Song: Lovesick by Lindstrom & Christabelle (This song is hot.)
I’ve been a vegetarian for so long there are tons of things I’ve never eaten. Wings, for one. Most types of fish people eat these days. Jambalaya. Although I’ve never had “real” jambalaya, it seemed spicy, fun, and appealing. I looked for a vegetarian recipe, but nothing struck me as very exciting. Jambalaya is supposed to be kind of a meat festival, with at least three varieties. I wasn’t really thrilled by something with eggplant (aside from eggplant parmesan or the occasional spicy Chinese thing with lots of ginger, I’m not a huge fan) and I wouldn’t know what to do with okra if it bit me in the ass, not that it would, because I’m sure okra is perfectly polite. Anyway, I figured I should just take a meaty jambalaya recipe and make it vegetarian. So that’s what I did.
I liked it a lot. Ben liked it a lot, too (although he didn’t love the sausage). Soren ate the hell out of it. I think that means it was a success.
- 2 1/2 tablespoons paprika
- 2 tablespoons salt
- 2 tablespoons garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon black pepper
- 1 tablespoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon ancho chile pepper
- 1 teaspoon green chili powder
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 1 tablespoon dried thyme
Combine all ingredients and mix well. This makes more than you’ll need for this recipe, but it’s good and I’m sure you’ll use it again.
- 1 8-ounce package seitan (I used West Soy Seitan Strips and cut the big pieces for uniformity)
- fake chicken, thawed and chopped into bite-sized pieces (I used 3 Quorn Naked Chik’n Cutlets; this is the only non-vegan ingredient)*
- 1 tablespoon Creole seasoning
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 cup onion, chopped
- 1 cup green and/or red bell pepper, chopped
- 1/2 cup celery, finely diced (okay to chop if you like bigger celery pieces — I’m slightly celery-phobic)
- 2 green onions, sliced into 1/2-inch pieces (optional)
- 3 cloves garlic, diced
- 1 cup crushed tomatoes (or diced if you prefer — I’m slightly tomato-chunk-phobic)
- 3 bay leaves
- 1 teaspoon hot sauce (I used Sriracha)
- 1 teaspoon tamari
- 1 cup uncooked rice (I used long grain white rice)
- 3 cups vegetable broth (okay to use some water if you don’t have enough broth)
- 3 vegetarian sausages, sliced (I used Tofurkey Kielbasa)*
- 1/2 cup water
- salt, pepper, and additional Creole seasoning to taste
In a bowl, combine seitan, chik’n, and Creole seasoning, and mix well. Set aside. In a large stock pot, heat oil over high heat. Add onion, pepper, celery, and green onion and cook, stirring occasionally, for 3 minutes. Add garlic and rice and cook, stirring frequently, for 3 minutes. Add tomatoes, bay leaves, hot sauce, and tamari and mix well. Reduce heat to medium and slowly add 2 cups of broth, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring frequently until broth is absorbed before adding more (it’s like you’re making risotto but without the constant stirring). Add the last cup of broth, seitan/chik’n mixture, and sausage and mix well. Cover and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add approximately 1/2 cup water, mix, cover, and cook for 5 more minutes. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and Creole seasoning, as desired (I added pepper and Creole seasoning but no salt here).
*Note: This is (I think) very fake-meat-heavy jambalaya. You might want to reduce the chik’n cutlets and sausages to two each instead of three if you don’t want a fake meatstravaganza.
Adapted from Cajun Jambalaya by Emeril Lagasse.