charlotteats vegetarian jambalaya
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Vegetarian Jambalaya

Vegan, Low Protein (PKU), Gluten Free, Dairy Free and Low Fructose

Total Protein Count: 23 g Protein (confirm choice of rice)
12 Serves = 2 g Protein per serve

Jambalaya is a great winter dish packed full with vegetables with a bit of a spicy kick. While the traditional American recipe includes meats like prawn, chicken or spicy sausage, it can just as easily be made without.  This dish can be made in one large pot with additions (such as meat) made separately to accommodate everyone in the family with their own dietary restrictions; making it the perfect Charlotteats PKU family dinner.

After university I spent a few years living in Chicago. It was here that I developed a love for southern food like spicy jambalaya, gumbo and corn bread. This warming food was perfect for cold Chicago winters. Living in Sydney, it’s not the same cold winters but it can get chilly. One-pot dishes full of vegetables and a bit of spice is perfect for a family or planned left-overs.

In this recipe, I used basmati rice but this can be replaced with special PKU rice or brown rice. (Brown rice is high in fructose, that is why I went with a white rice.) As the recipe is predominately vegetables, the protein is from the rice only, so adapt the protein content with your choice of rice if you are cooking for a PKU diet. Of course, if you’d like to add meat, I’ve included options below plus the cooking method.

charlotteats vegan jambalaya


2 Tbsp extra virgin coconut oil
1 yellow onion, diced
1 red capsicum (bell pepper), diced
4 stalks celery, diced
1 small or 1/2 large eggplant, diced
2 small yellow squash, diced
2 small or 1 large zucchini, diced
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 heaping Tbsp diced jalapeño (use more or less depending on how spicy you like things)
4 cups whole cherry tomatoes or diced fresh tomatoes
1 cup uncooked basmati rice (15.6 g Protein) or PKU rice or rice of choice
2 cups vegetable stock
3 bay leaves
4 sprigs fresh thyme
1 tsp sweet paprika
1⁄2-1 tsp cayenne pepper, to taste
2 tsp creole seasoning, to taste
salt and pepper to taste
1 1/2 cups chopped coriander (cilantro), plus extra for garnish

Serve with:

Green salad
Corn bread and whipped butter


Heat the oil in a large heavy pot over medium heat.
Add onion, celery, capsicum, garlic and jalapeño to oil and sauté until onions are translucent, about 5 minutes.
Add the eggplant, squash, and zucchini, and saute until they’re tender, about other 5 minutes or so.
Add tomatoes and cook an additional minute or two to soften them up.
Season with salt, pepper, paprika, Creole seasoning, and cayenne, if desired. Stir to combine.
Add the bay leaves and thyme.
Add your choice of rice and vegetable stock to pot and stir to combine. Cover and bring mixture to a simmer. Let it cook for 30-40 minutes until the rice has absorbed all the liquid and cooked through. Do not stir the jambalaya while it’s cooking.
Remove from heat and let stand for 2-3 minutes.
Stir in fresh coriander and serve immediately.

Optional Meat Ingredients:

A combination of any or all
300 g quality andouille or chorizo sausage, sliced
16-20 raw king prawns, from sustainable sources, ask your fishmonger, peeled and de-veined
4 free-range organic chicken thighs
4 free-range organic chicken drumsticks

Meat Procedure:

Season the chicken with salt, pepper and a pinch of cayenne. Pour a couple of Tbsp of oil into a large casserole type pan and brown the chicken pieces and sliced sausage over a medium heat.
Stir, then fry on a medium heat for 10 to 12 minutes stirring every now and again. It’s important to control the heat of the pan so that you cook the meat evenly.
If adding Prawns, stir in the prawns at the end, add enough water to keep it moist. Pop the lid back on and cook for another 3 to 4 minutes.


– Use more or less jalapeño and paprika depending on how spicy you like things.
– The meat can be cooked separately and added to the top of the dishes of those who want it. The meat option is not suitable for PKU diets.
– To reduce fructose, omit or reduce the amount of onion and garlic.

charlotte eats vegan jambalaya

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