An iconic New Orleans dish gets a healthy makeover without sacrificing on flavor - one pot shrimp and sausage jambalaya from Dr. Sonali Ruder's Natural Pregnancy Cookbook.
Disclosure: I received a free copy of the cookbook for review. However, all opinions are 100% my own.
I love blogging because: 1) It’s a creative outlet for me 2) I love to cook and spread the word that healthy meals can be downright delicious 3) It gives me a reason to take millions of food photos...well it’s a love/hate relationship at times 4) And, last but not least, I get to connect with people I wouldn’t have gotten the chance to otherwise.
Sonali Ruder is one of those special people. Not only is she incredibly sweet and humble, but she is also someone who inspires and encourages me to keep this little space of mine alive no matter how crazy life gets. I truly don’t know how she juggles everything. She is an ER doctor, food blogger with a culinary background (The Foodie Physician), cookbook author, wife, and mom to the most adorable girl. A superwoman is what she is.
So when she asked me to do a review of her latest cookbook - Natural Pregnancy Cookbook - I responded with a resounding yes. Yes, her recipes are geared more towards pregnant women, but that doesn’t mean non-pregnant women like myself can’t benefit from them.
The book is divided into two parts - The first part goes into great detail about the healthiest and most nourishing way to eat for two. It includes how much weight one should gain throughout pregnancy, the ideal number of calories to consume per day, a breakdown of macronutrient intake, as well as descriptions of specific essential nutrients and the best sources of each. There are also explanations of the most common side effects of pregnancy and tips to alleviate them.
Part 2 contains 125+ recipes all with nutritional information. I especially love the recipes because they are super simple to prepare AND can be made with ingredients you probably already have in your pantry. There were so many I wanted to try immediately, but on this particular day, the shrimp and sausage jambalaya really spoke to me.
On weekdays, I like to just throw everything from my fridge together into a bowl and call it a day - aka nourish bowls. I don’t attempt to try new recipes bc that often requires a trip to the store, which after a long day at work doesn’t sound too appealing. This recipe was great because it was super easy, required just one pot, and the majority of the ingredients were available at my fingertips. I will say that I didn’t have brown rice, so I substituted with quinoa. It was also a great reminder to get some frozen shrimp from Costco for times like these.
This truly was a hearty and comforting meal, and I sure can’t wait to cook my way through the rest of the book! If you are pregnant, planning to be in the near future, know of someone who is, or you just want to whip up some easy, healthy AND delicious meals, I highly recommend the Natural Pregnancy Cookbook!
- 1 tablespoons olive oil
- 8 ounces smoked turkey sausage cooked, sliced into ¼ inch rounds
- 1 medium yellow onion chopped
- 1 red or orange bell pepper chopped
- 3 stalks celery chopped
- 3 garlic cloves chopped
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme or ¾ teaspoon dried thyme
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 can 14.5 ounces diced fire-roasted tomatoes
- 1 ¼ cups brown rice
- 3 cups low-sodium chicken broth or water
- ¾ pound large shrimp peeled and deveined
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 4 scallions sliced
- Hot sauce for serving optional
- salt and pepper to taste
- Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven or heavy-based pot. Add the sausage and brown on both sides, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add the onion, peppers, and celery and season them with salt and pepper. Cook for 5 to 6 minutes until they start to soften and then stir in the garlic and tomato paste. Cook for another 2 minutes, and then add the bay leaf, thyme, oregano, and cayenne. Stir in the tomatoes, rice, and chicken broth.
- Taste the liquid and season it with salt and pepper to taste. Bring the liquid to aboil, and then lower to a simmer. Cover the pot and cook until rice is just cooked through, about 50 to 55 minutes. Stir in the shrimp, lemon juice, and half the scallions. Cover the pot and cook another 5 to 6 minutes until the shrimp are pink and cooked through. Uncover the pot and cook for another few minutes until any extra water is evaporated.
- Garnish jambalaya with reserved scallions before serving. Serve with hot sauce on the side, if desired.