Marti Gras – Food Hugs Style

Fat Tuesday - Food Hugs Style

Today, we are celebrating Marci Gras (or Fat Tuesday) with a classic Creole dish that I grew up on called Jambalaya.  Since my Mother was from Louisiana and my Dad was from Texas, we had a great mix of Cajun influenced Southern from her upbringing.  We enjoyed all of the great food that exemplifies Texas cuisine like Chicken Fried Steak, Smoked Brisket, Spicy Chili and anything else you deep fry or smother with gravy.

Jambalaya is a rice dish simmered with tomatoes, trinity (celery, bell pepper, and garlic) and any meat or seafood you want to add.  My Mom, who was an amazing souther cook, alway made it with chicken, smoked sausage and shrimp.  YUMMMM!!!

I decided to give my Jambalaya a healthier twist by substituting the rice with cauliflower rice and adding smoked turkey sausage to lighten it up while keeping the classic flavors of the original soul satisfying dish!

So make yourself a big ole hurricane or daiquiri and cook up a mess of Jambalaya for your friends or family and celebrate the end of Carnival with a dish that will leave you with a smile on your face and a healthy hug for you tummy!  Let the good times role!!!

Cauliflower Rice Jambalaya

  • 1 head of cauliflower
  • 1 lb. ground white meat chicken
  • 1/2 lb. Turkey Kielbasa - diced
  • 3 stalks celery - diced
  • 1 red pepper - diced
  • 1 purple onion - diced
  • 3 cloves garlic - minced
  • 2 ripe tomatoes - diced
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon, plus 1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning (recipe follows)
  • Salt and pepper
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Rice the cauliflower using the grater attachment of your food processor.  You can also place the cauliflower in the bowl of your processor and pulse until it reaches the consistency of rice.

In a large skillet add 1 tablespoon olive oil over high heat.  Add cauliflower rice and sauce for 7 minutes stirring constantly.  Add salt and pepper to taste and remove from skillet and set aside.

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Add the ground chicken to the skillet and cook chicken, stirring and breaking up the chicken with your spoon until chicken is cooked through.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Remove from skillet and set aside.

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Add the additional tablespoon of olive oil and add vegetables to skillet.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Sauté for 10 minutes, stirring every minute or so.  Add tomato paste and Cajun seasoning.  Stir to combine and cook another 3 minutes. Add chicken stock, stir to combine and cook another 2 minutes.

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Add reserve chicken, cauliflower rice and turkey Kielbasa.  Stir to combine and cook while stirring for another 5 minutes until all of the ingredients are throughly combined and hot.  Serve and enjoy!!

Cajun Spice Mix

  • 2 Tbsp. onion power
  • 2 Tbsp. garlic power
  • 1 Tbsp. smoked paprika
  • 1 Tbsp. chili power
  • 1 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 1 tsp. cayenne

Combine all ingredients to create your own Cajun Spice that explodes with flavor and can be used for many different vegetable or meat dishes.

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