Jambalaya: Healthy Southern Comfort

Healthy Jumbalaya Recipe | Girlfriend is Better
Photo courtesy: The Kitchn

Is healthy Southern comfort an oxymoron?  Not with this recipe!  Since we’re still in the cold weather months, I like to eat my veggies warm.  This jambalaya recipe is a household staple and my kids will even eat the leftovers!  I especially like to cook it in a big cast iron skillet which adds some extra iron into our diets.  Winter is when people tend to feel the most run-down so every little bit helps.  Be sure to check out our other favorite skillet recipes when you’re done with this one!

Vintage Pyrex storage set | Jambalaya recipe perfect for leftovers | Girlfriend is Better
Photo courtesy: Two Little Owls

Little Rascal

Andouille is a pork sausage brought originating from France.  It was brought to Louisiana by the French immigrants that created much of the Creole culture.  Andouille sausage is double smoked, which adds to the peppery taste.  Little known fact – andouille is also a bit of an insult in French – it means imbecile, or rascal.  Little andouille sausage – get in my skillet!  One sausage contains 10g protein and is fairly high in fat.  Remember, fat doesn’t create fat – sugar does, so do an hour of ballroom dancing after dinner to burn some of the calories and maintain your heart health ;p  This is the worst of it, so no worries on the rest of the ingredients.

Andouille sausage for healthy jambalaya recipe | Girlfriend is Better
Photo courtesy: Andie Mitchell

Jambalaya is Quick With Easy Veggies

Like any recipe, you can make the meal as easy or as special as your ingredients.  Since I have little kids running around, I opt for easy.  Thanks Trader Joe’s!  This recipe calls for onion, chopped mixed bell peppers, minced garlic, and corn.  Here’s how I keep jambalaya quick and easy: I buy chopped onions, a jar of minced garlic, frozen mixed bells, and frozen grilled corn.  The grilled corn is especially amazing as it works well with the smoked flavor of the sausage and I don’t have to light the grill.

Corn + black beans for healthy jambalaya recipe | Girlfriend is Better
Photo courtesy: Everyday Dishes

Low-Carb + High Mineral

I mentioned above that I don’t count fat as much as I count sugar and carbs.  That’s how I consider this recipe to be healthier than most.  The bulk of the carbs comes from the rice and black beans.  I serve the jambalaya over rice instead of cooking it in so I can portion it better.  My kids seem to like it better that way anyway. Leftovers taste a little better too because you can serve it over a fresh batch of rice.  Black beans are also great as they contain iron and other minerals that strengthen bones.  They also increase satiety which helps curb appetites and aids in weight loss.  One little handful packs quite a punch!  If you prefer rice over black beans, then I suggest stirring the rice in and just omitting the beans.  Your choice if you’re going low-carb.

Healthy jambalaya recipe | Girlfriend is Better
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Nice n’ Spicy

This recipe comes with a warning!  If you don’t like spicy foods, be sure to omit the ghost pepper chilies at the end.  The smokiness of the sausage and the bell peppers give it enough heat as it is.  Ghost pepper chilies (Bhut Jolokia) are extremely hot, so a little bit goes a long way!  A couple of shakes from the grinder really adds to the smoky/ spicy flavor of the jambalaya.  Grind a couple of times over the skillet, stir in, and taste.  Add more gradually and continue to taste until desired heat is reached.

Top 20 hottest peppers | Ghost peppers in healthy jambalaya recipe | Girlfriend is Better
Photo courtesy: Dream Garden 101

Ellie’s Jambalaya Recipe

1 lb. andouille sausage, sliced diagonally in bite-sized pieces
1 lg. onion, wedged
1 c. chopped bell peppers (I use frozen)
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 T. vegetable oil (I use sunflower oil)
1/2 t. oregano, crushed
1/2 t. cumin
1/4 t. black pepper
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 c. vegetable broth
1 c. corn (I use frozen)
1/4 c. lime juice
2 c. cooked rice
ghost pepper flakes, to taste

Mixed bell peppers | Healthy jambalaya recipe | Girlfriend is Better
Photo courtesy; Peas and Crayons

Directions:

Cook onions, garlic, and peppers in oil until slightly firm (about 5 minutes) in pre-heated skillet.  Remove from skillet and set aside.  Brown sliced sausage lightly in same pan.  Add corn, black beans, and broth.  Also add reserved onion and pepper mix and all spices (except the ghost pepper).  Simmer, uncovered, 15-20 minutes.  Stir in lime juice and add ghost pepper flakes to taste.  You may also stir in the rice, or serve it on the side like I do.

Easy jambalaya recipe | Girlfriend is Better
Photo courtesy: Just Us Four Blog

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Staple Recipe Easy for Doctoring

Jambalaya is just a basic dinner that I can throw together quickly.  I generally have most of these ingredients on hand which is also why I like to use the frozen veggies.  You can make adjustments as you like by adding cooked chicken or shrimp in at the end with the lime juice.  A lot of people like to garnish with sliced green onion to give it a little extra color, too.  If you make it and enjoy it, let me know in the comments below!  I’d also love to hear of any successful variations you try.  Bon Appetite!

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