Apparently, I’m going through a “rice phase”. Since discovering how cheap it can be, how long it lasts and how versatile it is, I’ve realised it’s the perfect ingredient for creating a bunch of budget meals, so a lot of my recent recipes have been bulked out with brown rice. I think the other people in my house are getting a little sick of it, actually… 🍚
But who cares when you can make brilliant dishes like this with it?! Jambalaya is something I wasn’t all that familiar with if I’m honest, but my limited experiences with it have always been amazing. The flavours, textures, sights and smells of this gloriously exciting meal are a real pleasure, and I enjoyed experimenting with different jambalaya recipes until eventually coming up with my own take on it.
This meal is really great if you’re trying eat more healthily – there’s no dairy, barely any fat, very little sugar… basically, it’s just rice and vegetables! Sweet potatoes and brown rice are excellent ways of getting energy into your system without the sugar rush and inevitable crash of processed carbs. On top of that, you’ve got Vitamin C from the onion and pepper, fibre from the sweetcorn and antioxidants from the chopped tomatoes – who says nothing good can come from a tin?!
So, this is how I did it…
1. Heat a large pan or stove-top dish and throw in the sweet potato, onion and garlic and fry on a medium heat for around 10 minutes, but make sure the potato doesn’t stick to the bottom – keep stirring! 🥄
2. Once the onion has softened, add the red pepper, stock, chopped tomatoes, spices and rice. Simmer on a medium heat (and cover if possible!) for 30 minutes. Check on the rice – if it’s still crunchy, it needs more time! If your rice takes a while to cook you may need to add a little more liquid so it doesn’t dry up.
3. For the final 5 minutes of cooking, add the sweetcorn and stir through so all flavours are well-combined.
2 Medium Sweet Potatoes, Chopped – Grower’s Selection Sweet Potatoes – 65p – ASDA
1 Red Bell Pepper, Sliced – Grower’s Selection Red Pepper – 50p – ASDA
1/2 Cup of Frozen or Fresh Sweetcorn – Green Grocer’s Supersweet Corn – 79p – Lidl
1 Large Onion, Chopped – Grower’s Selection Onions (by weight) – 15p – ASDA
1 Mug of Chicken or Vegetable Stock – Vegetable Stock Cubes – 39p – ASDA
1 Tin of Chopped Tomatoes – Simply… Chopped Tomatoes – 29p – Lidl
140g Brown Rice – Golden Sun Long Grain Rice Easy Cook – £1.05 – Lidl
There’s a really lovely, mild spice to this recipe, and it’s very rich in warm flavours but still fresh and not too heavy. This balance comes from using just the right seasoning; dried garlic flakes are added at first with the sweet potatoes, while paprika, cumin, dried chilli flakes, dried basil, pepper and salt (or onion salt, if you’ve got it) go in with the stock, tomatoes, etc..