I have seriously been neglecting this blog since I started it. After making the Peach Upside Down Cake I didn’t make anything else while I was at home. I could come up with an excuse such as the kitchen is being remodeled, I was busy with other things, etc. Plain and simple, I just didn’t make anything.
Now! On to the food.
I searched and searched on Pinterest and Google for quick, easy meals to make. Tomorrow marks the first day of summer classes for me so I needed to find dishes that were simple but delicious, especially since I have hardly any time between classes to eat. In my search I came across this website and found a recipe for Spicy Vegetarian Jambalaya. The reason I wanted to make a vegetarian dish is because I personally feel like I’ve been eating too much meat lately.
The first thing I did before cooking was, of course, gather my ingredients! The recipe calls for:
- 1 Tbsp oil
- 1 onion, chopped (I left this out because I don’t like onions)
- 1 green bell pepper, chopped
- 1/2 cup chopped celery (I was able to get this from one stalk)
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 cups water
- 14oz. can diced tomatoes, undrained
- 8oz. can tomato sauce
- 1/2 tsp dried Italian seasoning
- 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
- 1/8 tsp fennel seeds, crushed
- 1 cup uncooked long grain rice (instant might be best as I learned the hard way)
- 15oz. can butter beans, drained and rinsed
- 15oz. can red beans, drained and rinsed
Next I put on one of my favorite aprons. I do WWII reenacting with my dad and dress up as Rosie the Riveter to teach others about women in the war and the sacrifices they had to make as well as the triumphs they experienced. This apron came from the National WWII Museum in New Orleans, Louisiana. If you’re interested in history and are ever in the South I highly suggest a visit to the museum!
It’s always a great idea to prep your ingredients before you start cooking – yet another lesson I’ve learned the hard way in the past. After chopping the vegetables and opening the cans, I heated up the oil in a dutch oven on medium heat and cooked the bell pepper, garlic, and celery. You have to stir it frequently to avoid burning the garlic which, by the way, is an absolutely disgusting taste.
When those are nice and tender, add the water, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, and spices and bring the mixture to a boil. Once it’s boiling, stir in the uncooked rice, turn down the heat to a simmer, and cover. This will simmer 20-25 minutes (or longer if you don’t use instant rice) but make sure you’re stirring it frequently so nothing sticks to the pot.
While the rice was cooking I washed dishes and paced back and forth impatiently while my stomach growled at me. Y’all, if cameras could capture smell your mouth would be watering by now. The rice absorbed most of the liquid and became nice and fluffy.
Then I added the butter beans and red beans. I didn’t realize when I bought the red beans that I didn’t get whole beans. Instead I bought Creole cream style. The texture was similar to a thick paste but man does it taste good in there!
Finally, it was time to dig in. This is an easy dish you can make with little effort. Enjoy!