To be quite honest, I think I may have had gumbo once in my life, and jambalaya only a handful of times. But, I’ve been making something in between the two for some time now. Again, my concoction is not quite paella nor risotto, not a gumbo nor a jambalaya and yet under a slightly different light it could be any of these four. In a nutshell, what I’ve been making is a rice dish with some sautéed onions, celery, and carrots as a base, and with some sausage or seafood added in for good measure.
This version still includes some vegan andouille sausage, and it does start with onions, celery and some orange and yellow pepper (color does not matter really, any sweet pepper would do!), as well as a good amount of okra, but it uses quinoa instead of rice. Quinoa is a protein rich grain, that has delicious nutty flavor. You can use it in any recipe that uses rice, like in these stuffed eggplants, or this gumbolaya!
If you are looking to incorporate more quinoa in your cooking, here’s a flavorful side dish for your late fall and winter holidays – Quinoa with Roasted Cranberries.
What you’ll need:
1 yellow onion, diced
6 stalks celery, diced
1/2 yellow pepper, diced
1/2 orange pepper, diced
14 oz. (400 g) andouille sausage, vegan (for example Tofurky), sliced
2 cups quinoa
3-4 cups vegetable broth (or water)
2 teaspoons Creole seasoning
16 oz. (454 g) cut okra, frozen
What you’ll do:
- Spray the bottom of a large sauté pan with cooking spray. You can also use a wok, or a paella pan. Place it over medium high heat and add onions, celery and peppers. Sauté for 5-8 minutes, until softened and caramelized.
- Add the sliced sausage and let it brown for 3-5 minutes.
- Add quinoa, and 2 cups of stock or water, depending on what you are using. Mix well and bring to a gentle simmer.
- Simmer for 10 minutes or so, stirring occasionally until all liquid is absorbed. Add 1 more cup, mix well and continue to simmer. Keep adding the liquid until quinoa is done. This should take no more than 4 cups and no longer than 20 minutes. It’s best to add the last cup in 1/4 cup increments to avoid overuse.
- Add the Creole seasoning and mix well.
- Add frozen okra, mix everything together and let the okra cook for another 8-10 minutes. Enjoy as is or with a drop or two of hot sauce, like the Louisiana hot.
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