Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Tasty Jambalaya

This dish has all the spicy, carb, meaty goodness that I'm looking for in comfort food. And possibly the longest list of spices I've ever put into one dish.

I came to this deliciousness by searching ingredients that I had in my fridge that needed to be used. This is my favorite way of discovering new things to cook while being my thrifty Mennonite self.

I served the jambalaya on top of sautéed kale. The kale really helped balance all the flavors and heaviness out, especially because I made the jambalaya super spicy.

Here's the real recipe from Chow. My modifications are below.

For the spice mix: (I leaned on the heavy side with all these spices)
  • 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
  • 3/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground mustard
  • Pinch celery salt
For the jambalaya:
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • A good glug of olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 large yellow onions, medium dice
  • 2 andouille sausages, medium dice
  • 4 bacon slices, medium dice
  • 3-4 medium peppers, multi-colored and multi-spiciness, medium dice
  • 3-4 celery stalks, medium dice
  • 1 jalapeño finely chopped
  • 3-4 medium garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more as needed
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can tomato sauce or crushed tomatoes (I used fresh tomatoes, and a larger quantity)
  • 1 handful sun dried tomatoes, soaked in boiling water til soft
  • 2 cups basmati rice
  • 3 cups low-sodium chicken stock or broth
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 medium scallions, thinly sliced (white and light green parts only)


For the spice mix:
Place all of the ingredients in a small bowl and stir to combine; set aside.

For the jambalaya:
Heat the oven to 375°F and arrange a rack in the lower third. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels and set aside.

Heat the oil in a heavy-bottomed, ovenproof, 7-quart pot or large Dutch oven over medium-high heat until shimmering. Place the chicken pieces in the pot and cook, stirring rarely, until browned all over, about 5 to 6 minutes. Set aside.

Add the butter and melt over medium heat. Add the onions, scrape the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon to release any browned bits, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions just begin to brown, about 6 minutes.

Add the sausage, bacon, and half of the reserved spice mix. Stir to coat everything with the spice mix and cook, scraping the bottom of the pot occasionally, until the meat is browned and the onions are very tender, about 10 minutes.

Add the bell peppers, celery, jalapeño, garlic, measured salt, and remaining spice mix. Cook, scraping the bottom of the pot occasionally, until the bell peppers have softened, about 10 minutes.

Add the rice and toast a few minutes.

In a food processor, blend the fresh/canned tomatoes and sundried tomatoes in their soaking water until just slightly chunky but mostly smooth. Add to the pot.

Add the reserved chicken and any accumulated juices. Stir to combine and bring to a boil. Add the stock or broth, and bay leaves, stir to combine, and bring to a boil. Cover with a tight-fitting lid, transfer to the oven, and bake until the rice is tender and the liquid has been absorbed, about 30 minutes.

Remove the pot to a wire rack and let it sit, covered, for 5 minutes. Remove and discard the bay leaves. Stir to evenly combine the jambalaya, taste, and season with salt as needed. Sprinkle with the scallions and serve.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Sausage & Quinoa Stuffed Squash

Made this last night and it will become a winter staple in our household. SO GOOD. The recipe called for two acorn squash but I had one buttercup squash on hand so I used that instead. I think it'd work great with pumpkin or any larger squash.

There was lots of filling leftover after stuffing the squash. Just finished a delicious lunch of the sausage/quinoa filling that I scrambled with eggs, served in a corn tortilla.

Here's the original recipe. The recipe below is based on my modifications.


  • 1 medium- to large- squash, halved and seeded (roast the seeds too, for sprinkling at the end)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pound ground pork sausage (I used spicy italian)
  • 1 onion, diced
  • ½ cup celery, finely diced
  • 4 smallish multi-colored and multi-spicy peppers (or whatever you have to taste), finely diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped
  • 2 tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 1 apple, diced
  • 2 cups cooked quinoa
  • ⅓ cup parmesan cheese
  • salt and pepper
  • parsley, chopped
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Roast squash on pan for 45 minutes, or until the squash is fork tender. After cooking, I scooped out some of the squash to make room for more of the filling.
  3. While the squash is cooking, heat a large sauté pan with olive oil. Add the sausage and brown. Add the onion, celery, peppers, garlic, red pepper flakes, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook for 3-4 minutes, or until the onion is tender and translucent.
  4. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the chopped thyme and rosemary. Stir in the quinoa and apples. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Scoop the mixture into the roasted acorn squash halves. Top with parmesan cheese and a drizzle of olive oil. Bake for 10 minutes. Serve topped with a garnish of chopped fresh parsley and the roasted seeds.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Cheryl’s Leek and Bacon Quiche

Cheryl made a lovely quiche for me last winter. I begged her for the recipe ad here it is. I hope you don't mind I'm posting it here, Cheryl. I want to easily find it anytime I want. 

Pastry:1 1/4 c. spelt flour (white)
6 T. cold butter
pinch salt

Cut in flour, butter and salt with a pastry cutter. Add enough ice cold water until just sticks together. Roll out and place in pie tin.

The Egg Mixture: Sprinkle a generous amount of grated swiss (or other cheese) onto crust. Top with thinly sliced, softened-by-sauting leeks (2? I often buy frozen ones at Trader Joes and defrost) and cooked thick-bacon, Sprinkle with 1/4-1/2ish t. dried thyme. 

In small bowl, whisk 3 eggs + 1 c. milk of choice (I think I used a mix of dairy and rice on yours), salt and pepper. Pour into crust. 

