Cajun Jambalaya with vegan Chorizo (background: Whole-grain Jalepeño Cornbread)
Inspired by an Emeril Lagasse recipe, this jambalaya is a spicy cornucopia of flavors, textures and spices – with only plant-based ingredients. There’s a fair amount of prep, but if you start with the carrots and parsnips, the 30 minutes they’re roasting in the oven is just about right to chop and measure everything else and grill the plant-based sausage.
Brown rice takes longer to cook than white, so if you decide to use white rice instead, you’ll want to reduce the second stage cooking time from 30 minutes to about 15 to 20 minutes. Thoroughly rinse the raw rice in several changes of cold water, then drain well, to avoid the gravy being thickened by rice “dust.”
There are a lot of good vegan sausages on the market now. We like Lightlife Smart Sausages Chorizo in this.
Serves 4 to 6.
4 tsp. Creole seasoning, recipe follows, divided use
3 Tbsp. olive oil, divided use
9 oz. (three links) vegan chorizo or andouille-style meatless sausage, sliced 3/8” thick on the diagonal
2 large carrots, trimmed, peeled and cut in 3/4” dice
1 large parsnip, trimmed, peeled and cut in 3/4” dice
2 large portobello mushroom caps, stems removed, wiped clean and cut in 1/2” dice
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup chopped green bell pepper
1/4 cup chopped celery
2 Tbsp. finely diced fresh jalapeño pepper, seeds removed (about 1 large or 2 small peppers)
2 medium tomatoes, chopped, with their juice
6 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
3 bay leaves
1 tsp. sherry vinegar
1 tsp. hot sauce (Frank’s Original recommended)
1 cup brown rice, rinsed in cold water and drained
3 cups unsalted vegetable stock
Sea salt and black pepper
Preheat oven to 400ºF/205ºC. In a medium bowl, toss the diced carrots and parsnips with 1 Tbsp. olive oil and 2 tsp. Creole seasoning until well coated. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spread the seasoned carrots and parsnips on it; roast in upper third of preheated oven for 30 minutes.
While root vegetables are roasting, prep the remaining ingredients. Grill the sliced vegan sausage for 6-7 minutes (turn halfway through time) over medium high heat (375ºF/190ºC) on an electric grill or in a grill pan; do not overcook. When carrots and parsnips are done, remove them to a small bowl.
Heat dry a large Dutch oven or heavy bottomed sauce pan over medium and then medium-high heat, until pot is hot, and then add 2 Tbsp. olive oil. When oil begins to smoke, add onion, green pepper and celery and cook, stirring occasionally, for 3 minutes. Add garlic, jalapeño, tomatoes, bay leaves, sherry vinegar and hot sauce. Stir in remaining 2 tsp. of Creole seasoning and cook until tomato liquid is reduced by half – about 5 minutes.
Reduce heat to medium and stir in rice. Slowly add vegetable stock and bring to a boil; reduce to a simmer and add portobello mushrooms. Partially cover pot and cook, stirring occasionally, 30 minutes (for brown rice; 15-20 for white rice), until rice starts to become tender. Then add cooked sausage and root vegetables and simmer, partially covered, for another 20 minutes or until rice is done.
Season to taste with salt, pepper and Creole seasoning. Remove from heat and allow to stand, covered, for 5 minutes before serving.
Recipe by the Mad Vegan Chef, inspired by http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/emeril-lagasse/cajun-jambalaya-recipe2.html