I’m going to be away from the computer for a few days, but before I go, I’d like to share with you a couple of recipes from my native state, Louisiana.
First up is a somewhat non-traditional jambalaya, based on a recipe for Chicken Jambalaya that I used to love in my omnivore days. It came from a book called River Road Recipes, one of those collections of recipes of the type you can find in most states, put out by the Women’s Auxiliary or the Junior League or whatever. It’s food the way people actually cook at home rather than how some fancy chef does it, so many of the recipes are easy and use short-cuts that save time. And they’re tested on family and friends, so they’re good. Like this one.
This is more like a paella or Spanish rice than a traditional jambalaya, but I’ve been cooking it for years and everyone who tries it likes it. It uses tofu that has been frozen and thawed, giving it a spongy texture that absorbs the seasonings and makes it chewy. To work right, the tofu needs to be frozen for at least 24 hours. The simplest way to to do this is to slice it into 1/2-inch slices, put them into a freezer bag, and freeze. When it’s time to cook, either defrost them in the fridge for a few hours or in the microwave. Squeeze them gently to remove all water and them cut them into cubes.
This makes about 4-6 servings. Once you’ve had this recipe, you’ll do like I do and keep a package of tofu in the freezer at all times!
- 1 lb extra-firm tofu, frozen and defrosted
- 1 lg. onion, chopped
- 1 bell pepper, chopped (green and/or red)
- 2 ribs celery, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 cup uncooked white rice
- 1 lg. can diced tomatoes (28 ounces)
- 1/2 cup tomato juice or water
- 2 1/2 tsp chili powder (may use part chipotle chili powder)
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp thyme
- 1/2 tsp Liquid Smoke seasoning (optional)
- red (cayenne) and black pepper to taste
- Prepare the tofu by gently squeezing out the excess water and cutting it into 1/2-inch cubes. Set aside.
- Oil or spray a large, non-stick pot with a light coating of olive oil. Over medium-high heat, sauté onion, bell pepper, and celery until soft. Add rice and garlic and cook, stirring, until it browns slightly. Add tomatoes, water, chili powder and other seasonings, and stir. (It’s the cayenne pepper that makes this spicy, so be sure to add plenty!) Gently stir in tofu, cover tightly and put on low heat. Cook for 30 minutes or until rice is done and liquid is absorbed.
You can do this with brown rice, but it takes about twice as long to cook and requires at least a cup more liquid. And, to tell you the truth, it doesn’t taste as good. But feel free to try it that way.
Preparation time: 15 minute(s) | Cooking time: 40 minute(s)
Number of servings (yield): 6
Nutrition (per serving): 239 calories, 38 calories from fat, 4.3g total fat, 0mg cholesterol, 707.6mg sodium, 196.6mg potassium, 37.8g carbohydrates, 3.6g fiber, 6.8g sugar, 11.7g protein, 4.4 points.
More Louisiana recipes are here: Mirliton and White Bean Stew, Stewed Okra and Tomatoes, Red Beans and Rice, Chickpea Gumbo (guest post at Veggie Venture). Also check out all the recipes tagged “Louisiana”.