Bake at 375 degrees for 40ish minutes.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Garlic Coconut Mashed Yams

3 large garnet yams, peeled 1 teaspoon olive oil 4 garlic cloves, minced 1 teaspoon dried thyme 1/4 teaspoon allspice 1 teaspoon sea salt 1/2 cup coconut milk (full-fat, no sugar added) 1/4 teaspoon white pepper Directions: Heat oil in small saute pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and thyme and saute until the garlic is golden. Remove from heat. Slice the yams into 2-inch cubes. Bring 2 quarts of water to a boil. Add the yams and boil for 15 minutes or until the yams are soft. Drain in a strainer and then return to pot. Add sauteed garlic and remaining ingredients. Mash until creamy, using a potato masher. Serve hot.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Ukrainian Red Borscht

I got tired of patching together my memory and a mix of different recipes. Here is the method I use to make borscht. Enjoy!

Water and/or beef or veg broth
4-5 medium beets with skins on, scrubbed clean* 
3 carrots, sliced**
3 large potatoes, cubed**
1 T veg oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2-3 T tomato paste
1/2 medium head of cabbage, cored and shredded
1 (8oz) can diced tomatoes with juices
salt and pepper to taste
1 tsp sugar (or to taste)
1-2 T vinegar
1 large bunch of fresh dill, chopped
sour cream for topping

Fill a large pot halfway with water or a mix of water and broth (about 2 quarts), and bring to a boil. Add the beets, and cook until tender enough to peel. Remove beets from water, peel (the skins should slip right off). Discard the beet peels and slice the beets into half moons. Set beets aside.

Add the carrots and potatoes to the beet water and cook until tender. Add the cabbage and diced tomatoes. Add the cooked beets back to the pot.

While the carrots and potatoes are cooking, heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until tender. Stir in the tomato paste and cook until the tomato paste has browned a bit. Stir about a cup of water into the mixture, then transfer to the pot. Add most of the chopped dill (reserving some for garnish). 

Cover and turn off the heat. Let stand for 5 minutes. Taste, and season with salt, pepper, sugar and vinegar.

Ladle into serving bowls and garnish with sour cream and more fresh dill.

I cook the unpeeled beets directly into the broth so all the nutrients go into the soup and in my body! It also makes for a beautifully rich deep red broth.

** I also leave the skins on the carrots and potatoes for extra nutrients. 

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Quinoa Croquettes

I made/invented these this evening. They were so yum. We ate them over a simple green salad with oil/vinegar/salt and green beans.

1 c. cooked quinoa
1 c. defrosted hash browns (uncooked, basically shredded potatoes)
1 egg
1/4 c. minced red onion
1/4 c. minced fresh parsley
1/2 t. cumin
1/2 t. dried oregano
3/4 t. kosher salt

Saute onions for a few minutes in olive oil until soft. Set aside to cool a bit.

Mix all ingredients (including onions).

Heat shallow pan. Add a few glugs of olive oil, heat. Toss 1/4 c. balls/patties into the oil, flatten. Cook until brown. Flip, repeat.


Monday, August 1, 2011

juicing fun

yes! you too can juice the rind AND LIKE IT. :)

because Daphne asked, here are a few of my favorite raw juice recipes so far. i'll add to it if i come across a delicious new recipe. i like them best when they're very cold, so i refrigerated it for 30 minutes or put ice in it. hardcore juicers would tell you to drink it asap. you do whatever you like, just make sure to include the stems of your greens.

[PS - yes, you really do need an electric juicer for this. chop very roughly, the pieces only need to be small enough to put into the feed chute. for melons or very juicy fruit and greens, i've found i get more juice if i press the tamper down very slowly. you *could* probably do this in a vitamix and add water and ice to thin it, but i haven't tried that yet so attempt at your own risk.]

some recipes from jointhereboot.com

2 granny smith apples (unpeeled, cored)
2-4 beets, peeled
3-6 whole carrots, scrubbed but unpeeled (i cut the very top off)
4 c.(or to taste) spinach or kale
1" piece of peeled ginger

mexican jugo (this is not sweet, but is limey/peppery/cilantro-y.)
2 cucumbers, unpeeled
4 c. cilantro
1 lime, halved and unpeeled
1 poblano pepper, seeded and de-veined
1 golden delicious or granny smith apple

watermelon cleanser (best on an empty stomach, first thing in the morning)
1/4 med/large watermelon WITH rind (i cut the fruit away and chop the rind into pieces half as big as the one i'm holding in the picture)
1 lime, halved and unpeeled
thumb-sized piece of ginger, peeled
this makes nearly a half gallon. i end up drinking this over a couple of mornings.

1 granny smith apple, cored but unpeeled
1 cucumber, unpeeled
3 c. spinach or kale or whatever green sounds good
1 lemon, halved and unpeeled
1" piece of peeled ginger

cantaloupe yum-yum
1 cantaloupe, seeded and peeled (that's right, no rind)
2 granny smith or golden delicious apples, unpeeled
6 kale leaves
6 swiss chard leaves (i didn't have these so i just did handfuls of spinach instead)

1 sweet potato (i'm going to peel mine)
1 carrot with peel
1 red pepper
2 beets, peeled
2 golden delicious apples, unpeeled
1 orange (i peel this unless it's organic. they gas oranges to make them orange. this doesn't happen with lemons and limes. fyi.)

leave a comment and tell us what you think about the recipe(s) you try! to your health, ladies. *clink*