Today is Fat Tuesday, but I prefer to call it by its more elegant French name, Mardi Gras! This is a day of feasting and celebration before the privations of Lent begin on Ash Wednesday.
Creole jambalaya is a favorite Mardi Gras dish and while traditional recipes can be loaded with fatty sausage and rich meat, I found a lighter version in Weight Watchers’ One Pot Cookbook. It’s got less fat but don’t worry — it really delivers on the taste that made New Orleans famous.
I’ve given the original WW amounts for spice, but they’re pretty tame by my count. I heavied up (majorly) on the Creole seasoning and cayenne pepper. To satisfy everyone’s tastes at your table, put a bottle of Tabasco Sauce on the table for those who like it ‘the hotter the better.’
One of the best aspects of one-pot cooking is that leftovers often taste better the next day. This rice, shrimp and sausage concoction is no exception. The recipe says that it serves 6, but those are Weight Watcher portions. When I made this last year, the first night I ate one WW serving and Champ ate two. On Ash Wednesday we finished it off and began Lent with a spicy bang! Laissez les bon temps roulez! *
* Cajun French for “Let the good times roll!”
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 large celery stalk, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 lb. turkey kielbasa, thinly sliced
1 1/2 cups long-grain white rice
1 (28-oz.) can diced tomatoes
1 (14 1/2-oz.) can reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 tsp. dried oregano (or Italian seasoning)
1/4 tsp. Creole seasoning (or Cayenne)
1 lb. medium shrimp, peeled & deveined, tails left on if desired
Heat oil in a large nonstick saucepan. Add onion, bell pepper, celery and garlic and cook stirring, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add kielbasa and cook, stirring, until lightly browned, about 4 minutes.
Add rice to pot and cook, stirring, until lightly toasted, about 2 minutes. Add tomatoes, broth, oregano and Creole seasoning. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, until rice is tender, about 30 minutes. Taste and add salt and pepper to taste.
Add shrimp and cook just until opaque in center and liquid is absorbed, about 5 minutes.
Serves 6 (each serving about 1 1/3 cups)
WW Points per serving: 9