Jambalaya

It’s Friday and We’ve had a full week of sunny and blooming boiling weather! Everyones more positive and happy when it’s warm! I love it! So yesterday the health inspector came and I got my 5 star food hygiene certificate! I then spent the rest of the day doing admin, enjoying the weather at meal times, developing some ideas for new products for my shop and next months chocolate range! All very exciting! I’ll be letting you know more next week!

As I mentioned on Wednesday, I’ve started to reintroduce less processed grains and gluten back into my diet after excluding due to a lot of poor digestive issues. (read more) As my stomach has been absolutely fine these past few months and is now only affected by my mood, I thought I’d slowly try and reintroduce things. So far I’ve been absolutely fine with sourdough and barley. I’m not sure how the rice effected me as I was feeling very stressed that evening, so I’m going to try it again this weekend and see how I get on. I’m 90% sure it was probably my mood but we’ll see. I’m loving this new ‘journey’ of experimenting and finding what works and what doesn’t. I’m rediscovering old favourites, flavours, textures and ways of cooking and incorporating new foods again. It’s really exciting and I feel so much more free. It’s amazing how positive I’m being about it and how exciting I’m finding it rather than scary. I’m not worried if it upsets my stomach, if It does well at least I’ve tried and know I’m not restricting my self for no reason. I don’t want to cut out something wholesome for no reason, its not good for you to restrict yourself both physically and mentally. It’s also nice not having a label anymore. I mean, I’ve got used to eating grain and gluten free and I actually don’t find it restricting, unless I’m out as I’m an experimental cook and love finding alternatives for things. But I’m also really interested in nutrition and new flavours as I am a real healthy foodie, so the options the better. As long as its natural, healthy and wholesome, I’m happy. I’ll be sure to keep you in the loop with my journey though, as I’m sure others going through the same or similar things will be interested.

So today I’m sharing my take on a family favourite dish, Jambalaya. My Mum used to make this one regularly when we were younger with rice, prawns and pork. To be fair it wasn’t ever super unhealthy, it just used a lot more chorizo (not the 100% kind) , red meat and we used white rice. This version used chicken instead of pork, a lot less chorizo as a little goes a long way, no prawns as they burn my throat (yet to try them again) and quinoa instead of rice. It tastes exactly the same, I actually think it works better with quinoa as it adds a risotto like texture, sort of similar to paella and it soaks up more flavours.

Enjoy my Leitchy tribe xx

Ingredients – serves two

100g quinoa, soaked overnight, drained and rinsed

0.5 tbsp avocado oil

30g 100% chorizo, sliced

2 skinless and boneless chicken thighs, cubed

1 red onion, diced

2 celery sticks, sliced

1 large red pepper, cut into chunks

salt and pepper

2 garlic cloves, sliced

2 salad tomatoes, diced

0.5 tbsp smoked paprika

a pinch of cayenne

0.5 tsp dried thyme

0.5 tsp dried oregano

1 bay leaf

0.5 tsp ground cumin

1 tbsp tomato puree

100g frozen peas

100g green beans, cut into small pieces

400ml boiling water

half a lemon, juiced

120g skinless cod, chunked

4 spring onions, finely sliced

a handful of chopped coriander

Method

Drizzle the avocado oil in a large deep pan.

Add the chorizo and chicken and fry until the chorizo is golden.

Add the onion and celery and fry over a low to medium heat until soft.

Chuck in the pepper, seasoning, garlic, tomatoes, spices, herbs, puree, peas and beans and stir to combine.

Pour in the rinsed quinoa, water and lemon juice and bring to the boil.

Turn down to a medium simmer for 20 minutes – add the cod after 10 minutes.

Once the water has all been soaked up and the quinoa is soft, remove from the heat and divide between two bowls.

Top with the spirng onions and coriander.

Enjoy,

Leitchy xx

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