Healthy Cajun {Low Carb Jambalaya}

Healthy Cajun {Low Carb Jambalaya}

IMG_0686Hey everyone! It’s been awhile since my last post because honestly….I just don’t have the time to devote to the blog that I wish I did! I’ve been so busy with work, family, and fun weekend plans that when my head hits the pillow at night, it’s all over. Life is treating me well and I am incredibly blessed. #tooblessedtobestressed.

While I haven’t posted in a couple weeks, I have been getting very creative in the kitchen. Most of my posts thus far have featured recipes that are decadent and indulgent. I love to cook like that! However…summertime is coming up and I just can’t eat like that very often! While I am a good Cajun girl, I cook healthy meals for my family most of the time, and indulge in delicious treats on occasion. I am all about balance! I am also a full believer that Cajun cooking does NOT have to be unhealthy.

Healthy Cajun food….is that an oxymoron?? No! I don’t think so, anyway. Being Cajun is all about being resilient, creative, and finding the best in everything. So, just because healthy eating is important for our health doesn’t mean we need to eat boring, tasteless food every single night. Being the food lover that I am, that would not work for me! In addition to that, I love to cook fun, unique meals, so the word “boring” does not fit in my kitchen vocabulary.

The last few weeks I’ve been working hard in the kitchen to create healthy Cajun inspired recipes to share on the blog. I must say, it’s been so much fun. We bought a spiralizer and went through a phase where we spiralized every thing in the house! No vegetable or anything with spiralizing potential was safe! If you don’t have a spiralizer, I definitely recommend investing (they are not expensive). I am a person who craves carbs deep in my soul. What is better than coming home after a long day of work and indulging in pasta and wine? Nothing. But, the next best thing is spiralized vegetables! We spiralized zucchini and made several pasta dishes and we were so in love. We bought our spiralizer on Amazon and are pleased with it. I also found an incredible blog called Inspiralized. This brilliant young woman has truly found her niche in the food world by creating a blog completely devoted to spiralized vegetables. The things she comes up with leave me feeling…well..inspiralized! (See what I did there?) Here’s the link to her blog. She also sells her very own Spiralizer!

Inspiralized.com

We have made several of her recipes and her creativity never ceases to amaze me. Get this: she spiralized a sweet potato, put it in a baking dish and topped with mozzarella cheese and turkey pepperoni for a healthy, spiralized twist on pizza. So cool right? I love learning new things, especially in the kitchen. I recently made spaghetti with homemade meatballs and we enjoyed that with the zucchini noodles and honestly, we will never look back! We were able to enjoy spaghetti without the guilt of excessive carbs. Know what that means? More room for wine!!

So we love salmon, as well as all Asian inspired food. So, we were immediately drawn to a recipe of hers for Teriyaki-Ginger Salmon with Sesame Zucchini. We cooked it and we loved it! It was so simple and light! I attached the link to her recipe for this. I think you will love it!

http://inspiralized.com/2015/07/20/teriyaki-ginger-salmon-with-sesame-zucchini-noodles/

IMG_0674Inspiralized Teriyaki glazed salmon

 

I hope you all enjoy the blog I shared, as well as anticipate many new ideas coming to this blog using the spiralizer. I am always open to how to use this to our Cajun advantage so please share ideas!

Ok so back to the reason we are all here today: Low Carb Jambalaya! I created this delicious dish because I really wanted my Cajun fix, but am trying to cut back on carbs, especially rice. It is so important to me to try to keep our culture alive through the food I cook, while  promoting healthy eating and lifestyle habits at the same time. And well, this recipe allowed me to do just that! I absolutely LOVE cauliflower, especially all the ways people are preparing it today. People are turning cauliflower into pizza crust, bread sticks, mashed “potatoes”and even rice! Below I attached a link from another blog I love, called CookEatPaleo, where they describe how to make your own cauliflower “rice”, which is what you can make pizza crust and cauliflower mash with.

http://cookeatpaleo.com/how-to-make-cauliflower-rice/

However, being the Cajun Queen and loving my shortcuts, I often take a little help from the store and buy pre-made cauliflower crumbles. It is a time saver and really helps out with weeknight meals. Our local grocery store recently started carrying the cauliflower rice, and Trader Joe’s sells it, as well. I bought the Green Giant brand.

I started off sautéing the smoked sausage in a cast iron skillet, letting the fat render. I added Guidry’s chopped produce, Rotel, shrimp, and seasonings. And voila! We had healthy, delicious and simple jambalaya. You could definitely substitute chicken or pork for the shrimp, but as you can probably all tell, we love our shrimp around here so we opted for that. I’ve used this same technique before to make cauliflower shrimp fried “rice”. Also easy and delicious!

I look forward to getting creative and posting fun, healthy, Cajun inspired recipes on the blog, in addition to the the occasional indulgent recipes we all know and love. I hope you guys enjoy my recipe for Cauliflower jambalaya!

Here we go!

