Vegan Jambalaya + Johnnycakes
Anyone who has read this blog before will know that I love a one-pot meal, and if I can make it in the slow cooker, even better! This fab, flavoursome (and also pretty frugal) jambalaya is also quite versatile – you can enjoy it freshly made then store the leftovers in the fridge for yummy chilled rice lunch bowls. (Make sure you cool it as fast as possible – never let rice linger at room temperature for too long). Inexplicably, I decided to make johnnycakes – sort of mini corn flatbreads – to go with this dish (pictured above). You don’t have to do this, although they were pretty good and the recipe is also below. My daughter really enjoys this jambalaya and was particularly taken with the johnnycakes (“Who’s Johnny, Mummy? Are these his cakes?”) Bless.
1 onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 sliced pepper (or use 100g frozen mixed peppers)
150g vegan meat strips/chunks (e.g. Fry’s or Quorn)
2 tsp paprika
1 tsp each: onion powder, garlic powder and oregano
1/2 tsp each: cayenne pepper and parsley
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes
1 x tin kidney beans, drained and rinsed well
400ml veggie stock water
Fresh chopped coriander, to serve
125g fine cornmeal (polenta)
1 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp salt
250ml hot water from kettle
65ml non-dairy milk (any)
In a little olive oil, soften the onion, garlic and peppers on a low heat for about 5 minutes. Add the vegan meat and continue to gently fry for another few minutes. Sprinkle all the herbs and spices and stir until everything is coated.
Add the tomatoes, stock water and kidney beans. Stir well and cover. For cooking on the hob: cover and simmer on the (lowest heat) for 20 minutes. There should be quite a lot of liquid remaining, ready for the rice to absorb. Stir in the rice, cover again and continue cooking for around 20 minutes, or until the rice is cooked through. Check it occasionally in case you need to add a splash of hot water for the rice. For cooking in a slow cooker: Transfer to slow cooker and cook on low for 4-5 hours. Turn up to high, add the rice and cook for a further 30 minutes or until rice is cooked through and has absorbed the excess liquid.
While the rice is cooking, I make the johnnycakes – so they’re still nice and warm when it’s time to plate up. Simply combine the dry ingredients in a bowl then add the water and milk. Quickly stir together then fry tablespoons of the mixture in a hot pan until browned on both sides.