I've never been a fan of vegetarian or vegan jambalaya. Even as a nearly-lifelong vegetarian, I fully appreciate that there are a few things out there that cannot be effectively replicated without meat. A decent burger, my mom's porcupine meatball recipe, and jambalaya are a few examples of foods I've missed since ditching meat when I was 13 or so. But that's all changing with really decent fake meats now on the market. Beyond and Impossible have really made the last few carnivorous recipes that were previously missing in my life now within reach. Between the faux sausage and some saffron offering a wonderful shrimp-ish umami, this is the bast damn meatless jambalaya I've had -- by far!
5 TBSP canola or avocado oil, divided
1 1/2 medium onions, chopped
4 stalks celery, chopped
1/2 green or red bell pepper, chopped
1 pinch saffron
1/2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp Cajun seasoning
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp black pepper
6 cloves garlic minced
2 TBSP Tabasco sauce
3 1/2 cups veggie stock, store bought or homemade
2 tsp Maggi or browning sauce
1 1/2 cup parboiled rice
10 oz faux chicken breast strips
3 spicy Beyond sausages, sliced into ~1/2 inch half moons
1 can artichoke hearts, drained and cut up a bit, optional
Worcestershire sauce, optional
Heat 3 TBSP oil over medium heat in a large saute pan or dutch oven that has a lid. Once hot, add onion, celery, and bell pepper. Saute, stirring occasionally, until the veggies get fairly well caramelized (but not burned), about 20 minutes.
While the veggies are cooking, boil a small amount of water. Add a few TBSP of this water to the saffron in a small bowl and let it steep.
Once the veggies are a little caramelized, add the cumin, Cajun seasoning, paprika, black pepper, and garlic. Saute 2 more minutes, stirring often.
Now add saffron and the steeping water, Tabasco sauce, stock, and Magi/browning sauce. Bring to a boil, then add rice, cover, and reduce to a simmer. Cook until the rice is tender and liquid is absorbed, about 20 minutes.
While rice is cooking, add the remaining 2 TBSP oil to a large frying pan on medium heat. Once the oil shimmers, Add the faux chicken and sausage. Saute, stirring occasionally, until the cheat meat is browned in spots and fragrant, but not burned.
Now, back to the rice: once it is done, stir/fluff with a fork and taste. Adjust spices, salt, and/or add Worcestershire sauce to taste. Stir in artichokes (if you're using) as well.
Right before you serve, toss the rice with the meats. Eat and enjoy your delightful meatless meaty dinner!