Shrimp and Sausage Jambalaya

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Jambalaya! It’s a fun word to say, don’t you think? Say it with me! JAM-BA-LAYA!

Jambalaya is basically a thick rice stew filled with sausage, shrimp, beans, veggies, and lots of flavor. My recipe is on the mild side, so my kids will eat it, but you can make yours spicier by increasing the cayenne pepper and adding some of your favorite hot sauce.

Ingredients
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 pound bulk Italian sausage
1 onion, chopped
1 bell pepper, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
1 cup diced carrots
1 teaspoon paprika
Dash cayenne pepper
1 can red kidney beans, drained, but not rinsed
1 can diced Italian tomatoes, with juice
1 garlic clove, pressed
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 cups cooked brown rice

Add oil to your largest, heavy skillet and heat over medium-high heat. Add the sausage, onion, bell pepper, celery, and carrots to the skillet. Using a spatula, break the sausage up into bite-sized pieces. Sauté, stirring frequently, until the sausage is browned and the veggies begin to soften. Reduce the heat, if needed to prevent burning.

Add the paprika and cayenne pepper to the skillet and cook for about 1 minute.

Add the beans, tomatoes, garlic, salt and pepper to the skillet. Stir to combine, reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for about 25 minutes.

Stir in the shrimp and rice, then replace the lid and let cook for about 5 minutes, or until the shrimp is thoroughly cooked. Serve hot and enjoy!

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Bean and Kale Ragout

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Do you ever find yourself torn between wanting something healthy for dinner, and not wanting to spend a lot of time slaving over a stove? Well, my friends, this is the recipe for you.

This main dish stew is healthy, easy to prepare, and full of comforting flavor. Plus, you’ll probably spend more time chopping the vegetables (which really doesn’t take that long) than you will at the stove.

All of the ingredients are combined in a big pot and then left to get better acquainted, while you relax with a glass of wine (just a suggestion), and look forward to the flavorful white beans and tender kale. Now do you see why I love one-pot meals?

Ingredients
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
1 bunch kale, stems removed and leaves coarsely chopped
1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes
2 cloves garlic, pressed
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon chopped fresh basil
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
Dash cayenne pepper
2 15-ounce cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
Salt and black pepper, to taste

Add the olive oil to an extra-deep skillet (a dutch oven or large pot will work too) and heat over medium-high heat. Add the onions and kale and cook, stirring frequently, for about 4 minutes, or until the onions soften and the kale wilts.

Reduce the heat to low. Stir in the diced tomatoes (with juice), garlic, chicken broth, bay leaves, oregano, basil, cumin, and cayenne pepper.

Cover and simmer until the kale is tender, about 45 minutes. (Now’s your time to relax – don’t forget your glass of wine!)

Stir in the beans and continue to simmer for about 10 minutes.

Take a bite (careful, it’s hot!) and add some salt and pepper to taste.

Serve with your favorite crusty bread, or try my Olive Oil Toast recipe. Enjoy!

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Cioppino

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My husband had a hankering for cioppino this week, so I found this great recipe and made a few changes to suit our taste. Cioppino is a flavorful broth overflowing with all kinds of yummy seafood. It looks somewhat intimidating to make, but it’s actually pretty simple – and the results are worth the effort! This recipe will serve 4-5 people.

Ingredients
1/3 cup butter
1 onion, chopped
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes, with juice
2 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
3/4 cup white wine
3/4 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
3/4 pound bay scallops
9 small clams
9 mussels, cleaned and debearded
1 whole cooked crab or 3/4 cup crabmeat
1 small cod fillet, cubed
Cracked black pepper
Frank’s Red Hot Sauce

Melt butter in a large stockpot, over medium-low heat. Add the onions and parsley and cook slowly, stirring occasionally until onions are soft.

Add the garlic, diced tomatoes, chicken broth, bay leaf, basil, thyme, oregano, and wine to the pot. Mix well. Cover and simmer at least 30 minutes.

Add the clams and mussels to the pot and bring to a boil. Lower heat, cover and simmer for about 5 minutes until clams open. Add the shrimp, scallops, crab, and cod, and continue to simmer for another 5 minutes, until the fish is cooked. Ladle soup into bowls and add fresh cracked pepper and a few dashes of Frank’s Red Hot Sauce. Serve with warm, crusty bread!

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