Vegan Jambalaya RecipePublished: 03/03/2021 by Samuel Anthony
The perfect vegan jambalaya recipe for a warming, fulfilling dinner packed with fibre, protein and easy to make in just one pot! Try with okra or use any veggies you love!
Jambalaya - Louisiana Creole cuisine
Jambalaya is also known as "jumbled", or "mixed up!" This is why it is such a nutritional all-rounder.
This vegan jambalaya recipe combines pulses, vegetables - including okra - tomatoes, rice and stock. Definitely a jumble of delicious high fibre whole foods which are great for your microbiome.
Originating in Louisiana, the Creole cuisine combines Southern American, West African, French, and Spanish influence featuring lots of meat-heavy rice dishes... but not this recipe, I've kept it whole-foods and vegan.
The Creole cuisine is far from vegan, the traditional dish "Dirty Rice" is white rice cooked in meat until browned - I'd suggest smoked crispy burnt mushrooms or smoked tofu to replace this dish if you are transitioning.
This cuisine also utilises beans, particularly red beans like kidney beans - such as with a traditional "Gumbo". We all know beans and pulses boast high protein, but they also pack insoluble fibres that help your gut bacteria flourish.
Jambalaya and The Holy Trinity
In Cajun and Louisiana Creole cuisine, the holy trinity is the base for several dishes of Louisiana.
The trinity consists of onions, bell peppers and celery - all whole-foods and vegan! Bell peppers are rich in anti-oxidants, celery is highly anti-inflammatory and onions are great for your skin and cells.
The preparation of many Cajun/Creole dishes such as gumbo, and jambalaya all start from this base.
A strongly Roman Catholic region explains the link between these staple foods and the the Christian doctrine of the holy trinity.
How to make Jambalaya Vegan
Traditionally, the holy trinity is added to with meat, then tomatoes, stock and rice but we are switching the meat for black beans and kidney beans for their added fibre content, their essential protiens and their absence of cholesterol and trans fats. This dish is so flavoursome that you will not miss the meat - it is a no brainer for your health and impact on our planet.
Get creative with veggies
When it comes to making your own vegan jambalaya, there are no rules for what to add. You can use any beans you like, any veggies and you can mix it up every time!
The dish is thought to have collaborated with the cuisine of West Africa, after a large proportion of West Africans were enslaved and moved to New Orleans. The dish shares a lot with the West African dinner Jollof rice, which has a base of long-grain rice and is prepared in many different ways with many different veggies. No two Jollof rice dishes will be the same, nor should Jambalaya.
You can use courgetttes, celery, okra, bell peppers, carrots, butter beans, black beans, lentils - if you enjoy them, add them!
Nutrition (per serving)
- Calories: 753
- Protein: 31g
- Iron: 11.1 mg
- Calcium: 345.0 mg
- Fat: 27g
- Saturates: 4.8g
- Cholesterol: 0mg
- Trans fats: 0g
- Fibre: 19g
- 1tbsp rapeseed oil
- 1 large onion
- 1 large bell pepper
- 2 large stalks of celery
- 1 courgette
- 1/2 cup okra
- 1 cup spinach
- 1/2tsp salt
- 1/2tsp black pepper
- 1tsp cumin
- 1tsp turmeric
- 1tsp oregano
- 1tsp fenugreek
- 1tsp ground coriander
- 200g black turtle beans, precooked
- 200g soy beans, precooked
- 400g tomatoes, blended or chopped
- 300ml vegetable stock
- 10g fresh coriander
- 250g brown rice
Finely dice the onion, bell pepper and celery and place into a pile. Roughly chop the courgette into cubes around 1cm thick. Slice the okra.
Mix together the spice mix (salt-coriander). Weigh out and rinse the brown rice. Weigh out the beans and prepare some vegetable stock.
Heat 1tsbp of oil over a medium-high heat in a large saucepan.
Add the onion, pepper and celery and fry for 5 minutes.
Add the courgette, okra and spinach and stir well for a further 4 minutes.
Take the pan off the heat and stir in the spice mix. Add the beans, tomatoes, stock and rice and return to the heat.
Bring to the boil and lower the heat. Simmer for around 40 minutes, stirring occasionally and adding water as needed. Keeping a lid on the pan can help retain water and heat.
Serve with fresh coriander. Add plant-based yoghurt if you like and your vegan jambalaya is ready to eat! I love adding spring onions to garnish.