Sunday, September 05, 2010

One Pot Okra Jambalaya Recipe

Garden Fresh Okra, sliced into half inch slices

Okra Jambalaya

Preparation Time: 10 minutes or less
Cooking:30 minutes
Serves 2 as a Hearty Main Dish or 4-6 as a side dish

1/2 big onion chopped
1 cup chopped assorted bell peppers, red, green and yellow
12 Okra, sliced into 1/2 inch slices
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 hot banana pepper, finely chopped (minus seeds unless you like it super hot!)
1 tablespoon Sesame Oil (Olive oil works fine too)
1 tablespoon of butter

Sometimes it's great fun to make up a healthy meal, based on what's available in the refrigerator and pantry. I tend to live on a tiny budget, so my pantry has interesting reduced sale items stocked in it. I also try to eat fresh veggies and fruits. So I start off by looking in the refrigerator for "must go" items. In other words, produce that needs to be used.  

I never let food go bad in my fridge, I grew up with a mother who believed it was a mortal sin to waste food. She didn't allow us children to be picky. Often she reminded us of starving children somewhere, emphasizing how lucky we were to be sitting down to homecooked food. We didn't appreciate her at the time. Children rarely do. But my mother cooked for us 7 days a week.  We always sat together at meal time. We were not allowed to be late for a meal. Dinner would not be served, until everyone was in place.  

Having lived in far flung ports where basic food items were pricey, if and when you could get them,  never wasting food, was a great habit to already have instilled in me. So looking around my refrigerator,  I came up with okra, bell peppers, onion, and banana pepper as things that must be used. 

I poked around my pantry and paired that and a few other ingredients along with a box of Zatarains Jambalaya with Cheese  (rice, veggies, cheese and spices).

I made this Okra Jambalaya meal without meat, but if you are a must-have meat person, you can brown some sausage or chicken, then toss in with the rice and veggie mix, to finish cooking. Shrimp also works well, just toss in thawed raw shrimp to cook with the rice and veggies. 

Fresh from Teresa's wonderful garden was picture perfect Okra
Assorted bell pepper leftovers, about 1 cup when chopped

Half an onion and about a dozen Okra.  In this picture, I have removed the tops and stems from the Okra.

I just love Cajun Creole foods, it reminds me of my days in New Orleans, Louisiana.
 Jambalaya is a fun word to say. It means any mixture or jumble, a  hodgepodge.
First I sautéed the onion for 2-3 minutes in sesame oil over high heat. 

Then I tossed in the bell peppers and stir fried another 3 minutes.
Next I added the sliced Okra and garlic plus 2 cups of water.
I let that cook covered, about 5 minutes, to bring to a full boil,  then tossed in the Zatarain's Rice mix, stirred it quickly, reduced the heat to low, and let is simmer for a half hour.  

I go through so much garlic, that I often buy it already minced or chopped. In this case, my jar only had about a tablespoon of garlic left, I measured out some of the 2 cups of water that was going in the rice pot, putting it in the jar, to rinse out the remaining garlic for the one pot meal. (Waste not, want not!)
The finished meal!  It was delicious. 
MORE RECIPES by Dear Miss Mermaid:

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1 comment:

  1. That looks mightily gooooood!!!! We'll be trying this one. Especially since Carol lived in Louisiana for a few years before we met.


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