Monday 18 April 2011

The Ultimate Jambalaya Recipe

About once a week I like to include a recently tested recipe in my blog, and I do this for a couple of reasons. First and foremost, I love to cook and I especially love trying new recipes. My family knows this, so they are always ready to try something new, knowing it might be "a keeper," as my 7-year-old daughter says, or might never be served again. Secondly, as a mother of a child with type-1 diabetes, I pay attention to what my son puts in his body and I like his food intake to be as healthy and balanced as possible. Finally, as someone who likes to participate in endurance sports, such as running and cycling, I'm always on the lookout for recipes that have great nutritional value, or a good carb-fat-protein ratio.

Last week I tested a recipe I had been eyeing for a few weeks; a slow cooker recipe for Jambalaya, a cajun all-in-one meal that I adore, but have never made in the slow cooker. This recipe (below) is unique in that it is as close to a complete meal as I have seen for Jambalaya. It's low calorie and low fat, especially when it comes to saturated fat, and yet still high in fiber and protein. Plus, for those of us cooking for a type-1 diabetic, this meal is relatively low carb with only 35 grams net carbs per serving (or less for someone with a smaller appetite). Throw in a glass of nonfat milk to round out the meal, and it's still only 47 grams of carbs. And for those who are cooking for picky eaters, there are lots of possible substitutions with this meal; you can substitute chicken for clams or shrimp, change the chorizo to a regular sausage, or even add a low fat sirloin steak, without really changing the taste or nutritional value of the meal. 

So here it is:

large onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, sliced
1 sweet green pepper, chopped
1 sweet red pepper, chopped
cloves garlic, chopped
1 package (10 ounces) frozen corn kernels, thawed
1/2 pound chorizo, in 1/2-inch pieces
1 can (6.5 ounces) chopped clams, rinsed & drained
1 can (15.5 ounces) red kidney beans, rinsed & drained
1 cup vegetable or chicken broth
1 can (14.5 ounces) stewed tomatoes
1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce
1.5 teaspoons Cajun seasoning
0.5 teaspoon salt
1.5 cups instant brown rice
1/2 pound small shrimp
3 scallions, thinly sliced 

1. In 5- to 5 1/2-quart slow cooker, layer onion, celery, peppers, garlic, corn, chorizo, clams and beans.
2. In bowl, mix broth, stewed tomatoes, tomato sauce, seasoning and salt. Pour into slow cooker.
3. Cover slow cooker; cook on high heat for 5 hours.
4. For last 10 minutes, stir in instant brown rice and shrimp.
5. To serve, garnish with scallions. 

Nutritional Information (Based on 8 servings per recipe)
Amount per serving: Calories 360, Total Fat (g) 13, Saturated Fat (g) 4, Cholesterol (mg) 70, Sodium (mg) 980, Carbohydrate (g) 43, Fiber (g) 8, Protein (g) 21.

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