Creole Jambalaya

Jambalaya

Creole jambalaya, also known as red jambalaya, is a dish that’s usually cooked and served with some type of seafood.  If I had my way I’d add the shrimp, but The Man and the kids would go to bed hungry rather than eat shrimp, so I omit the fish but still like to call this dish Creole. 

Creole jambalaya originates from the French Quarter of New Orleans, in the original European sector. It was an attempt by the Spanish to make paella in the New World, where saffron was not readily available due to import costs. Tomatoes became the substitute for saffron. As time went on, French influence became strong in New Orleans, and spices from the Caribbean changed this New World paella into a unique dish. In modern Louisiana, the dish has evolved along a variety of different lines. Creole jambalaya, or red jambalaya as it is called by Cajuns, is found primarily in and around New Orleans, where it is simply known as ‘jambalaya’. Creole jambalaya includes tomatoes, whereas Cajun jambalaya does not.

And now you know.

Ingredients

  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 medium green peppers, chopped
  • 1 cup celery, chopped
  • 1.25 lbs. chicken tenderloins, cut into chunks
  • 1 T Cajun seasoning
  • 1 lb. Polska kielbasa
  • 28 oz. petite diced tomatoes, un-drained
  • 38 oz. chicken broth
  • 2 cups long grain brown rice

Directions

  1. Place onions, peppers & celery in slow cooker.  Top with chicken then seasoning.  Top with sausage & tomatoes.
  2. Add rice and broth, then press all the rice down so it’s all covered with broth.
  3. Cover & cook on low 5-6 hours. Or on low for 2 hours and high for 2 hours.

*Facts found at Wikipedia

Sausage Frittata

Sausage Frittata

I made this back in March and it was so good I knew I had to make it again for the picture I didn’t take the first time!  Fresh, easy and full of protein, for me this is a perfect go-to dinner choice.  I made steamed artichokes to go with it and the kids didn’t make a peep other than the sound of their chewing! 

Ingredients

  • 8 eggs
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 pound pork sausage
  • 1 tablespoon basil, roughly chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 small zucchini, sliced thin
  • 1/2 white onion, diced fine
  • salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350

Directions

1.  Whisk eggs and water in a bowl and set aside.

2.  Cook sausage through with basil, garlic and a dash of salt and pepper. Drain fat, leaving about 2 tablespoons of the oil in the pan to cook the vegetables in.  Remove sausage from the pan and set aside. 

3.  Add the sliced zucchini and onions to the oil. Sauté for about 5-10 minutes until a little brown; salt and pepper. 

4.  Add the sausage & eggs into the pan. Cook over low heat until the edges begin to get firm.

5.  Place entire pan into oven and cook at 350 for about 30 minutes.

After it is cooked, remove from oven and let sit for a couple minutes before cutting and serving!

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Greek Chicken and Sausage

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Simply?  This was just yummy.  No way around it!  During my trip to Florida for my third half marathon, my friend, gracious host that he is, prepared this dish for us one night.  When I ate it the first time, I’d had a “few” drinks so I wondered if it was really as good as I remembered, and while it seems food never quite tastes the same when you cook it for yourself, this was just as good!  I made a few changes from his instructions because I wanted it as simple and quick as possible. 

I served this with a side salad tossed with a 1/4 cup evoo, teaspoon of Dijon mustard, a clove garlic, chopped, and a healthy sprinkle of garlic salt.  Recipe also courtesy of said Floridian friend.

Ingredients

Pre-heat oven to 350*

  • 10 chicken tenders
  • 1 pound turkey sausage (link), chopped bite size
  • 8-10 fingerling potatoes, cut bite size
  • 1 cup pitted kalamata olives
  • oregano
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • salt & pepper
  • olive oil
  • juice from one lemon
  • feta cheese

Directions

1.  Place chicken in oiled 13×9 inch dish and sprinkle both sides liberally with salt and pepper.  Now sprinkle with oregano.

