Vegetarian Jambalaya

Vegetarian Jambalaya

Wanted to use one of the 3 new-but-used cookbooks that I bought from Bookman’s for dinner tonight. Found a hearty-looking recipe for Vegetarian Jambalaya (which is as fun to say as it is to spell) in the “Vegetarian Planet” cookbook. After a quick run to Safeway for scallions and tomato paste and a long time spent at the stove I had a nice dinner for my Jake. Which is good because he’s going to need all the help he can get this weekend. He’s trying to finish a 7 page paper. Yikes! I know the feeling because I have all sorts of reading on top of grading 2 classes’ worth of essays (BLECH!). I was skeptical about the olives, but they were really lovely and salty in this. I should also probably confess that I’ve never actually had “real” Jambalaya so I don’t have too much to base it off of in that aspect…but it WAS a delicious meal.

Vegetarian Jambalaya

1 1/2 tablespoons butter
3 cups chopped onions
1 red bell pepper & 1 green bell pepper, seeded & chopped
2 cups finely chopped scallions
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup chopped parsley
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried thyme
3 bay leaves
2 pinches cayenne
1 1/4 cups uncooked white rice
4 plum tomatoes, chopped fine
1 tablespoon tomato paste
3 3/4 cups water
1/3 cup dried lentils
1 teaspoon salt, or more to taste
1 can corn kernels
1 can olives, pitted
ground black pepper, to taste

1. In large soup pot, melt the butter over medium heat.
2. Add the onions, bell peppers and scallions. Saute 10 minutes, stirring often.
3. Add the garlic, parsley, oregano, thyme, bay leaves and cayenne. Saute, stirring often, 2 minutes.
4. Add the rice and mix well.
5. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, water, lentils and salt.
6. Bring the stew to a boil. Stir till the tomato paste is mixed in.
7. Cover the pot and reduce the heat to low.
8. Simmer 25 minutes.
9. Add the corn and olives and cook the stew 5 more minutes or till the rice and lentils are tender.
10. Season with black pepper and more salt (if you’d like) and serve right away.

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