Happy 4th of July, neighbours! I’ve travelled all throughout the U.S., from the west coast to the east, and even WAY down south. One of the most memorable places for me…New Orleans, Louisiana<3 Such an interesting and entertaining city. Wow. SO, to celebrate, we’re having Jambalaya – Garden Style. My protein replacement for this one…Cajun encrusted White Mushrooms. I don’t eat mushrooms, but if I did, this would be it! This particular dish was for my pop, a solid food critic, and his verdict – delicious!…phew. He also loved the addition of Goats’ Cheese. As for the rice, I used my favourite (wild). It has a lot of texture, flavour, is naturally gluten free, and holds up well under pressure. Have a great one & don’t let the heat get to ya!
- 1&1/2 tbsp dried oregano
- 1 tbsp dried thyme
- 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
- 2 tbsp paprika (hot)
- 1/2 tsp cayenne
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 tsp white pepper
- 1 - 28 fl.oz. can organic fire roasted tomatoes, crushed *or regular crushed tomatoes
- 1 med sweet onion, peeled & finely chopped
- 1 cup vegetable broth - low sodium
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 celery stalks, chopped
- 1 cup carrot, grated
- 3-5 baby bell peppers, cored & sliced - red & orange
- 2 cups wildrice, cooked
- 7-10 white mushrooms - cut in half
- 2 tbsp grape seed oil or melted butter
- 2 cups baby organic kale
- 1/2 cup fresh goats' cheese
Combine all of the spices and seasonings into a small bowl or jar. Stir. Divide into two - 2/3rd's & 1/3rd proportions.
In a large pan over med heat, add the crushed tomatoes, onion, carrot, celery, bell peppers, vegetable broth, bay leaves, and the 2/3rd's portion of the Cajun seasoning mix. Stir well. Bring to a gentle boil, turn to low, and place the lid on. Simmer for 60-90mins; stirring occasionally. Remove the lid and simmer for another 30mins. Turn off heat.
In a bowl, toss the mushroom halves, oil/metled butter, and remaining 1/3rd of Cajun seasoning until evenly coated. Heat a medium pan so it's hot - sizzles with a drop of water. Carefully place the mushrooms cut-side down and allow to cook for 2-3mins without stirring or flipping. Flip over and cook on the other side for about 1min. At this point, the mushrooms will likely render their 'juices' so don't be surprised if liquid seems to appear and they become much tender. Flip back to the cut-side and continue to cook off some of the liquid - about 3mins. Turn off the heat and remove the mushrooms from the pan onto a plate. Add the cooked wild rice to the 'mushroom pan' and spoon in the desired amount of the Jambalaya base (Cajun tomato/veggie mixture) - I used nearly all of the base mixture. Gently fold until combined. Prepare a plate with a handful of fresh baby kale, add a heaping scoop of Jambalaya, surround with Cajun mushrooms, and top with goats' cheese. Ready to serve.
~WildRice...follow the directions on the container. Usually, 1cup of dried WildRice yields 2cups cooked. Just in case, here's the general cooking instructions...Fill a medium pot with 2cups water, add 1/4tsp sea salt, and bring to boil over medium heat. Turn the heat to low, add the 1cup of dried WildRice to the boiling water, place a lid on, and simmer for about 40mins. Once the water has 'cooked away' the rice should be nearly done. Do not lift the lid too frequently - requires a consistent temperature. Turn off heat, fluff the rice with a fork, and allow to sit for 5mins with the lid still on. Ready to serve.