2.  Add sausage and lemon juice.  Drizzle with olive oil.

3.  Add garlic, olives and potatoes.

4.  Cover with foil and cook for about 45 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.

5.  Sprinkle with feta just before serving.

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Stuffed Zucchini Boats

Stuffed Zucchini Boats

Adapted from: Annie’s Eats

This could so easily be turned vegetarian by substituting cous cous for the sausage.  When I cook cous cous I generally use chicken broth instead of water but for a veggie dish, I’d go with vegetable broth!

The flavors in this dish were subtle and SO complimentary. 

The kids wolfed it down and I’ll seriously be making it again!  I bought four zucchinis, planning on two adults to eat a whole one, the big kid to get her own & the two little ones to split one. 

Stuffed Zucchini Boats

The sausage mixture made a lot more than I thought it would but I had a green pepper that was begging to be used, so I sliced the top off, removed the seeds, and packed it full as well.  I still have enough sausage leftover for at least another full zucchini, and maybe a second {red?} pepper!

Ingredients:

  • 5 zucchini, about 12 inches long
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil, divided
  • ½ cup onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ cup mushrooms, finely chopped
  • 1 lb. pork sausage (I used Jimmy Dean Extra Mild)
  • 2 tbsp. dry white wine
  • 1 large tomato, seeded and diced
  • 3 tbsp. chopped fresh basil
  • 1 tsp. minced fresh rosemary
  • ¾ cup grated Parmesan cheese

Directions:

Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees

Cut zucchini in half lengthwise.  With a spoon, scrape out seeds and not much else leaving a thick zucchini shell.  Reserve about half of the insides.

In a medium skillet over medium-high heat, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil.  Sauté the onion and garlic until tender, about 4-5 minutes.  Add the mushrooms and reserved zucchini insides to the skillet and sauté another 2 minutes.  Remove from the heat & set aside.

Cook the sausage until lightly browned, stirring occasionally.  Drain excess fat then stir in the cooked onion and mushroom mixture.  Add the wine to the pan along with the basil and rosemary & mix then add cheese.  Cook for 1 more minute.  Drain of any excess fat, remove from heat and add tomatoes.

Fill the zucchini shells with the mixture.  Fill a baking dish with ¼-inch of water.  Place the filled zucchini shells in the pan and bake in the preheated oven for 40 minutes, until golden brown.  Remove the zucchini from the pan and serve immediately.

I’d planned on having rice with this, but it was filling all on it’s own.  YUM!

Red Beans & Rice

Red Beans & Rice

Source Elly Says Opa

  • 1/2 Tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 small sweet onion, diced
  • 2 ribs celery, diced (I threw in a few chopped celery leaves for flavor)
  • 1/2 cup diced bell pepper(s)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tablespoon Cajun seasoning, divided
  • 14 oz. turkey smoked sausage
  • 1 heaping Tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 1/2 cups brown rice
  • 2 cans chicken broth
  • 1 can dark red kidney beans, drained and rinsed

Heat the canola oil in a large skillet (something that has a lid) over medium heat. Add the onion, celery, bell pepper, garlic and 1/2 Tablespoon of the Cajun seasoning.  Sauté until vegetables are tender.

Add the sausage, tomato paste, parsley, bay leaves and rice.  Add the chicken broth, and beans. Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low and cook until rice is done (approximately 55-60 minutes).  Fluff with a fork and serve.

Serves two adults, three kids and at least enough for three more adult meals.

Pasta & Chicken Sausage Bake

Pasta and Chicken Sausage Bake

Source: My Kitchen Cafe

Ingredients

  • 1 medium red onion, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 can (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes
  • 10 fresh oregano leaves, chopped (I sent my 10 year old out to pick “a bunch” of oregano and used what she brought in) – you could also use 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 pound rigatoni
  • 2 – six ounce bags baby spinach
  • 12 ounces smoked chicken (or turkey) sausage, halved lengthwise and sliced 1/4 inch thick
  • 6 ounces mozzarella cheese, grated
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Directions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.