Music Pairing: Les Poules a’ Colin (Terrent discovered this incredibly talented band at Festival International in Lafayette. They are from Ontario, Canada.)

Wine Pairing: 19 Crimes Cabernet Sauvignon

Ingredients:

1 lb smoked sausage

1 lb shrimp (use chicken or pork if you prefer)

Johnny Jambalaya’s Herb Dressing and Marinade

1 can rotel

1 bag pre-made cauliflower crumbles (I bought Green Giant) if you are making your own cauliflower rice, you’ll need about 14 oz.- a friend made her own and used about 1 and 1/2 cauliflower. (Side note: I felt like I could’ve added another bag or half bag of cauliflower crumbles, just to make more jambalaya. Buy an extra bag and feel it out, if you wish. and if you do this, let me know what you think!)

Guidry’s Produce (or 1/2 onion, a little bell pepper, celery)

4 cloves garlic, chopped

green onion, for garnish

Directions:

Marinate shrimp in JJ Herb dressing and marinade. Cook shrimp in a skillet. Once cooked through, set aside. Cut smoked sausage into half moons. Heat cast iron skillet over medium high heat.  Once skillet is hot, add your sausage, stirring and cooking until brown. Once sausage is browned, add your onions, and sauté until translucent. Season with salt, pepper, paprika, and dried parsley flakes. Add your garlic on top of that, letting it warm through before it hits the pan. Stir and cook until fragrant. Add 1 can of Rotel, and stir to combine. Add cauliflower crumbles to the pan and stir thoroughly, coating the cauliflower in all the juices from the pan. Let this cook for about 8-10 minutes, until cauliflower is cooked through and soft, but not mushy. Taste as you go to reach desired texture. Add cooked shrimp and stir to combine. Garnish with green onion, top with Louisiana Hot Sauce and enjoy!

IMG_0686

Wasn’t that easy? My favorite thing about cooking is creating something new, fresh and innovative. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. This time it did and I am so excited! I hope you guys enjoy it.

C’est bon, sha!

xoxo- Cajun Queen

 

 

Crawfish Boil Pasta Salad

Crawfish Boil Pasta Salad

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Hi everyone! I hope everyone is enjoying the beautiful weather.I know we are! We have been spending lots of time outside, and we are even working on our first garden! I love our little house but landscaping is what was missing. So, I’ve been researching different plants and planting them, in hopes of keeping them alive (I have a bad track record with plants). I’m also planting a few fresh herbs that I can’t wait to use in my cooking. I love learning and trying new things.

As I mentioned in my last post, we love crawfish boils in South Louisiana. Sometimes, if you’re lucky, there will be leftover crawfish (And generous people who are willing to sit and peel). When this happens, Cajuns get creative and make crawfish etoufee, crawfish stew, crawfish pie, to name a few. My dad’s favorite thing to make with leftover crawfish was crawfish boil soup. A creamy, spicy soup full of crawfish, corn, garlic, sausage, and anything else in the crawfish boil made for a satisfying soup that everyone loved! It was one of my favorite things he cooked, if not my FAVORITE thing.

I love getting creative in the kitchen, especially with leftovers. A few years ago when I was living in Baton Rouge and going to LSU for graduate school I hosted a crawfish boil with all of my MSW classmates. I peeled the leftovers and had the idea to create crawfish boil pasta salad. I gathered all the crawfish, leftover crawfish fixins, a little crawfish dip, and Johnny Jambalaya’s Herb Dressing and Marinade and voila! My crawfish boil pasta salad was born. I fell in love with it because A. I love pasta salad. B. It was so full of the wonderful flavors of the crawfish boil. C. It’s great to keep in the fridge and let everyone munch on after a big crawfish boil. I made this crawfish boil pasta salad with about 3 lbs. of leftover crawfish from my inlaws Easter crawfish boil. I made it for my mother in law’s youngest son, Levi’s, First Communion party. It was a big hit! And it is really simple.

I really hope you guys try this one with your leftover crawfish. What do you make with leftover crawfish? Please share!

Here we go!

Music Pairing: Tab Benoit

Beer pairing: Abita Strawberry

Ingredients:

Macaroni noodles

Mayo

Ketchup

JJ Herb Dressing and marinade

Frozen corn

Celery, or green onion

Leftovers from crawfish boil: Crawfish, sausage, garlic, mushrooms..anything you have

Here’s how:
Boil macaroni.
Drain in colander and pour a little Johnny Jambalayas Herb Dressing and marinade on pasta WHILE HOT.
Mix crawfish dip (equal parts mayo, ketchup, 1/4 cup Johnny Jambalayas Herb Dressing and Marinade).
Let pasta cool. Pour dip over pasta.
Add crawfish boil fixins: crawfish, corn, sausage, onion,garlic (whateva you got, sha)
Add a little celery or green onion for some crunch.
Refrigerate for about 30 minutes.
EAT!
Now that’s how you put some soul in yo bowl.

Cest bon!