 am

    I need this book!

  • Kristina LaRue
    July 26, 2011 at 12:03 pm

    Great photos, looks delicious!

  • Julie - StressStories
    July 26, 2011 at 12:10 pm

    It looks so good – if only I liked celery… Somehow jambalaya and gumbo isn’t the same without it, but I just can’t stomach it.

  • Emily @ Savory and Savage
    July 26, 2011 at 12:15 pm

    That jambalaya looks great – it makes me wish I could eat spicy foods πŸ™‚

  • Rebecca @ How the Cookies Crumble
    July 26, 2011 at 1:21 pm

    That jambalaya looks super awesome. Kinda like a mini trip to NoLA!

  • Kaitlin @ Montgomery Minimalist
    July 26, 2011 at 6:40 pm

    That looks absolutely fabulous. I’ve already pre-ordered the book, but I’m excited that it has a good jambalaya recipe–as a vegetarian, I’ve been pretty limited to red beans and rice for cajun food. I can’t wait to try it!

  • Zsanica
    July 28, 2011 at 9:39 pm

    This turned out so yummy! I should definitely look into buying her book.

  • amanda
    August 9, 2011 at 5:18 pm

    this is simmering on the stove right now and looking delicious. Thanks for sharing!

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    January 29, 2013 at 8:36 am

    I just made this for my boyfriend and myself last night for Meatless Monday… yum! Thanks for the recipe, we both loved it.

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