Even when temperatures have been closer to spring than winter recently, Jimmy and I have craved homey, substantive meals. I think these meals fortify the soul as much as the stomach, which we have needed. Jambalaya is a perfect example of this type of meal and as a bonus, it can scale easily to make a meal for several days.
I’m always trying to reduce the carbs in my diet, so this dish is more like a soup, but you could add rice easily for a more authentic jambalaya dish.
- 1 package boneless chicken breasts, baked in the oven (350 degrees for 1 hour; this a great make-ahead tip. I usually cook the chicken the night before and use it the next day)
- 1 pound Italian sausage (we like hot)
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 1 zucchini, chopped
- 1 squash, chopped
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 green pepper, chopped
- 1 red pepper, chopped
- 1 can Italian-diced tomatoes
- 2 cups baby spinach
- Tobasco sauce
- 1 tsp basil or thyme
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- Melt 2 Tbs butter in pan. Add pepper and onions. Saute over medium heat until soft (around 5 minutes). Set aside
- Break sausage into chunks and cook over medium-high heat until done
- In a stew pot combine peppers, onion, broth, tomatoes, 3-4 dashes tobasco, garlic powder, basil and thyme (if you have a pot large enough, you could saute the veggies in it and then add the rest of the ingredients instead of dirtying another pan)
- Bring soup to a simmer; reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 25-30 minutes
- Add chicken and sausage
- Before serving, add baby spinach and stir until it begins to wilt
As with all my favorite recipes, this recipe is very versatile. If you don’t want to add spinach, you don’t have to, but I find that it adds an extra layer of substance and flavor to the dish. I’ve thought about adding a second can of diced tomatoes too and may do that the next time we make the recipe. If you like spicier foods, feel free to add more tobasco. You could also add any vegetable you like. I’m a big fan of zucchini and squash, so those are the ones I chose. It just occurred to me that this dish is very similar to one of my favorite summer side dishes: ratatouille. It’s a great dish to allow you to have some veggies when all you want to do is ingest carbs!
Do you have a go-to meal when you need something hearty?