Seriously, where does my Monday go? Yesterday just FLEW by. I’m sure it didn’t help that I didn’t change out of my pajamas or leave the house until after 1:00pm. I had some serious blogger difficulties and it took about 2 hours to work them out. The BOY was around and able to help me start cleaning up my computer a bit, but it is still pretty slow and sluggish. I guess we all have days like that. Breakfast was whipped stealcut oats in this funky bowl. I think the bowl is more exciting than my breakfast although it was my first batch of steelcut oats of the season and I remember why I like them so much!
Around 1:30, I finally dragged myself out for a 4.5 mile run before heading to the grocery store to replenish our stocks. As I’m sure you can tell, by Mondays we are pretty much out of food. I came home and got started on dinner…
When I first moved in with the BOY a year and a half ago, I attempted to add some of his food tastes into my own cooking. I got in the habit of asking him ‘what he was in the mood for’. One day, his reply was ‘gumbo’ or maybe he said ‘jambalaya’ but either way, I was totally lost. I had never eaten either one, let alone tried to make one. And, I had no idea what the difference between the two was. I searched the internet for a healthy recipe and finally came across this one. I have made a few modifications and have finally settled on a recipe that works. Because I always get confused between the jumbalaya and gumbo, I fondly named this recipe Jen’s Jumbo! The best part about this recipe is that it comes together with a few convenient ingredients.
The recipe calls for removing the sausage from the casing. However, I like the ‘meatball’ style soup, so I just cut it into chunks before browning it in the Dutch oven.
Then on to the onions, garlic, Cajun seasoning, flour, and tomatoes. Instead of fresh tomatoes, I used 2 cans of well-drained no sodium added chopped tomatoes.
I added 4 cups low sodium chicken broth, the sausage, and the remaining ingredients back into the pot.
Simmer for about 20 minutes uncovered (until veggies are warmed through) and rice is cooked.
This soup is fantastic! It gets even thicker the next day and the flavors blend perfectly! I made the BOY a meatloaf for dinner. It was my first attempt, but I saw this recipe in Cooking Light last month and he has been craving red meat. The BOY loved it and declared BOTH recipes worthy of his ‘Make Again’ list. Who knew I could cook red meat? Thanks Cooking Light!
Adapted from Eating Well
Makes ~10 cups
12 ounces Italian sausage (sweet or spicy), chopped
1 large onion, sliced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning (I use Emeril’s)
2 tablespoons whole wheat flour
2 cans diced tomatoes, drained well
4 cups low sodium chicken broth
1 package frozen okra
1 package frozen fire-roasted peppers (these are from TJ’s and really add that fire roasted flavor)
1/2 cup instant brown rice
-Spray Dutch oven with cooking spray. Add sausage and cook until browned. Transfer sausage to plate lined with paper towels.
-Respray Dutch oven with cooking spray. Add onions and cook stirring frequently until translucent and fragrant, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and Cajun seasoning, stirring frequently about 1 minute. Add flour and cook to coat onion mixture about 2 minutes until flour browns. Add tomatoes and cook stirring occasionally. Stir in broth, cover, and bring to a boil.
-Return the sausage to the pan, along with okra, peppers, and rice. Reduce heat and simmer about 20 minutes until veggies are warm and rice is cooked. Let cook for soup to thicken.