In a large skillet, cook chopped onion until translucent then stir in garlic. Cook for another minute; avoid browning the garlic.

Stir in tomatoes and oregano; cook till heated through; add cream and warm through. Season sauce with salt and pepper.

Cook pasta in the boiling water, according to package instructions. With about a minute and a half to spare on the cook time, add spinach, and cook just until wilted. Drain; return to pot.

Add tomato sauce, sausage, and 1/2 the Mozzarella to pasta; toss to coat. *Pour into 13×9 inch dish, top with remaining Mozzarella and Parmesan. Bake until browned and edges are crisp, 20 to 30 minutes. and bake 20-30 minutes or until tops and sides are bubbly brown.

This served two adults and 3 small kids a second night of leftovers.

*If you want to save a second portion for another night entirely, rather than using the 13×9 inch dish, divide it evenly between two shallow 1 1/2-quart baking dishes, freezing one. To re-cook simply take the dish from the freezer, and cook approximately 30 minutes more than the original time.

Simple Sausage Pasta Bake

This is so easy, but delish!
What You Need:
1 package of Penne pasta
1 jar of Prego Fresh Mushroom spaghetti sauce
1 package fresh mushrooms
1 Turkey sausage (I like Hilshire Farms)
2 cups mozzarella cheese, divided

What You Do:
Preheat oven to 350*
Boil pasta according to package directions
Chop sausage into bite size pieces
Slice mushrooms, saute’
Grate cheese
Open jar of sauce *grin*

Drain pasta, pour into large bowl. Add the sauce, sausage, mushrooms, and 1 cup of cheese.
Mix well.
Transfer to a 13×9 baking dish
Sprinkle remaining cheese over top
Bake for 35 minutes, or until cheese is browning.
I like to pair this with French bread and fresh sautéed zucchini. It is yummy! 

Sausage and Black Bean Soup

Black Bean & Sausage Soup

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. sausage, browned (I used hot)
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can golden hominy, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup frozen shredded hash browns
  • 1 can Mexican style stewed tomatoes, undrained & chopped
  • 2 14 oz. cans chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup diced green pepper
  • 1/3 cup diced onion
  • 1 clove minced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp. chili powder
  • 1 tsp. oregano

Directions
Brown sausage and drain off fat. Place in crock-pot. Stir in remaining ingredients. Cook on low for 4-5 hours or high for 2-3 hours.

To freeze: Place soup in gallon freezer bags (double bag). Thaw completely and place in crock-pot, following instructions above.

Sausage Calzones

Sausage Calzones

I’m not sure where I found this recipe originally, but we sure enjoy it!

Recipe yields 4 calzones. The hubby and I usually split one and then freeze the rest to reheat later.

1 1/3 lb. italian sausage
2 cups ricotta cheese
handful parsley
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
handful parmesan cheese
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. black pepper
2 Tbsp. chopped pimento
2 tubes of prepared refrigerated pizza dough (I usually use two bags of Trader Joes whole wheat dough…you could also make your own)
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
tomato, marinara or pizza sauce for dipping

Preheat oven to 425.

Brown sausage. Combine sausage with ricotta, parsley, garlic, parmesan cheese, pepper, nutmeg, and pimento. Roll pizza dough out on nonstick cookie sheets in 4 equal pieces. Spread 1/2 cup of mozzarella cheese and 1/4 of the sausage mixture on each rectangle. (Work only on one half of rectangle of dough!). Fold other half of dough over filling, pink edges firmly to seal. If your dough tears, remove a bit of filling and repair.

Bake 12-15 minutes or until golden brown. (My hint: spread foil on your cookie sheet before baking…makes for easy clean-up for the cheesy mess that oozes out during baking!) Serve with tomato sauce for dipping. YUM!

To freeze: Wrap calzones in foil before baking. Thaw completely and follow baking instructions above. OR Freeze completely bake…warm in the oven until warm through.