(Vegan | Dairy-Free | Gluten-Free | Slightly Spicy)
“Jambalaya, crawfish pie and fillet gumbo, for tonight, I’m-a gonna see my ma cher a mi-o…”
Now, if you find yourself singing to the lyrics of this song Jambalaya (On the Bayou), I know we can be good pals! The famed Creole and Cajun dish that this song was named after had humble origins, like many early American dishes. Pragmatism drove the cooks then to use inexpensive means with whatever they had on hand to create deep flavours. Starting with the basic but aromatic trinity of onion, celery and bell pepper, the dish evolved as cultural influences and household preferences melded to transform it into a quintessential Louisiana specialty.
When I first made it, I was pleasantly reminded of the chicken gumbo I cooked in the early years of The Soup Spoon — spicy, bold and deeply satisfying! Traditionally made meat-heavy, I’ve decided to try my hand on recreating a jambalaya that’s meat-free! Here’s our vegan version with red rice, eggplant, okra, tomatoes and peppers, liberally seasoned with Cajun spices! Hello, New Orleans. Hello, gloriously pretty, nutritious and filling stew!
Ingredients: Vegetable stock (water, root vegetables, herbs), potatoes, carrots, tomatoes, cauliflower, red bell peppers, green bell peppers, okra, corn kernels, eggplant, zucchini, celery, red rice, black beans, red kidney beans, onion, spring onion, garlic, black pepper, mustard, chilli powder, bay leaves, thyme, oregano, salt
Condiments: Chopped spring onion