Makes 4 servings: 1 1/2 cups each
In honor of Mardi Gras, I’ve got a festive made-over dish for you! There’s no chicken, shrimp, or andouille sausage to be found here. But you will find plenty of vegetables and beans, absolutely zesty flavors, and hearty satisfaction fit for a meatless feast. In fact, the serving size more than doubles from the original version! Enjoy it as an entrée on Fat Tuesday—or any day.
Calories saved: 120
1 cup long grain or medium grain brown rice
2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
1 (14.5-ounce) can roasted diced tomatoes with green chilies
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 1/2 cups packed sliced fresh crimini (baby bella) mushrooms (8 ounces)
1 medium green bell pepper, diced
1 small or 1/2 large white onion, finely diced
1 tablespoon salt-free Cajun or Creole seasoning*
1/2 teaspoon vegetarian Worcestershire sauce
1 (15-ounce) can no-salt-added red kidney beans, drained
- Add the rice, broth, diced tomatoes with liquid, bay leaves, and salt to a large saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for 30 minutes. (The rice will be undercooked.)
- Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large (PFOA-free) nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms, pepper, onion, Cajun seasoning, and Worcestershire sauce and sauté until the mushrooms are fully wilted, about 10 minutes.
- Stir the beans and mushroom mixture into the rice mixture, cover, and continue to simmer until the rice is al dente, about 20 minutes more. Remove from heat and let stand covered for 5 minutes to complete the cooking process. Remove the bay leaves. Taste and adjust seasoning.
- Transfer to individual bowls. Serve with hot sauce on the side, if you like it extra spicy!
*If desired, make your own salt-free Cajun seasoning. Stir together 1 tablespoon each sweet paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, dried oregano, dried thyme, and freshly ground black pepper. Store in a labeled jar.
Per serving: 340 calories, 5g total fat, 1g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 730mg sodium, 62g total carbohydrate, 14g dietary fiber, 7g sugars, 13g protein
The “Before” Recipe
cajun jambalaya (by Emeril Lagasse)
Per serving: 460 calories, 21g total fat, 6g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 80mg cholesterol, 1290mg sodium, 42g total carbohydrate, 1g dietary fiber, 5g sugars, 24g protein
- Add mushrooms; they provide savoriness and body in lieu of poultry, shellfish, or sausage.
- Boost protein, fiber, and overall hearty satisfaction by way of beans.
- Go heavy on bell pepper and onion to further boost flavor.